Ahead of the International Day of Education, UNESCO and Prada Group announced the commencement of the third edition of SEA BEYOND educational initiative, dedicated to promoting ocean literacy and preservation.
UNESCO and Prada Group’s collaboration on SEA BEYOND will benefit more than 34,000 students in 56 countries. The program is also in partnership with Bibliothèques Sans Frontières (Libraries without Borders).
34,385 students from 184 secondary schools across 56 countries will benefit from the SEA BEYOND’s training this year, which will focus on the interrelation between the ocean and climate, and the associated environmental challenges. It will offer ocean literacy training sessions for students and teachers and include live lessons with UNESCO ocean and climate experts. The programme will run from January to June 2024 and end with an international contest, as per the previous editions.
UNESCO and Prada Group will launch a contest inviting schools to create an awareness campaign with text, graphics or interactive content, with the aim of explaining to their peers how to adopt more conscious behaviours to preserve the ocean. The jury evaluating the campaigns will be composed of new and pre-established SEA BEYOND “friends”, the so-called SEA BEYONDers, people who have placed a love for the ocean at the centre of their personal and professional lives.
Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO’s Director-General, commented: “Humanity depends on the ocean, but the future of the ocean is in jeopardy due to human activity. If we want to succeed in saving it, we must support scientific research, advance knowledge but also invest in education. This program supported by UNESCO and Prada Group, is a very positive example of how to raise awareness among younger generations and move towards virtuous practices”.
Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada Group Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, commented: “The record number of students enrolled in this year’s program shows that we are progressing in the right direction and that SEA BEYOND is able to generate a real change”. And he added: “The new partnership with Bibliothèques Sans Frontières is the first humanitarian project within SEA BEYOND; we want to inspire new generations, making them aware of the importance of the ocean and the need to preserve it and we want to do this by leaving no one behind”.
This new partnership with the international non-profit organization Bibliothèques Sans Frontières aims to facilitate access to ocean education for children and young citizens in vulnerable communities through the Ideas Box, a mobile multimedia centre of over 100 square meters including internet connection, tablets, laptops and over 250 books and games, as well as hundreds of training materials.
The Ideas Box concept was initially developed by French designer Philippe Starck for Bibliothèques Sans Frontières back in 2014 and today 115 communities all over the world benefit from it.
This partnership will allow, from June 2024, the first SEA BEYOND-dedicated Ideas Box focused on ocean education, which will be presented in Venice on International Ocean Day. It will be based in Naples and managed by Fondazione Quartieri Spagnoli. It will then travel across Italy.
Moreover, contents related to ocean literacy prepared by UNESCO experts, will be integrated into pre-existing Ideas Boxes in France, Burundi and the Ivory Coast. UNESCO’s experts will also be in charge of training the local teams running the Ideas Boxes and accompanying the children using them.
Patrick Weil, Founder and President of Bibliothèques Sans Frontières, said: “We are very excited about this partnership with SEA BEYOND. Education is a fundamental human right and the benefits of scientific advancements should not be limited to the few. Prioritising this challenge and giving access to ocean education is a matter of social justice, ensuring that all individuals have the opportunity to be informed about crucial environmental issues, become familiar with the ocean, and realise their potential as citizens”.
SEA BEYOND is supported by Prada Group through the donation of 1% of all proceeds from the sales of Prada’s Re-Nylon Collection.