On April 29th, 2019, the Open University of the Netherlands will have the inaugural class of its newest Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Marine Litter. The course will be available in all UN languages, making a global issue available to a global audience. The course content is tailored to the different regions of our planet.
“The previous Marine Litter MOOC (provided for free and available in English and Spanish) attracted thousands of participants. Ocean pollution is a global issue, therefore the Leadership track of the MOOC is being made available in all UN languages and Portuguese. ‘We realize that more than 1.5 billion people speak English or Spanish. However, there are many more world citizens who live in countries with an immense coastline. Think for example of South America, China, Russia or the Middle East. Marine Litter is also an immense problem in these regions. Through this MOOC we want to activate participants to come into action against marine litter. In order to do so we provide them with good knowledge and tools and many inspiring examples’ announced Ansje Löhr, the project leader of the MOOC.
Registration for the MOOC is currently open. From April 29th 2019, students will be able to participate in training in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese and Russian.
The global pollution of seas and oceans with waste is a growing problem that requires a global approach. It is identified by the United Nations as one of the most important environmental problems of the 21st century. Plastic waste entering the environment poses major risks. It is harmful to organisms living in the sea, and there are increasing indications that (micro-)plastics can enter our food chain via accumulation.
MOOC Cooperation with UN Environment
In recent years, UN Environment has worked on a worldwide network for the prevention and management of marine waste. This has led, among other things, to the establishment of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter, in which UN Environment and the Open University of the Netherlands have jointly developed the MOOC on Marine Litter. The MOOC provides context and insight into the latest developments, and tools and methods to tackle the issue are provided.
Education and research
For several years, researchers from the Science department of the faculty of Management, Science & Technology have been involved in projects such as the Clean Maas Limburg project, and collaborating with research partners in Indonesia into the causes and effects of plastic pollution and possible solutions.