18 June 2021

Young people from Unesco clubs mobilised for the Ocean!

Pupils from Monaco and La Rochelle discuss the Ocean and its future.

On 8 June, on the occasion of World Oceans Day, the theme of which was “The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods”, a dozen young people from the Unesco club at Charles III Secondary School in Monaco exchanged views on the Ocean and its future by video-conference with a fifth grade class from “La Genette” School in La Rochelle, which is associated with Unesco. As a basis for discussion, both groups had visited the exhibition “Protecting UNESCO’s Marine Heritage through Scientific Research” organised by UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre with the support of the Government of the Principality of Monaco and the assistance of Explorations de Monaco. After its presentation on the gates of the St Martin Gardens, the exhibition is now on public display on the New World Quay in La Rochelle from 8 June until 31 July 2021.

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The virtual mode of the meeting between the pupils from Monaco and La Rochelle did not prevent a fruitful dialogue.

Remote presentations

Remote presentations

In the presence of Mr Didier Théron, in charge of outreach activities for Monaco Explorations, this virtual meeting began with a presentation of the two coastal cities of La Rochelle and Monaco. The group of students from the Principality was led by Ms Milène Escarras, President of the Monegasque Federation of Clubs and Associations for Unesco, Ms Marjorie Gaggino, head of the Club and of the Socio-educational Centre of Charles III Secondary School, Ms Sylvie Leporati, Monegasque language teacher and Ms Catherine Hubrig, history-geography teacher. In La Rochelle, the young Unesco ambassadors were supervised by Mr Alfred Tudeau, President of La Rochelle Unesco Club, and by their teacher, Mr Richard Auteffe.

On both sides of the screen: exchange and conviction

After these presentations, it was time for dialogue and interaction! Around a quiz prepared by Monaco Explorations, the young audience was challenged on both sides of the screen to interact and exchange. The key question was: why is the protection, study and sustainable management of the Ocean more essential than ever to the future of humanity?

Each participant, in their own way, was invited to provide answers and propose solutions.


Getting to know the Ocean better

The young people from La Rochelle introduced the Monegasque pupils to the Atlantic Ocean through the various scientific workshops in which they took part at sea to gain a better knowledge and understanding of marine life: sampling and recognition of plankton, marine knots workshop, sampling of sea water and measurement of temperature, salinity or PH, all activities enabling them to acquire knowledge and share it in order to love, know and better protect the Ocean.

Vigilance in relation to our consumer behaviour

On the Monegasque side, the students, inspired by the example of H.S.H. Prince Albert II and his great-great-grandfather Prince Albert I, wanted to draw attention to the problems of overfishing and, more generally, the overexploitation of the ocean, by choosing to read extracts from speeches made by the two Monegasque Sovereigns 100 years apart.

Think global, act local

To conclude these exchanges on a positive note, the debate focused on the capacity of this young generation to set up sustainable personal and joint actions aimed at changing behaviour in the long term. These young actors and future decision-makers took the helm of the future with enthusiasm, keeping to the mottos of the Unesco Club of La Rochelle and the Monaco Federation of Clubs and Associations for Unesco: “Think global, act local” and “Acting together is stronger”.