PROJECT EXPERIENCE

The Indigo-Med Owner & Founder, Martha Papathanassiou, was tasked, as the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research’s contractor, with the following activities in the projects in which the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research was a partner or coordinator: 

 
1. SESAME Project: Southern European Seas: Assessing and modelling ecosystem changes: 1 November 2006 – 30 April 2011

The general scientific objectives of SESAME were to assess and predict changes in the Mediterranean and Black Sea ecosystems as well as changes in the ability of these ecosystems to provide goods and services. The Mediterranean and Black Sea were approached as a coupled climatic/ecosystem entity, with links and feedbacks to the world ocean. The assessment of ecosystem changes was based on the identification of the major regime shifts in ecosystems that occurred during the last 50 years. Mathematical models, validated and upgraded using existing and new observations, were used to predict ecosystem responses to changes in climate and anthropogenic forcing during the next five decades.

To read more on SESAME, click here.

2. The Sea for Society Project: 1 June 2012 – 30 November 2015

Sea for Society (SFS) was a European Project funded by DG Research & Innovation under the Theme Science in Society. The project engaged stakeholders, citizens and youth in an open and participatory dialogue to share knowledge, forge partnerships and empower actors on societal issues related to Ocean. In doing so, the project developed and enriched the concept of “Blue Society”, preparing at the same time mechanisms for cooperation.

Public Engagement in Research (PER) as it relates to European maritime policy is at the core of the process. SFS mobilizes marine researchers, Civil Society Organisations – CSO’s and individual citizens and youth through mutual learning and open dialogue to debate key societal questions related with the Ocean, extract cross-cutting issues and propose challenge-driven solutions to fostering the sustainable management of marine eco-system services.

The project was coordinated by NAUSICAÄ, in France. For more information, please click here.

3. PERSEUS: Policy-oriented Marine Environmental Research in the Southern European Seas: January 2012 – December 2015

Policy-oriented marine Environmental Research for the Southern European Seas (PERSEUS) was a research project that assesses the dual impact of human activity and natural pressures on the Mediterranean and Black Seas. PERSEUS merged natural and socio-economic sciences to predict the long-term effects of these pressures on marine ecosystems. The project designed an effective and innovative research governance framework, which provided the basis for policymakers to turn back the tide on marine life degradation.

To read more about PERSEUS and the communication and dissemination activities, please click here.

4. Sea Change H2020 Project

The Sea Change project aims to establish a fundamental “Sea Change” in the way European citizens view their relationship with the sea, by empowering them, as Ocean Literate citizens, to take direct and sustainable action towards a healthy ocean and seas, healthy communities and ultimately a healthy planet.

Sea Change aims to educate the public on marine issues to promote responsible behaviour towards the marine environment and its resources. Formal and informal education is an important channel to reach young citizens and promote Ocean Literacy within society.

More specifically, the following activities were carried out:

  • Consultation with education stakeholders
  • Blue School Concept Development
  • Citizen Science (CrabWatch) Projects
  • Development of the European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA)

CONSULTATIONS

Both Sea for Society and Sea Change held consultation workshops for stakeholders. In the more recent Sea Change project, the aim was to gain a deeper insight into the perceived barriers of stakeholders and solutions towards identifying the barriers to teaching teenagers (12-19 years of age) about the Ocean. The workshops were held in the following European countries: Sweden, Ireland, United Kingdom, Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Greece and Spain.

In the Sea for Society project, the Consultation phase of the project was based on the principles of participatory dialogue. The objective was to engage stakeholders, citizens and young people to discuss how to change their vision and relation to the seas in the frame of six themes linking marine environment to their everyday life: Human Health, Energy, Leisure and Tourism, Transport, A Place to Live and Food Supply.  There were two strands to the Consultation:

  • Stakeholder Consultation
  • Citizens/Youth Consultation

In order to carry out the Consultation Process, the project assigned nine Geographical Areas (FranceGreeceIrelandItalyNorway, PolandPortugalSpain and Sweden) distributed across Europe to ensure that there is a sufficient dialogue encompassing geographical and cultural differences and engaging a broad amount of stakeholders, citizens and youth. 

SEA CHANGE “BLUE SCHOOLS”

The goal is to develop the theoretical concept of Blue Schools in the framework of the H2020 Sea Change project, in eight countries (Greece, Sweden, UK, Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal and Spain), which are holding consultation workshops with relevant education stakeholders to discuss the feasibility of such a concept. The aim of Blue Schools is to foster marine environmental awareness, not only in each individual school but also by promoting Ocean Literacy across Europe in an impactful way. The Blue Schools programme aims to link the ocean to the curriculum and will show the way in which this could happen.

To find out more about the project, click here.

EVENTS & ACTIVITIES

3rd European Marine Science Educators Association’s (EMSEA) Conference

The 3rd European Marine Science Educators Association’s (EMSEA) Conference was organised in Heraklion, Crete, from 28 September – 1 October 2015.

The Conference focused on evaluating actions and methods as well as their impact on diverse audiences, including schools and aquariums.

The second part of the Conference concentrated on looking ahead into the future and shaping ‘the way forward’ for Ocean Literacy in Europe and beyond.

Martha Papathanassiou was the Chair of the Organising Committee of EMSEA15, representing the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research. To see more, please click here.

Art Exhibition

PERSEUS, in collaboration with the Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA), organised an Art Contest for ASFA graduates of the last 6 years, on the subject ‘Images of the sea’.

The PERSEUS Management Office, together with the Careers Office of the Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA) decided to hold an Art Competition in order to introduce the dimension of Art in the Science world and vice versa. A peculiar “marriage” between science and art aiming to raise awareness on maintaining clean seas in southern Europe.

The Exhibition

PERSEUS and the Athens School of Fine Arts showcased the results of the PERSEUS@Art contest in an exhibition entitled “Images of the Sea”. The works aimed to raise awareness on maintaining clean seas in southern Europe. The Greek national radio station SKAI 100.3 was the communication sponsor, helping to promote the exhibition to the wider public.

The opening ceremony was held on Friday, 10 January 2014 at 18:30, while the exhibition ran through to the end of January. The exhibition culminated in an Awards Ceremony on 28 January 2014 where the three winners were awarded the top prizes, during the PERSEUS General Assembly meeting.

PERSEUS Final Stakeholder Conference: ‘Policy-oriented marine research in the SES: Lessons learned and the way ahead’, Brussels, December 2015.

The final PERSEUS Stakeholder meeting was entitled ‘Policy-oriented marine research in the SES: Lessons learned and the way ahead’.

The event was held back-to-back with the final PERSEUS Scientific Conference, in Brussels, at the European Parliament.

This event brought together international and European stakeholders and included some short presentations to provide the context, advocate the ‘Clean Seas’ concept from the selected PERSEUS ‘Ambassadors’ of the 5 partners from the Mediterranean and Black Sea countries and it provided the basis for structured dialogue on shaping the way forward in the SES.

The aim of this meeting was to contribute to the successful MSFD implementation and provide results and recommendations based on the project’s scientific results, which can then be taken up and applied effectively by policy-makers and stakeholders.

MedSOS and PERSEUS Beach Cleanup activity during EU Maritime Day, May 2013

The Greek NGO MEDITERRANEAN SOS Network organised a voluntary beach clean-up on 22 May, on one of the main beaches in Athens, in Paleo Faliro, with the participation and support of the local municipality, schools, local authorities and the general public at large.

In the framework of the EU Maritime Day, where PERSEUS actively participated, a direct link was made as members of the PERSEUS Communication team participated in the clean-up and were filmed to be shown during the event in Malta, as part of the LitterWatch actions planned under the project.

Green Infrastructure and Sustainable Societies / Cities (GreInSus) Conference, Izmir, Turkey, May 2014

The 1st International Congress on Green Infrastructure and Sustainable Societies / Cities (GreInSus) was held in Izmir Turkey during May 08 – 10, 2014. This event aimed to gather researchers from the entire spectrum of the multi-disciplinary fields of environmental science and technology with a special emphasis on “sustainable societies and cities”.

The main objective of the congress was to present the achievements of scientific and professional works/research on approaches and techniques for reducing environmental and societal impacts of future societies / cities. Thus, the congress provided opportunities for the participants to exchange new ideas and application experiences and to establish future collaborations. In this way use of green infrastructures in reaching sustainable societies/cities can be motivated. The official language of the Congress and Symposium was English.

During the Congress, there was a special Marine Session dedicated to PERSEUS including keynote speeches and posters, as well as a PERSEUS Interactive Stakeholder Session, whose outcomes were used by the project and were distributed in the project community and beyond.