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Wind and wave-driven capacity building sessions in the Aegadian Islands MPA

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Wind and wave-driven capacity building sessions in the Aegadian Islands MPA

Abstract and Figures

The Ocean Literacy is among the main goals of the UN ambitions and the sustainability objectives highlighted in the 2030 agenda. Even though in the majority of the cases the local stakeholders are subject to top-down initiatives driven by intergovernmental policies guidelines, at a local scale, in some specific circumstances, the capacity building initiatives can be easier than usual especially if supported by outstanding bottom-up initiatives. On this perspective there is a greater hope to overcome the "not in my backyard" attitude, often perceptible toward every kind of conservation measure. In this way even the most difficult and unpopular measures can be accepted with an higher level of social awareness. The capacity-building sessions also pass through sports activities conducted in a pleasant environment enhancing a gamification approach.
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DOI: 10.6084/m9.figshare.14626179
Gaglioti M., Bianco L., Bevilacqua A., Marrone G., Bianco G.
Wind and wave-driven capacity building sessions in the Aegadian Islands MPA
The Ocean Literacy is among the main goals of the UN ambitions and the sustainability objectives
highlighted in the 2030 agenda. Even though in the majority of the cases the local stakeholders are subject
to top-down initiatives driven by intergovernmental policies guidelines, at a local scale, in some specific
circumstances, the capacity
building initiatives can be
easier than usual especially if
supported by outstanding
bottom-up initiatives. On this
perspective even some small
islands realities can be
cutting-edge contexts to
experiment these kinds of
social attitude. The hereby
presented case study is
focused on a local sail school
where young islanders and
seasonal little hostslearn
yearly to grow up on the basis
of a real sea culture acquired
on the field through hands-on
engagement initiatives
(Fig.1, 2,3).
This tiny but highly
formative “training school to
life” is managed by nationally recognized sailing trainers and native islanders, since 1998. Here through
a gamification approach, they daily train young boys and girls to learn, both in the windy winter weeks
and in the hottest days of the summer seasons, how to improve their motor and social skills. The attainment
of nautical abilities in this context is considered a tool in order to acquire a “marine culture” but it can be
considered in a very larger perspective.
Through a participative approach during a period spent on the field sharing the daily life with the
inhabitants’ team I tried to investigate the local people perception of the “ocean resource” and what
emerged from a post hoc analysis is that even though the sea can be though as a fairly obvious and
fascinating resource if observed with a foreigner eye, for the main part of islander inhabitants actually it
is not so. Often, they consider the sea as an obstacle rather than a resource or a growth opportunity. Mostly,
the true islanders have a very controversial relationship with the sea. Indeed, it represent an obstacle
especially during the winter season when frequently the connections with the mainland are interrupted,
the water temperature is considered always too low to bathe and due to the taken for granted consideration
of it they limit this kind of use at a very narrow period of the high season. Another curious consideration
heard speaking with some local stakeholders is thatthe seagrass meadows are too dark to swim among
their leavesso they prefer ignore what is hidden below the sea surface and “comfortably” observe the
blue blanket from the boat. Fortunately, even if the majority still have to make peace with the sea there is
a good hope in the future generations who are working well and hard to translate into concrete actions the
desired positive attitude toward the more technically defined Ocean Literacy. Additionally, sailing is well-
recognized as a team building strategy, adopted even by the greatest company managers, an in this small
laughing realm of a minor island of Sicily, seems that they are working hard to translate into concrete
actions this positive attitude (Fig.4). Great job!
Figure 1 Ready for the next training session
(Punta Lunga, Favignana- Aegadian Islands MPA; Photo credits: L. Bianco)
DOI: 10.6084/m9.figshare.14626179
Acknowledgments
This contribution is based on a fieldwork experience conducted on Favignana Island, in one of the internationally recognized SPAMI
areas of Mediterranean Sea, thanks to the kind hospitality of the coauthors of this contribution. A special thought to the evergreen hairy
mascotte: Gerry.
Figure 4 Salty days to grow up (Photo credits: Bianco L.)
This work can be mentioned as: Gaglioti, Martina; L., Bianco; A., Bevilacqua; G., Marrone; G., Bianco (2021): Wind and wave-
driven capacity building sessions in the Aegadian Islands MPA. figshare. Online resource.
https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.14626179
Figure 2 An outdoor dry training session and useful notions to be
memorized on the blackboard (Punta Lunga, Favignana-
Aegadian Islands MPA; Photo credits: L. Bianco)
Figure 3 Learning to appreciate the sea literally getting hands
dirty (Punta Lunga, Favignana-Aegadian Islands MPA; Photo
credits: L. Bianco)
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