24 Jan Exploring the Oceans with Roger Figueres of the Cousteau Foundation.
At the heart of the defense and preservation of the oceans and their marine biodiversity lies the Philippe Cousteau Foundation, a global entity based in Spain. With Roger Figueres, representative of the organization, we delve into an exclusive interview about the efforts of the entity, its commitment to the recovery of ecosystem images, the reintroduction of endangered species, and the educational collaboration with St. Paul’s School.
What is the role of the Cousteau Foundation – “Union of the Oceans” in the world and its involvement in our country?
The Philippe Cousteau Foundation plays a fundamental role in the preservation of oceans and marine biodiversity. The recent signing of an agreement to establish the world scientific headquarters in Torroella de Montgrí (Girona) reaffirms its commitment to the recovery of ecosystem images and the reintroduction of endangered species are examples of this.
Regarding the education of the new generations in our country, the Cousteau Foundation – “Union of the Oceans” works on educational programs aimed at students of all ages, emphasizing the global interconnection of the oceans and their impact on planetary health, as well as sustainable job opportunities for the future. Tireless awareness work that, in the case of St. Paul’s School, we develop through practical applications by integrating marine biology into the curriculum innovatively as part of students’ global education.
How do the Cousteau Foundation and St. Paul’s School work together for the future? What is this global educational collaboration like?
Our main goal is to set a solid precedent. We seek the permanent incorporation of the marine biology program into the curricula of educational centers, with St. Paul’s School being a reference in this initiative. From raising awareness about the protection of the seas to research related to the sea, these goals reflect our joint commitment to creating a comprehensive and sustainable educational program.
In collaboration with the management team and the science department head and teacher, Gloria López-Barrena, we introduced marine biology in the classrooms from third year of ESO to second year of baccalaureate. The school aims to prepare students to address global issues ethically and effectively, and that is why the school established a collaboration with the Cousteau Foundation within the curriculum.
You have been working on this project for three years. What are your common goals with St. Paul’s School?
We propose a unique approach, active research, with research projects in which students choose relevant topics, inspiring them to take meaningful actions to preserve our marine environment and providing access to specialized knowledge and practical opportunities, such as the “work experience” program or workshops and conferences.
Our goals with St. Paul’s School encompass various ambitious objectives: promoting awareness of the importance of preserving the oceans, providing students with a deep understanding of professional opportunities linked to the sea, offering impactful educational experiences on environmental issues through practical immersion courses, beach clean-ups, and water acidity control, and sparking their interest through educational talks by experts in marine biology, the environment, and sustainable blue economy.
How can we raise awareness among new generations about the importance of preserving our oceans and biodiversity?
We emphasize the importance of awareness through practical activities both at home and at school. From actively participating in conservation projects, such as beach clean-ups and coastal reforestation, to collaborating in local initiatives that allow young people to be directly involved in protecting our environment.
Excursions to marine reserves, aquariums, or conservation centers also play a fundamental role. These practical experiences allow young people to immerse themselves in the beauty and fragility of marine ecosystems, generating a lasting impact and fostering love and respect for our oceans.
Let’s all help build a conscious and committed generation to the preservation of our oceans and biodiversity, fundamental for the balance of our planet.