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Protecting children’s rights to development and culture by re-imagining ‘ocean literacies’

Mia Strand, Sophie Shields, Elisa Morgera, Dylan McGarry, Alana Lancaster, Lindy Brown and Bernadette Snow

One Ocean Hub, University of Strathclyde, UK

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  • UN Ocean Decade,
  • United Nations,
  • literacy,
  • ocean literacy
Target Group
  • Policy makers,
  • Researchers,
  • Teachers,
  • Youth
  • English
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This scientific article explores the connection between international legal standards on children's rights and a healthy ocean.

Published on 11 July 2023, this scientific article explores the relevance of existing international legal standards on children’s human rights to a healthy ocean. In particular, it reflects on the still underestimated importance of a healthy ocean for children’s human right to development and cultural rights. Focusing on environmental education, we argue that the concept of ocean literacy should rather be conceptualized as a plurality of ‘ocean literacies’ to better account for multiple ocean knowledges. Ocean literacies in environmental education should be re-imagined to better emphasize a systems approach to the ocean, integrating aspects of environmental justice and avoiding the psychological pressure on children to be responsible for the future of the environment. The paper concludes by providing specific recommendations for contextualizing and re-imagining ocean literacies in a time where there is an increased global focus on ocean literacy through the UN Ocean Decade.