Blue Economy MOOC sparks learner interest in more than 70 countries

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Rapidly growing interest in the environmental and economic benefits of a successful Blue Economy has more than 1,200 learners participating in a free, five-week online MOOC entitled Blue Economy: Sustainability, Innovation and our Ocean, which is being delivered by COL’s Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC) in partnership with the University of Seychelles (UniSey).

“Whether you live in a landlocked or coastal nation, the benefits of developing and maintaining a sustainable Blue Economy for your country are significant,” says Kelly Hoareau, Director of the James Michel Blue Economy Research Institute at UniSey and lead facilitator for the MOOC.

Launched on 8 June 2020, the World Ocean Day, the course incorporates everything from discussion forums and webinars with experts, to videos and readings and illustrates how and why the Blue Economy concept is driving innovative thinking around how we engage with the ocean and how it can support our societies. It is an introduction for persons from a wide variety of backgrounds and is designed to encourage interaction and collaboration.

Participants come from over 70 countries, with the largest representation from the Pacific and Caribbean regions. The course serves as the prerequisite for three further Blue Economy MOOCs that COL and UniSey will be offering later this year.

“Most VUSSC members are small coastal and island developing countries, whose oceans, lakes and rivers are vital not only to ecosystems and climate regulation, but also food chains and improved livelihoods. The MOOC aims to inspire participants to recognise the potential of the Blue Economy to create jobs and enhance wellbeing and become conscious stewards of this massive resource,” said Dr Mairette Newman, Education Specialist: VUSSC.

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