Unesco Green Citizens


The oceans we want for the future we need!  The decade 2021-2030 was proclaimed by the United Nations as the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Ten years during which all key players in ocean science will be strongly mobilized to advance understanding of the ocean and its links to the climate.

People all over the world already do their part by creating amazing innovative solutions. Discover them now!

Learn more about UNESCO’s work on Oceans: https://en.unesco.org/themes/one-planet-one-ocean

Education for Sustainable Development
Indigenous and Local Knowledge
Forests and desertification
Natural disasters risk reduction
Natural resource management
Participatory science/citizen science
Sustainable lifestyles
Democratic Republic of the Congo
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
United States of America

Coral Vita: Restoring Our World’s Dying Reefs

Friends Sam Teicher and Gator Halpern have co-founded Coral Vita, a high-tech coral farming solution to protect the dying reefs in The Bahamas and around the world. Through high-impact coral reefs restoration, Coral Vita helps preserve reefs for future generations while spurring the blue economy’s growth locally and globally.

Coral Vita’s land-based farms integrate breakthrough methods to accelerate coral growth up to 50x (micro fragmenting) while enhancing their resiliency to warming and acidifying oceans (assisted evolution). Coral Vita’s model scales: one land-based farm can potentially supply an entire nation’s reefs with sufficient capital investment.

Alongside this novel form of high-tech coral farming, Coral Vita is deploying an innovative for-profit model to sustain large-scale restoration. Given reefs’ tremendous value, they are working to transition restoration to a commercial industry. This unique model facilitates revenue generation and better scalability than any current restoration practitioners. Coral Vita sells reef restoration as a service to customers that depend on reefs’ benefits. As the farms grow diverse, resilient, and affordable coral for restoration projects, they also function as eco-tourism attractions and education centres. Guests pay to visit the farms, where they learn about the importance of protecting reefs, and how they can help, including by adopting coral or planting them with Coral Vita’s teams and local dive shops. Students, fishermen, and community members also visit the farm to build local capacity for future jobs in the blue economy, and Coral Vita emphasizes hiring locally as much as possible.



Tobias Weber-Andersen and Oke Carstensen have found an innovative way to make trash collection fun! Rent a kayak for free, visit the river, the coast, the city, while collecting trash and share your experience on social media: this is what the GreenKayak initiative proposes. It can be done anywhere and generates a collective dynamic for the fight against river and ocean pollution.



parade for manta rays protection awareness

Planeta Océano: protecting the Giant Manta

Kerstin Forsberg is determined in engaging coastal fishermen communities of Peru in protecting the giant manta ! To do so, she created the marine educator’s teacher network as well as participatory research or community-based manta ray ecotourism. Planeta Océano engages coastal communities in marine conservation through research, marine education and sustainable development initiatives. These initiatives include:

1. Participatory research and citizen science: Local volunteers (fishermen, children, youth, among others) actively investigate local ecosystems, fisheries, and marine species, thus supporting local management efforts. Projects have included assessing shark and ray fisheries, pioneering manta ray conservation in Peru, assessing Traditional Ecological Knowledge on critically endangered sawfish, and supporting Marine Protected Areas.

2. Marine education: Incorporating and institutionalizing marine education and Ocean Literacy. Projects have included setting up Peru’s “Marine Educators Teacher Network” with over 50 schools, leading incubators for youth-lead environmental initiatives, game-based education and their Connecting Schools program, which aims to bring together students across borders through online technology and community engagement.

3. Sustainable development: Fostering environmental entrepreneurship and market-based approaches that contribute to marine conservation and socio-economic development. For example, pioneering community-based manta ray ecotourism in Peru as an alternate livelihood for low-income fishermen and local artisans.

Ultimately, these multidisciplinary and participatory efforts serve as a platform to connect multiple sectors in marine conservation, thus bringing together government, academia, youth, children, local fishermen, and many others.

Pristine Seas underwater cinematographer Manu San Félix swims through a school of thousands of black stripe salema at Isabela Island.

Pristine Seas Protection Project

Ocean life has a critical role in supporting all life on Earth. That is why Enric Sala founded National Geographic Pristine Seas, and together with partners and local communities have inspired the protection of 22 places in the ocean covering a total area of more than 5.8 million square kilometers — nearly half the area of the United States. Pristine Seas seeks to explore, document and inspire the protection of the last wild places in the ocean.

The project team works with partners, local communities and governments to help create marine reserves, using their unique combination of exploration, research and storytelling. These reserves have both local and global benefits. Local benefits include enhancing the sustainability of local fishing, perpetuating local cultures and lifestyles, developing ecotourism opportunities, enhancing coastal protection from storm surge, increasing food security, and improving livelihoods. Global benefits include mitigation of climate change via ocean carbon storage, as well as protection of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services.

Pristine Seas is working to help achieve a global goal of protecting 30 percent of the ocean by 2030, thereby bolstering marine biodiversity and improving food provision, while safeguarding the ability of the ocean to help mitigate climate change through carbon storage.


Copyrights: Ryan Borne, Harrison Kennedy, Chau Chun, Thomas Aulagner, Kelsey Williamson, Ben Thouward

Coral Gardeners

Titouan Bernicot, a child of the ocean, has created Coral Gardeners for one reason: to solve the coral reef crisis. A new chapter has begun: one that will revolutionize ocean conservation and generate collaborative action to save the reef. 

Over the last 3 years, the Coral Gardeners’ team have proven their ability to reach people at heart, telling the story of the reef like no one else has done before. And what it took was a good dose of courage, boldness and energy.
They started as ocean kids who just wanted to restore and preserve the ocean, which is their primary food source and conservation playground. They learned from the best scientists, perfected themselves every day to plant over 14,000 corals and recreate entire ecosystems on their beloved island of Moorea. The island is everything to them.  They source their relentless energy from its nature, its people, and its traditions. They know, however, that to go further, they need to look further.


Founders of The Great Bubble Barrier

The Great Bubble Barrier

Saskia Studer has co-created a new technology to fight plastic pollution of rivers and oceans. A barrier of bubbles holds back the plastic, which is then picked up without disturbing our precious biodiversity. The Bubble Barrier is the first in the world which is used to capture plastic. They noticed that local people are always very interested and enjoy being involved. The Bubble Barrier is innovative because it is ship and fish-friendly and the Bubble Barrier reaches the entire width and depth of a river or canal. It helps to keep the local rivers clean as well as the oceans.

The Great Bubble Barrier has developed a technology which can intercept plastic pollution in rivers before it reaches the ocean: The Bubble Barrier, is a bubble curtain with a catchment system. The Bubble Barrier is a curtain made of bubbles that prevent plastics from floating down the river into our oceans. They create a Bubble Barrier by pumping air through a perforated tube on the bottom of the waterway. This bubble curtain creates an upward current which directs the plastics to the surface. The Bubble Barrier is a unique system that catches plastic over the whole width and depth of the river. By placing the Bubble Barrier diagonally in the river, the natural flow of the river will push the plastic waste to the side and into our catchment system. Here it will be retained and can easily be removed from the water by the authorities. A tailored design to local conditions will ensure optimal performance and requires no change in local infrastructure. An additional advantage of the system is that the oxygen level of the water increases, which can benefit the local ecology and restrain algae blooms.


#Africa #Youth

Ocean Guardians

The Ocean Guardians initiative raises awareness and educates a new generation of Guardians, who understand the importance of preserving oceans in Mozambique for a better future!
Ocean Guardians – the educational arm of Marine Megafauna Foundation in Mozambique – is unique to MMF, reflecting the urgent need in Mozambique for community engagement and raising awareness of marine conservation and water safety.

The program creates a generation of Mozambican scientists, professionals, and policymakers who champion one of Mozambique’s greatest natural resources – the ocean – and work to address the threats posed by climate change. The project has developed an integrated marine conservation programme raising Ocean Guardians who are inspired by the ocean, equipped to safely enjoy the water, know-how, and why it needs to be conserved and act to protect it. Their pilot education project has reached over 2300 young Mozambicans with 7 schools adopting our integrated marine conservation curriculum since 2012. In January 2018, they launched the Coral Reef Club for 16-21 year-olds and it is already extremely popular for providing ongoing marine conservation education and support in seeking alternative livelihoods (to fishing) through vocational internships with local businesses and employment skills training.

Their motto is to ‘Learn today, Act together, Protect tomorrow’ and in 3 years they expect to:
Teach more than 2300 children graduates in targeted communities, teach more than 900 pupils how to swim, give capacity training to more than 300 young adults (through Workshops on critical thinking abilities and problem-solving, Language Training University Fees Support, Apprenticeships and Ocean Activities Internships in alternative livelihoods (e.g. fish farming) and SCUBA).


#Women #Youth

Bye Bye Plastic Bags

When they were just 12 and 10 years old, Meliti and Isabel Wijsen, two young Balinese girls, have created one of the largest youth groups in their country against plastic pollution. Together with other members of the movement and after 6 years of campaigning, they managed to obtain a ban on single-use plastic bags in Bali. They focus on education and raising general awareness as well as collaborating with other likeminded people. They continue their work today by empowering more young people, business leaders and the government to ensure the implementation of the regulation happens.

All of Bye Bye Plastic Bags teams around the world are led by young people coming up with many unique and different ways of creating change such as beach clean-ups, educational workshops, and campaigns to empower local communities against single-use plastic.


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