Building a global education and diversity strategy to train inspiring educators and inspire local action.
We have been working with the Manta Trust since the summer of 2022.
Manta Trust promotes conservation of manta and devil rays (mobulids) and their habitat through robust science and research, by raising awareness and providing education, influence and action. With HQ in the UK, they are active around the world through affiliate projects, in over 25 countries.
Mantas are a beautiful, iconic species that fascinate ocean lovers around the world. They are also an incredibly valuable tourism resource for many coastal communities and island nations. Unfortunately they are some of the most threatened fish in our seas. They are being killed for their highly priced gills used in the Asian medicinal trade (despite there being no proven health benefits) and as bycatch by high seas fisheries. These threats have had a devastating impact on mobulid’s populations; the devil ray population for example has seen a decline between 50% and 90% since 1993. All mobulids species are listed as “vulnerable” or “endangered”.
The Manta Trust addresses conservation challenges through three key pillars: research, education and collaboration. They monitor and tag Mantas populations and movements, evaluate and quantify threats, ensure data collection and research. They provide access to high quality marine education content. They rely on collaborations with affiliate projects, other NGOs, governments, businesses and local communities.
Our project with Manta Trust is focused on education and awareness. It aims to engage, inspire, inform people about marine environment, blue issues and impact on wildlife, empowering them to take action for the oceans. Thanks to our support, the Manta Trust is developing and delivering their Global Education & Diversity Strategy. This Global Strategy will integrate learnings from the Manta Trust experience in delivering Marine Education Programmes in the Maldives (active since 2015) and will expand and adapt the programme for a global approach and diverse audience.
Onceayear Global Ocean and Manta Trust believe that conservation can only be effective when everyone has a seat at the table. Currently, the marine conservation sector is predominantly made up of people from privileged backgrounds. Those who can afford a university education, diving qualifications and international travel. We need to take action to help overcome some of the barriers to inclusion in our sector. As such, the project’s core objective is to see all species of Mantas and their relatives protected by the people closest to them, the local communities, in means that promote wider ocean conservation.
The Strategy aims to build a global network of inspiring educators coming from within the local communities. The Manta Trust will empower their local project leaders to run more educational outreach, providing resources and inspiring people to take action for their own environment. The local educators will be supported with training, guidance and materials including regular group video call with global network of educators, webinars with experts in multiple fields, marine education newsletter and international education project to facilitate peer-learning across countries. This will allow the educators to develop relationships with schools in less privileged areas, provide schools with free educational outreach, provide training on marine issues for teachers and seek collaboration with corporate and dive industries to obtain diving scholarships for underprivileged youth to start a career in marine conservation.
The implementation of the Global Education Strategy will be closely monitored to make sure it adapts to the local needs. The Education Strategy aims to bring together local people with a diverse range of perceptions to the field, who become role models and empower others in their communities, creating a sustained socio-environmental impact.
After almost a year of collaboration, we are happy to share the annual report of the impactful actions we have carried out together!
To know more download the report here below.