OCEAN LITERACY PROGRAMS
We have engaged in Underwater Ecosystem related Visual Documentation for the past 5 years. Based on the information acquired from our studies we conserve marine and coastal ecosystem services and we have been organising dissemination activities to impart our findings among the public as well as formal educational institutions; especially students of schools and colleges through exhibitions, seminars and workshops. This is intended to raise awareness about Our Ocean Health and sustainable use of marine resources. We also educate the public and mainstream society through media and other public platforms about the destructive fishing practices, ocean pollution and developmental activities detrimental to ocean ecosystem and environmental hazards Our works have been got noticed by UNESCO and IPBES Asia Pacific region and we were able to acquire financial support from them to document ILK (Indigenous and Local Knowledge) for conducting the local workshops with the participation of ILK experts, ILK holders and practitioners in 2016. http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/SC/temp/LINKS/IPBES_AP_2017_V3LR.pdf As part of our Ocean Literacy Programme, we have been publishing articles related to our ocean studies and traditional knowledge through local dailies, periodicals including International Publications such as Samudra.
FML is the only voluntary Organisation that selected from India to participate in the UN ocean conference which was held in New York apart from the official delegation of the Government of India. This has prompted us to focus more on our ocean related literacy programmes in South India. We have submitted voluntary commitments to the UN Ocean conference, https://oceanconference.un.org/commitments/?id=14351 One of our voluntary commitments was to conduct ocean literacy programmes in India, which is aimed at creating an awareness of the significance of Ocean and the sustainable use of its resources. After the participation of the UN Ocean Conference, Friends of Marine Life (FML) has initiated to develop a network of schools and colleges to create an awareness campaign of Ocean Literacy with the active participation of visual media, print media and social media.
Our concept about sustainable use of ocean, seas and marine resources does not limit to sustainable use of fish resources; We believe the entire protection of the ocean resources is a paramount. In other words, it extends protecting the wide variety of living organisms and ecosystems in the vast ocean. With the dawn of twentieth century we witnessed the unscrupulous use of profit seeking fishing technology that destroys the Ocean Environment. We see that the modern technology sheds light into the hitherto unknown facts of destruction that reasserts the necessity of protecting the Ocean. In fact, our ocean is the part and parcel of the existence of humankind on Earth. The traditional fishers had the insights of protecting the Ocean Environment as it provides their livelihood.
We think the interconnection of traditional knowledge and modern scientific knowledge through a shared modality approach is very important for the future sustainable use of our ocean and building future lives.