MILAN — The three winning schools of the second edition of the international project Sea Beyond were revealed Wednesday, but more initiatives will follow, said Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada Group head of corporate social responsibility.
“For this second edition, we felt the need to thank all the students with an event able to celebrate the commitment that they continue to show toward the Sea Beyond project,” Bertelli said during a press conference held in Lisbon, coinciding with the international Ocean Conference taking place through Friday. In fact, Bertelli said the event “seemed to us the perfect frame to discuss together, once again, an issue that is very close to our hearts: protecting the sea and its resources.”
The Sea Beyond project is a partnership between the Prada Group and UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and it has been supported by a percentage of the proceeds from the sales of the Prada Re-Nylon collection.
“Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to a more sustainable future,” said Bertelli, “and it’s important to work on the culture with the mind and soul of the future generation.”
The three schools awarded were: First place: MaArt — Newton College, Lima, Peru; second place: Seaweed Aquaculture — Shanghai High School International Division, Shanghai, and third place: Video Game-Sea Beyond — Marcelline Tommaseo, Milan.
The executive said this was “just the beginning of the journey, but there is a lot of potential and we will go ahead with this project. We are on the right path.”
Since its debut in 2019, the initiative has trained more than 600 international secondary school students and, in January 2021, was officially linked to the U.N. Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
The second edition of the project is composed of three main initiatives: an educational module for students all over the world, the launch of the Kindergarten of the Lagoon — a program of outdoor lessons for children in preschool — and an educational path specifically designed for the more than 13,000 employees of the Prada Group.
The conference was moderated by marine advocate Patricia Furtado de Mendonça and the jury comprised, in addition to Bertelli, Enzo Barracco, photographer and climate artist; Fabien Cousteau, aquanaut, oceanographic explorer and environmental advocate; Kerstin Forsberg, marine scientist and social entrepreneur; Valentina Gottlieb, environmental influencer and activist; Vladimir Ryabinin, executive secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and assistant director general of UNESCO, and Hugo Vau, athlete, ocean explorer and surfer.
Prizes will be used by the schools to invest in the purchase of educational materials.
The second educational program, which started in fall 2021 and ended last spring, involved 10 secondary schools in Brazil, China, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, the U.K. and South Africa.
“While U.N. agencies, countries, NGOs, private sector representatives and ocean advocates all gather here in Lisbon to chart the path to a healthy ocean, we must look to the work and commitment of young people from all around the world,” Ryabinin said. “This second edition of the Sea Beyond project showed again that no student is too young the make the difference.”
Each school took part in a series of webinars led by UNESCO experts to explore the 10 challenges of the United Nations Ocean Decade, which range from understanding and tracking the sources of terrestrial and marine pollutants and developing solutions to remove or mitigate them, to ensuring that the multiple values and services of the ocean for human well-being, culture and sustainable development be widely understood, and identify and overcome barriers to behavioral change for radical change in the relationship between humans and the sea.