Educating ocean leaders of the future
At the official launch of the One Ocean Expedition on board tall ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl, several speakers highlighted the need to educate the future leaders in sustainable ocean management. In this regard, the University of Bergen plays a key role during the expedition.
On 20 August 2020, Prime Minister Erna Solberg immediately set the tone during her opening speech at the official launch of the One Ocean Expedition on board tall ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl. In particular, she underlined the importance of education, research and innovation to create future sustainable solutions for the ocean.
“Research and education are fundamental for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Education can help us achieve a commitment for the ocean. This is why it’s natural for the government to enter into partnership with One Ocean. Through data collection and dissemination of knowledge the expedition will be an important contributor to the UN Decade of Ocean Science,” said Prime Minister Solberg.
Creating ocean ambassadors
In particular, she stressed the vital role youth will play as future ambassadors for a sustainable ocean.
“One Ocean brings together researchers, students, business leaders, authorities and civil society in a joint ocean effort. Sharing knowledge from the expedition will make the participants dedicated ambassadors for a clean and productive future ocean. You all contribute with knowledge to reach SDG14, Life below water, said the prime minister.
CEO Haakon Steinar Vatle of the Statsraad Lehmkuhl Foundation concurred and continued.
“For the One Ocean Expedition, Statsraad Lehmkuhl will be turned into a state of the art research vessel. Students and researchers will study the ocean. Special courses will educate the ocean leaders of the future. Education, science and technology come together, and we will share this knowledge with the world,” said Vatle.
Showing global leadership
Rector Dag Rune Olsen at the University of Bergen (UiB) presented the leading role the university has been handed on SDG14, Life below water, both by United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) and the International Association of Universities (IAU).
“The University of Bergen have been awarded this leading role and has gathered some of the world’s foremost marine research and education universities to promote and inspire a shared global knowledge base for a sustainable ocean,” said Rector Olsen.
He also highlighted the other One Ocean partners in higher education, science and marine management – the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy, the Institute of Marine Research, the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research and NORCE.
“On behalf of all the participating higher education institutions, I want to say that we are proud to partake in the One Ocean Expedition. Proud to educate marine leaders who can change the world,” said the University of Bergen’s rector.
He also spoke at length about how the university will use this voyage not only to share its own knowledge but also the importance of learning from partner universities worldwide.
“We are not the least looking forward to share knowledge with our Pacific partners through the 17 weeks of our unique course crossing the Pacific westwards from Chile to Palau,” said Olsen.
Proud university student
Master’s student in marine biology Thea Båtevik was at the launch to show her commitment to the university’s work for a sustainable ocean, including the SDG Bergen initiative, science advice and Ocean Sustainability Bergen. She also briefly met with the prime minister.
“I’m proud to be a student at a university taking the responsibility that the University of Bergen has done in educating future leaders for a sustainable ocean, “ said Båtevik.
Båtevik passer her master’s only three days before the One Ocean launch and is now specializing in further marine studies. She heads the Passion for Ocean festival in Bergen.
“Every marine student will be excited by the One Ocean Expedition. As a marine biologist I can say this sounds like a very attractive fusion of research, adventure and leadership,” said the University of Bergen student, who is looking into how she can partake in the expedition.