The Bangladeshi non-governmental organization VOICE has used a grant from Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) to form an Ocean Literacy Network based in Dhaka in partnership with several national organizations from the Bay of Bengal region. The network includes two community-based media organizations Radio Naf and EarthLanka, and seven other NGOs, universities and conservation groups.
The network stems from online and offline consultations VOICE hosted to introduce mass-media organizations, educational institutions, and NGOs to the initiative on ocean literacy in the Bay of Bengal region.
Now the newly established network plans to produce ocean literacy toolkits, conduct training workshops for educators, journalists, and Ocean conservation communicators in the Khulna, Barishal, and Chittagong coastal regions and host a Bay of Bengal regional conference in Bangladesh involving India, Myanmar, Thailand and Sri Lanka as a learning exchange.
VOICE, a non-governmental organization focused on progressive communications, inclusive and sustainable development and conservation, received support from EJN through our 2018 Bay of Bengal Organizational Grant program.
As part of that grant, they also built a community-storytelling platform that trained community members to create and share stories about the human dimensions of climate change and conservation. VOICE plans to continue supporting that platform.
The Ocean Literacy Network will build the capacity of community-based media, informal and formal educators, storytellers, and citizen journalists to use Ocean Literacy and Bay of Bengal Literacy as tools to create holistic contents on the region’s riverine, coastal and marine ecosystems.
Recently, while speaking at a national consultation hosted by the network, UNESCO’s Country Representative for Bangladesh Beatrice Kaldun said this initiative can be leveraged to protect the precious marine and endangered ecosystems within the Bay of Bengal region.
"We are thankful to EJN for the support that helped us to start the whole thing, and would like to continue to work with EJN on future initiatives," said Md Kutub Uddin, a Facilitator at VOICE and Program Lead for the Ocean Literacy Network. "We are so excited about the fact that many organizations are interested to build their capacity in Ocean Literacy and use it as a mass-communication tool for conservation.”