U.S. Consulate General Chennai’s “Ocean Matters” Project Gains Spotlight at COP28

U.S. Consulate General Chennai Public Affairs Officer Jennifer Bullock virtually opened an education session on “Accelerating Climate Action through Citizen Science,” at the Greening Education Hub of the 28th United Nations Climate Change conference (COP28) in Dubai.

“Accelerating Climate Action through Citizen Science: Role of COP 28 and Beyond,” organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), U.S. Department of State, and New Indian Model School Dubai featured ocean health and environmental education experts mapping the nexus between oceans and climate change. They also focused on the role of citizen science tools such as the “Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment” (GLOBE), and the “Microplastic Monitoring Protocol Training” in monitoring oceanic health.

Educators shared visuals and success stories of Project “Ocean Matters” from program alumni – teachers and high school students from cities along India’s western coast. A mock COP by students of New Indian Model School Dubai, highlighted the role of youth and educational institutions in accelerating climate action.

U.S. Consulate General Chennai Public Affairs Officer Jennifer Bullock said in her virtual remarks, “I am pleased that “Ocean Matters,” the public diplomacy science education initiative for Indian high school students and teachers, has garnered the spotlight at COP28.  I hope that this session raises further awareness about the symbiotic relation between oceans and climate, and the need to mitigate climate risks by measuring and monitoring ocean health.  I also congratulate our program partners TERI, GLOBE, and the international Microplastics Monitoring Module team for implementing the impactful project that sensitizes youth to ocean health.”

During Phase One of “Ocean Matters,” 100 teachers and more than 1,000 students from nearly 30 schools across India’s western coast – Mumbai, Mangaluru, and Mormugao – successfully implemented scientific trials that started in September 2021.  In June 2023, the project was expanded to schools in Chennai, Puducherry, and Kochi.