Bow Seat’s 2021 Ocean Awareness Contest Endorsed by UNESCO as Official Ocean Decade Activity
April 16, 2021

We’re excited to announce that our 2021 Ocean Awareness Contest has been endorsed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as an official Ocean Decade Activity!

This is a big deal for us—we’re joining a global network of partners who are carrying out a broad range of initiatives to help protect our ocean. Together, we’re carrying out the Ocean Decade vision to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health and create improved conditions for sustainable development of the ocean.

Underwater Angel” by Ashwika Kundan Vobbilisetty (age 12, India), 2020 Ocean Awareness Contest

What is the Ocean Decade?

2021-2030 was officially declared the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development by The United Nations to support efforts that will help the world meet the goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These goals are key to protecting our planet and our communities.

The Ocean Decade is a unique opportunity for international cooperation in the face of environmental challenges that transcend borders. Climate change, for example, affects the ocean in ways that impact us all no matter where we live, whether through sea level rise, extreme weather events, or other disasters. We have no other option but to work together to reverse its effects.

How does the Ocean Awareness Contest contribute?

One Mind at a Time” by Kaileigh-Anne Grnak & Anneke Hunt (Canada), 2020 Ocean Awareness Contest

Safeguarding our blue planet starts with raising awareness about ocean conservation issues in a way that inspires people to take action. The Ocean Awareness Contest achieves this by inviting youth to learn about, explore, and communicate the connections between human activities and the health of our ocean through the arts.

Through the creative process, students are encouraged to think, and act, like artists—looking at ocean conservation issues from new perspectives, asking meaningful questions, and discovering innovative solutions.

Deep and long-lasting learning happens when students engage in making—and making meaning—for themselves. Contest participants explore their feelings and form a personal connection with the issues they’re highlighting, helping to make scientific, often complex, ideas relevant to their lives. It’s that deep connection they develop that empowers them to become ocean advocates and cements their commitment to pro-environmental behavior change.

“I have learned so much from this Contest and have grown as an activist. I’ve realized that art can be a global communicator and a way to exchange ideas without any language barriers. I can use my art skills as a voice and as a tool to inspire others and to make a change.”—2020 Contest student participant

Where can I learn more?

Discover Ocean Decade Activities like the Ocean Awareness Contest here. The 2021 Ocean Awareness Contest, WATER RISING, is open now through June 14, 2021, to students ages 11-18 worldwide.

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Bow Seat’s 2021 Ocean Awareness Contest Endorsed by UNESCO as Official Ocean Decade Activity

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