WHO WE ARE
Bremen-Durban Marine Environmental Education Network
The Bremen-Durban Marine Environmental Education Network is a project jointly implemented by eThekwini Municipality and the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen (Germany) as part of the climate change partnership between the two cities. The project focuses on the marine environment in particular as climate change and human-caused pollution have a great impact on the ocean and through that on the residents itself.
Especially in a coastal municipality such as eThekwini, creating awareness on the importance of the ocean both along the coast but also in rural areas is crucial to the development of a sustainable and liveable city. The conservation of marine and coastal ecosystems and a sustainable resource use is strongly linked to sustainable development and human well-being. Providing young people with opportunities to explore, discover and value marine and coastal habitats may ultimately lead to behavioural change within communities and societies.
Project Aims and Objectives
The Bremen-Durban Marine Environmental Education Network aims to contribute to the protection of the sea, the reduction of pollution and through that to have an effect on climate protection in the area of eThekwini Municipality. To achieve this, the following objectives were set to create an enabling environment for marine conservation and sustainability in the long-term:
- Educating and empowering young people as Ocean Champions on the value of the marine environment and the importance of the ocean in the global ecosystem
- Supporting and training teachers and environmental educators to use innovative methods for the education on the ocean and marine conservation
- Building and strengthening a network in the marine space between Durban and Bremen that can offer opportunities of public debates and open forums
The Training Programmes
The project is specifically aimed at young people in high school (grade 8 and 9) and matriculated youth aged 18 to 25 in order for them to become experts in the area of the marine environment and to be able to inspire others. Therefore, this project will not only improve young people’s knowledge of the marine environment, but also strengthen their social and leadership qualities. The goal is that young people in Durban are aware of the importance of the seas for climate change and take an active role as “Ocean Champions” in the area of marine environmental protection.
The Ocean Champions Programme
The Ocean Champions are fifteen young people who will be educated on the importance of the ocean and the marine environment. Through workshops and trainings, these Ocean Champions will get the tools and skills that will enable them to go out into their communities and inspire others by creating awareness for the ocean.
This programme will not only improve their knowledge of the marine environment, but also strengthen their social and leadership qualities. They will learn to independently carry out their own projects and campaigns to reach others and further promote empathy for the ocean and the marine life.
The Ocean Champions School Programme
Thirty five learners in grade 8 and 9 from seven schools will participate in a marine environmental education programme that will expose them to the wonders of the ocean. Through study trips they will learn more about the marine environment and the small projects as well as competitions they partake in will nurture their own ideas on how to protect the ocean.
The Training the Trainers Programme
Twenty two marine environmental educators and school teachers will participate in workshops to further their knowledge of the marine environment and marine conservation. Educators will be exposed to expertise both from Bremen and Durban, and through this knowledge exchange will be able to develop innovative teaching methods that are in line with the demands of the school curriculum.