Lloyd‘s Register Foundation – LRF
Aiming at the strengthening and expansion of the “HELMEPA Junior” Program, a three-year program was implemented between 2008 and 2011 with the financial support of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation – LRF, which included the following:
- Increase of the number of children-members participating in “HELMEPA Junior” to 4,000 annually.
- Enrichment of the program’s action plan with new activities and experiments introducing young schoolchildren to shipping and scientific fields such as biology, environment and ecology, zoology and physics.
- Design and operation of the “HELMEPA Junior” website in English (www.helmepajunior.gr/en/) .
- Operation of a new members’ category for youth above the age of 13 titled “HELMEPA Cadets” and its respective website (www.helmepacadets.gr) containing useful information for the marine environment, shipping, marine sciences and professions.
With the support of LRF, HELMEPA implemented another two 3-year programs aimed at raising awareness among schoolchildren, teachers and the wider community on the Marine Enviornmnet, Shipping and Sciences in the following 24 cities/areas of Greece between 2011 – 2017: Aegina, Αigion, Αlexandroupolis, Chalkis, Chios, Corinth, Heraclion, Kavala, Kilkis, Κοmotini, Loutraki, Marmari/Karystos, Naxos, Nafplion, Peiraeus, Poros, Rhodes, Samos, Serres, Skiathos, Sparti, Thessaloniki, Thiva and Volos.
The results of the six-year Campaign were:
- Information of 26,689 pupils and 1,931 teachers from 497 Elementary and High Schools about the Campaign’s themes – Shipping, Sciences, Engineering and New Technologies during the operation of an Exhibition for 379 days in the 24 areas;
- Cooperation in addressing marine litter with 1,200 local stakeholders who participated in 12 Workshops in the program’s areas;
- Creation of the Network of Volunteer Teachers for the Marine Environment with the participation of 400 teachers who attended 10 Seminars titled :”Humans and the Marine Environment: Ensuring a Sustainable Future”
- Increased interest of teachers, local authorities and stakeholders and the wider society on environmental protection issues.
Following the implementation of the Campaign, schoolchildren, teachers and the wider society carried out follow-up actions in their areas. Some of these we recorded were as follows::
- 210 cleanups with 7,661 volunteers;
- 11,500 schoolchildren new members of the “HELMEPA Junior” program;
- 8,000 environmental activities carried out by schoolchildren, teachers and local stakeholders.
Norwegian Embassy (#beatmarinepollution)
In June 2018, on the occasion of World Environment Day and the Posidonia Exhibition, the Norwegian Embassy in Athens in cooperation with HELMEPA organized a Seminar on how the shipping industry, organizations and citizens may help towards preventing, reducing and removing plastics from the seas and oceans. The aim was to trigger decisive action by projecting the many ways by which the various stakeholders in Norway and Greece approach this issue. Presentations included some excellent efforts of Greek foundations and organizations with the participation of youth, fishermen and local communities as well as shipowners and crews, while all agreed that the industry may have a leading role in promoting innovation, technological advancement and the adoption of new models of entrepreneurship.
“In the summer we fish for… cigarette ends”
Analysis of data from the International Coastal Cleanup, coordinated by HELMEPA every year in Greece, show that cigarette ends constitute steadily the number one litter item found on our beaches. Thus, on the initiative of associate member-company Japan Tobacco International (JTI) Hellas, since the summer of 2007 an awareness raising campaign titled “In the summer we fish for… cigarette ends” is carried out for the prevention of pollution of seas and beaches with cigarette ends.
The campaign was implemented on beaches of 75 coastal Municipalities with the placement of ecological litter bins, dissemination of informative leaflets, posters and disposable ashtrays to beachgoers. In total, more than 70,000 beachgoers were informed, the majority of whom acknowledged the problem and encouraged this joint effort to eliminate cigarette ends from the beautiful beaches of Greece. In 2009 this successful campaign was extended to Cyprus in cooperation with the Cypriot Marine Environment Protection Association – CYMEPA.
“I Want Clean Seas and Beaches”
During the summer of 2007 and 2008, a public awareness campaign titled “I Want Clean Seas and Beaches” was implemented in cooperation with associate member-company WIND. Α special informative leaflet depicting the time it takes for various litter items to dissolve in the environment was designed and widely disseminated, while a special electronic arcade game was created starring HELMEPA’s Seagull cleaning seas and beaches from garbage http://www.helmepajunior.gr/game003.html.
Become Part of the Solution
This is the title of the joint awareness raising campaign carried out by HELMEPA and member company North Aegean Sea Canneries SA from 2009 to 2015, aiming to sensitize the users of fishing vessels and pleasure craft for the prevention of marine litter.
Posters and brochures with useful advice for users of all boat types concerning marine pollution prevention were disseminated to Port Authorities, marina operators, fishing cooperatives and sailing clubs throughout the country.
Educational Program of the International Polar Year
From 2008 to 2010, HELMEPA was a Registered Participant to the Educational Program of the International Polar Year-IPY which was a joint scientific program οf the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) for the period 2007-2010.
Thousands of scientists from 60 countries participated in the largest coordinated interdisciplinary research for the poles. The goal was to compile a comprehensive picture of the earth’s Polar Regions during the implementation period of the program.
The Ιnternational Polar Year introduces a new era in the field of research for the poles with collaboration and exchange of information, not only within the scientific community, but also in the wider society. IPY aims also at educating the public about Polar Regions and involving a new generation of earth scientists.
In the context of the program, HELMEPA included research activities in the Action Plan of the program “HELMEPA Junior” and translated into Greek and disseminated to teachers and schoolchildren informative e-bulletins regarding various themes such as “Human settlements in Polar Regions”, “Above the Poles” and “Polar Oceans” aiming at informing the school community about the Polar Regions and bringing anyone interested into direct contact with polar scientists.