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New project: Ocean Blues - turning eco-anxiety into eco-action

The new Formas project Ocean Blues wants to turn eco-anxiety into eco-action by linking non-academic young adults to the scientific community. The long-term goal is a sustainable use of the ocean.

Formas, the Swedish government research council for sustainable development, does not only support research but also support projects that communicate and popularize research and research results about sustainable development. One of the projects funded 2020-2022 is “Ocean Blues: moving beyond eco-anxiety with the vision to turn eco-anxiety into eco-action”.

The idea is to link non-academic young adults to the scientific community. It is becoming clear that current and future generations need to work together to achieve a sustainable use of the ocean. Many young adults suffer from anxiety due to environmental issues such as climate change, pollution and high extinction rates. Being constantly exposed to images of oceanic floating trash island, drowning sea turtles, and bleaching corals, this leads to a sense of hopelessness and grief.

The partners in Ocean Blues believe that the scientific community has a responsibility not only to raise alarm of these environmental issues but also to spread the word on possible solution to them.

Ocean Blues aim to 1) show young adults that the scientific community is working hard to solve these issues, and 2) that by feeling included in this process, aid the pupils in finding ways to express their “eco-anxiety”, turning it into “eco-action”.

Ocean Blues is organized by the Center for Sea and Society at The University of Gothenburg, providing upper secondary school pupils with communication packages addressing issues known to create eco-anxiety in young people, such as “Climate change”, “Plastic pollution”, “Biodiversity loss” and “Chemical pollution”.

Several research centers are teaming up with the Centre for Sea and Society and the FRAM Centre together with the Centre for Collective Action Research (CeCAR), the Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre (GGBC), and Valand Academy are the key players. The project core team consist of project manager Lena Gipperth, project leader for Ocean Blues is Malin Rosengren and Educational facilitator Grazzia Matamoros.

Link to FORMAS
Link to the Center for Sea and Society
Link to Centre for Collective Action Research (CeCAR)
Link to Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre (GGBC)
Link to Valand Academy