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Taiwan’s Marine Education Shines on the International Stage: Director Chang Cheng-chieh of the Taiwan Marine Education Center Invited to Participate in United Nations Satellite Activity

        Chang Cheng-chieh, director of the Taiwan Marine Education Center (TMEC), National Taiwan Ocean University, participated in an Ocean Decade Laboratories (ODLs) satellite activity organized by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations. Chang discussed marine education promotion in Taiwan with the international community. In the conference, experts in various countries such as Japan, Hong Kong, China, the Philippines, South Korea, Bengal, and Indonesia, shared the status of marine culture education in their respective countries. Chang used videos to highlight the status of marine education in Taiwan and provided his opinion regarding the establishment of the ocean literacy databases in Taiwan.

        The United Nations declared 2021–2030 as the 10 years for promoting sustainable marine science development. The IOC is tasked with collaborating with ocean-related government units worldwide to form a 10-year action plan. ODLs were established to conduct online seminars and events and to inspire all those interested in and emotionally connected to oceans, including scientists, decision makers, and managers, to complete the 10-year goal of reinforcing ocean literacy and strengthening their exchanges and connections. The purpose of the ODLs is to connect participants worldwide through a series of online conferences, reinforcing their partnerships in co-designing the platform for the action plan.

        At the invitation of the Asia Marine Educator Association, Chang participated in the ODL satellite activity on the evening of July 8, 2021. The activity, hosted by association president Professor Tsuyoshi Sasaki, featured the theme “an inspiring and engaging ocean.” Chang used videos to introduce marine education policies and projects in Taiwan and showed how, through promotional efforts made by teachers on site, marine education has been incorporated in curricula and in students’ daily lives. These policies and projects involve the construction an ocean literacy database and a marine educator training system, marine career exploration, collaborative projects with local education departments throughout Taiwan, and the research and development of courses for the teaching research and development base. Valuable insights were offered throughout the exchange with the international participants and the demonstration of the success of marine education in Taiwan. The participants admired the diversity and richness of marine education in Taiwan.

        Professor Sasaki expressed his hope that countries worldwide would communicate, share knowledge of the oceans, and work hard to protect the global environment for generations to come. Chang stated that marine education surveys have been conducted in Taiwan for many years and that Taiwan can share its experience internationally. In 2019, the TMEC translated the Ocean Literacy Scope and Sequence for Grades K-12 published by the National Marine Educators Association of the United States of America. The TMEC also promotes marine education in coordination with national policies to cultivate ocean literacy in Taiwan from a young age. Together with its partners, the TMEC endeavors to cultivate marine education in depth and to meet international standards.

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