The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has established an international Group of Experts on Ocean Literacy, with 20 members from diverse disciplines, stakeholder groups, geographical regions, and with a focus on gender balance. The group includes Connecticut Sea Grant Education Coordinator Diana Payne.
UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO) selected for its new Group of Experts on Ocean Literacy 20 renowned professionals from diverse and relevant disciplines and interested parties, reflecting the multi-stakeholder nature of ocean literacy and taking into consideration geographical and gender balance. UNESCO made the announcement in an article posted on its website on May 18.
Experts were selected following a call to Member States and partner organizations and suggestions from the IOC/UNESCO Secretariat. The Group has yet to elect a Chair and Vice-Chair to guide its activities together with the Secretariat.
“Ocean Literacy is a fundamental tool to advance ocean sustainability. The IOC/UNESCO is becoming a leading force in promoting Ocean Literacy across different regions and countries,” said Francesca Santoro, Senior Programme Officer for Ocean Literacy at the IOC-UNESCO Secretariat. “We look forward to working with the Group of Experts to bring their diverse expertise together with different perspectives and approaches.”
Payne said promoting ocean literacy is a core mission of the Ocean Decade, a UN-sponsored initiative that began in 2021 that she has been part of.
“Ocean Literacy is the foundation of the success of the Ocean Decade, as environmental literacy is to all we do in Sea Grant,” she said. “I’m honored and humbled to be named to the IOC-UNESCO Ocean Literacy Group of Experts. There is so much important work to be done to fundamentally change humanity’s relationship with the ocean.”