euronews spoke with Alan Didon, an ocean ambassador from Malta and a member of starfish missionan initiative launched by the European Commission to protect the oceans.
The mission has several concrete goals: to restore the seas and inland waters by 2030, to raise public awareness of the importance of the oceans, to end marine pollution, to decarbonize Europe’s waters, and to renew the management of the seas.
“We forget that every second we breathe comes from the ocean. More than 50% of the oxygen we breathe comes from the ocean. There is an important fact to keep in mind. The ocean absorbs carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that we breathe. By burning fossil fuels. If only the ocean , the climate change would have been much worse because the concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would be higher,” stressed Alan Didon.
Effectiveness and Popularity of Citizen Science
“When we raise awareness of these issues, people become ocean-educated citizens. They start changing the way they see things, their behavior and their way of life. They try to embody change. And here in Malta, I found that citizen science is a very effective tool. Asking questions, coaching , engaging with stakeholders, boaters, divers, beach goers, anyone can be a stakeholder and help collect scientific data about We receive scientific data, and in return people become more aware of the importance of the sea. People receive a non-formal education. You will be amazed at The popularity of citizen science campaigns. They have succeeded in inspiring people. Today, many European institutions view citizen science as a way to bridge the so-called emotional deficits. The Starfish mission, we identified emotional deficits as one of the largest- staculos, meaning that people still feel very detached About the ocean,” the official added.
“Hardcore beer fanatic. Falls down a lot. Professional coffee fan. Music ninja.”