On the 26th and 27th of October 2023, the Erasmus Maris Days stood as a remarkable milestone in the journey towards marine conservation and education, endorsed as a key activity of the UN Ocean Decade.
The event was co-organised by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, The Generalitat Valenciana and the NGO Ayam Sailing Europe.
The primary aim of the event was to forge a robust alliance between the European scientific community and the formal education sector capitalised on the exceptional non-formal learning environment provided by nautical activities and sailboats, seeking innovative ways to intertwine education and marine exploration.
The event was an unequivocal success, surpassing all expectations. Distinguished by the presence of esteemed participants from prominent institutions like the EU Commission - JRC, UNESCO-IOC, the European Committee of the Region, European schools networks, and stakeholders from the nautical sector,
Panel discussion: from Left to right: Piotr Robouch (Moderator); Robert Koeber (Head of Unit-European Commission); Patrick Gorringe- Manager, International Ocean Relations Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI); Anne Rudisuhli, European Committee of the Regions (CoR); Sandra Castañer, Policy Officer, European Commission, Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, MARE; Salla Saastamoinen, Deputy Director General, European Commission, Joint Research Centre; Manuel Bordoy, Deputy Secretary General, Office of the Secretariat-General of the European Schools; Francesca Santoro, Senior Programme Officer- Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO; Evy Copejeans, Managing Director, European Marine Science Educators Association; Kamel Labibes, CEO Ayam Sailing Europe AISBL (ASE)
The aim of the Panel session was to lay the groundwork for future actions and commitments. The panelists shared ideas, addressing issues, and explored potential paths for future collaboration. The participation of UNESCO-IOC shed light on the international aspects of Erasmus Maris, underscoring its global significance in the realm of marine conservation.
EMD is a two-day annual event during which the maritime community (scientists, civil society, policymakers etc.) meet to share knowledge and promote sustainable development and innovation for sustainable oceans.
During these days and alongside Ayam Sailing Europe alongside the European Commission's Joint Research Centre JRC promoted the Erasmus Maris initiative at a stand hosted by the EU4Ocean Coalition for Ocean Literacy. This coalition, established by the European Commission, aims at uniting European stakeholders to foster ocean literacy, responsible ocean-related practices, and informed decision-making.
We received an overwhelming response from various actors wishing to work with us and support us in our objective of implementing the concept across the EU. It affirms the significance and impact of our approach in addressing the challenges of implementing inclusive citizen science in schools for sustainable seas and oceans.