“Educational Community and Public Awareness Campaign on the Marine Environment, Shipping and Sciences” in 24 cities in Greece
|HELMEPA, with the financial support of Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF), conducted educational campaigns addressing the student and wider community in 24 cities and towns across Greece between 2011- 2017.
Specifically, LRF funded HELMEPA’s 3-year long “Marine Environment and Science” Campaign between 2011 and 2014, which was implemented across 12 cities-areas of Greece. Taking into account the positive feedback of this Campaign, LRF funded another 3-year long program titled “Educational Community and Public Awareness Campaign on the Marine Environment, Shipping and Sciences”, which was carried out in 14 cities-areas between 2014 and 2017.
The aims of this six-year initiative were:
The activities of the Campaign in each area included the following:
In each city, the Campaign was placed under the auspices of the Municipal Authorities, who supported this initiative and contributed towards projecting the aims and activities of the Campaign at the local level. Also, the visits of students at the environmental exhibition were organized in cooperation with the Directorates for Primary and Secondary Education.
24 cities/areas visited by the Campaign
The 4 sections of Exhibition
The Campaign operated for a total of 379 days in the 24 cities-areas and the Environmental Exhibition was visited by:
Workshop titled “Marine Litter: a problem that concerns us all”
During the first three years of the Campaign, a workshop titled “Marine Litter: a problem that concerns us all” was held in each city, with a total of 1,200 representatives of public and private stakeholders. During each workshop, information was provided on marine litter in Greece and globally, local stakeholders presented problems in their area and discussions followed in pursuit of feasible solutions to these problems. The common conclusions reached at the 12 Workshops were that marine litter:
. Constitutes a serious environmental problem in each city and become more intense in areas full of urban and industrial waste.
. They can be detected on shores mainly due to ignorance, negligence and lack of control, for example, plastic and debris.
. They can even be found at the bottom of the sea due to illegal disposal of waste.
Seminar titled “The marine environment and us: ensuring a sustainable future”
10 seminars under the title: “The marine environment and us: ensuring a sustainable future”, were held during the next three years of the Campaign. The aim of the Seminar was to inform participating teachers about the recent developments on the themes of the Campaign, as well as to provide information on current environmental challenges that humanity is facing, such as climate change and marine litter pollution. The Seminar was attended by 400 teachers, 335 of which became members of the “Marine Teachers” network. These members have access to an exclusive web site which includes references and supportive educational material that can be used in order to enhance their students’ awareness, while acquiring, at the same time, regular updates on scientific developments, relevant to the Campaign’s themes.
Among the above, during the operation of the Campaign in each city, some other environmental and educational activities took place, such as voluntary beach and underwater cleanups, student visits to respective Port Authorities, Environmental Education Centers and Member Companies, educational guided tours in Protected Areas, recycling etc.
Survey on environmental awareness of students
The survey concerning the environmental awareness of students who visited the Exhibition led to the following:
The impact of the Campaign on educational and local community
As a follow-up of the Campaign and the educational activities that took place in each area, students, teachers as well as the wider public, were motivated in a variety of ways, such as the following:
In addition, after the closure of the Campaign, the teachers noted that:
Finally, local authorities that contributed to the implementation of the Campaign and/or participated in the activities stated the following:
HELMEPA would like to thank all the students, teachers, Municipal Authorities, Educational Directories, organizations, stakeholders and the wider public for their warm response to the Campaign’s messages, which fills us with hope for a better future, while respecting our valuable natural environment.