EC HOSTS UNIVERSITY STUDENTS TO DISCUSS CHALLENGE FACING OCEANS
EC hosts university students to discuss challenge facing oceans. On 20-21 October, the European Commission hosted 75 university students from across the EU to co-create innovative solutions to the major challenges facing the ocean and the marine environment.
Participants to this ‘HACK4OCEANS’ event developed ideas around marine litter, alternative food from the ocean, climate change and protecting and restoring coastal ecosystems. The initiative was part of the European Commission’s ocean literacy agenda, aiming not only to raise awareness about ocean-related issues, but also to tap into the fresh ideas of the EU’s young people, as a rich source of sustainable innovation today and tomorrow.
European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said:
“The importance of our seas and oceans for our planet and their impact on our daily lives cannot be stressed enough. They regulate our weather, store CO2, provide food, oxygen, energy, transport, and they are home to hundreds of thousands of animal and plant species. Yet decades of overexploitation, pollution and climate change are threatening all those functions. There is no real green, without true blue. By engaging young academics, we hope not only to find innovative solutions to some of our most urgent challenges, but also to create more awareness and a sense of urgency among Europeans to act now and protect our ocean.”
The event welcomed 75 undergraduate students from universities across Europe, who are either studying in disciplines relevant to the blue economy or have developed a personal interest or passion for the ocean.
The students were assisted virtually by a select group of 30 professionals from different sectors of the blue economy, including business, policy-making and academia, who guided the young participants in their social innovation journey. Results will be made available after the event online at Homepage – hack4oceans and on social media through #Hack4Oceans.