Do you know that 72% of the surface of our planet is covered by oceans, or that only 5% of earth’s oceans have been explored? There is such a huge amount we still need to learn.

School children in the southern-Namibia coastal town of Lüderitz were introduced to coastal and marine biodiversity, their threats and conservation needs, and the importance of seabirds and marine mammals in and around Lüderitz through a Shell-sponsored project.

The skills needed for marine science, like marine ecology, climatology and conservation science are scarce in Namibia. Shell worked with local NGO the Namibia Nature Foundation on a Namibian Islands’ Marine Protected Area (NIMPA) and World Oceans Day project that focused on education and awareness-raising, as well as seabird and marine mammal research into some of its most important marine and coastal species.

The harbour town of Lüderitz is the only town situated adjacent to the NIMPA. As well as classroom-based introductory presentations, an open day event was held at the town’s waterfront area commemorating World Oceans Day, giving learners and their teachers an outdoor experience where they engaged in activities at workstations with names like “Bony Biodiversity”, “Shark Station” and “Crafty Creatures”.

Shell’s celebration of World Oceans Day in Namibia also saw the judging of artwork made from recycled materials by the students, and prizes were awarded by the Mayoress of Lüderitz and Shell Namibia Country Chairman Dennis Zekveld.

Mr Zekveld said “It is wonderful to see that the youth is interested in our oceans, and we know that it is critical that they become involved in protecting it.”

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