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UNESCO launches event in Italy to defend the oceans, promote responsible consumption-



United Nations

– Under the motto “Blue is the new black”, a two-day event of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was held on Friday and Saturday in the lagoon city of Venice in Italy, with the aim of promoting the protection of the oceans. and responsible purchasing behaviors.

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The “Blue Friday” initiative was launched by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) to raise awareness of the protection of the seas and oceans exactly during the “Black Friday” weekend and provide an alternative to it.

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Held at Palazzo Zorzi in cooperation with the local authorities of Venice, the initiative comprised several events over the two days, including “a panel on blue finance and sustainable fashion, meetings to promote more sustainable consumption and production, and a theater show on the history of the seas.”

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Experts said they are optimistic about the impact on the audience, considering the recent growing public interest around events related to environmental protection.

“This is definitely a trend that we have been seeing across all issues related to the climate crisis in recent years,” said Francesca Santoro, IOC-UNESCO Senior Program Officer.

Among the events on Saturday were panel discussions with representatives from global and local design and fashion companies that discussed the effects of consumption and production behaviors on the health of the oceans and seas, and possible concrete alternatives.

In the interview, Santoro noted that the role of private players was another recent development, as companies were becoming more environmentally sensitive and wanted to meet growing consumer demand for green products.

These changes would allow scientists to be more effective, Santoro said. “While these topics were basically discussed within the international scientific community until just a few years ago, today we can easily work with a multidisciplinary approach, involving journalists, communicators, artists, designers and fashion experts, for example.”

“This allows us to communicate more easily and convey a clearer and more specific message,” he specified.

According to estimates published by IOC-UNESCO prior to the initiative, around 80 percent of purchased clothing and items were thrown away after only one use or even zero use.

But consumers were signaling they were ready for a change, with around 40 percent of those involved in the survey saying they were willing to pay higher prices for climate-conscious products, and 43 percent more likely to choose products from brands that use sustainable practices, such as carbon neutral shipping.

The so-called “Black Friday” falls on the last Friday of November each year, inaugurating Christmas shopping. Due to the strong discounts that it entails, it marks one of the most intense periods of consumerism worldwide. ■


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