The “Educational Community and Public Awareness Campaign on the Marine Environment, Shipping and Sciences”, which is carried out by HELMEPA across 14 towns and cities of Greece with the support of Lloyd’s Register Foundation* (the Foundation), commenced on Tuesday 15 November at the island of Poros, under the auspices of the local Municipality.
The opening day of the Campaign featured school visits to the environmental Exhibition, which is hosted at the “Syggrou” Municipal Hall and a ‘train-the-trainer’ Seminar for teachers titled “The marine environment and us: ensuring a sustainable future”. The 40 teachers that participated in the seminar were welcomed on behalf of HELMEPA by Mr. C. Triantafillou of the Environmental Awareness Sector, who described the aims of this initiative and thanked the Municipality of Poros and the Directorates for Primary and Secondary Education of Piraeus, for their contribution.
Following, the Mayor of Poros, Mr. I. Demetriades, stressed the importance of a healthy marine environment for the island’s economic and social prosperity and congratulated HELMEPA and the Foundation for the highly professional presentation of the Exhibition’s themes. Making reference to the environmental problems of Poros and the Municipality’s initiatives to address them, the Mayor invited HELMEPA to continue this cooperation in the feature.
Addressing the participants, the Environmental Coordinators for Primary and Secondary Education of Piraeus, Mr. G. Voulgaris and Ms. V. Kioupi respectively, referred to the significance of marine environmental awareness raising among children and youth and expressed their wish for a successful outcome of the Campaign’s activities.
The Seminar’s main proceedings included presentations by HELMEPA staff on the marine environment, shipping, climate change and marine litter. Besides being informed on new scientific findings and other developments with regards to these themes, participating teachers were also presented with simple experiments they can perform in class and survey methods to enable them introduce their students to science topics. Upon conclusion of the Seminar, the teachers received a Certificate of Attendance and relevant educational material, while as members of HELMEPA’s “Marine Teachers” network they will have the opportunity to remain updated on all the latest information and share ideas for innovative educational activities.
Equally positive was the feedback received from the first schoolchildren’s visits to the Exhibition. In cooperation with the Directorates of Primary and Secondary Education of Piraeus, until 28 November a total of 900 pupils of Primary and High Schools of Poros and the neighboring areas of Galatas and Methana will be transported to the Exhibitions, on the Campaign’s expenses. Moreover, other voluntary activities for schoolchildren are scheduled to take place, such as a beach cleanup and a recycling park, which will run in cooperation with the Hellenic Recycling-Recovery Corporation.