European Boating Industry (EBI) together with the German Ocean Foundation, Sea Teach, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), German Marine Federation (BVWW) and Frederick University will develop the first-ever environmental qualification for the nautical tourism sector. The curricula will respond to targets set by the European Green Deal and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It aims to sustainably manage recreational boating and nautical tourism to become a means to protect marine and coastal ecosystems. The project will also feature at an EBI-organised workshop at the European Maritime Day on 19 May in showcasing blue skills and the boating industry to the key decision-makers at EU level.
The EU-funded Erasmus+ project called ENVIRonmental Officer in the NAUtical Tourism Industry (EnviroNaut), aims to bridge the gap between the training and skills needed in the boating industry, while enhancing the positive environmental impact that the recreational boating sector can have. Frank Schweikert, Founder & Director of the German Ocean Foundation, said: “Our seas and oceans are home to invaluable ecosystems, as well as being one of the most important sources of food, materials and energy. They are also home to various recreational activities. The EnviroNaut project will support growth of the recreational boating sector while protecting the marine environment through responsible and sustainable tourism over time”.
During the next two years, EnviroNaut partners will develop the first-ever qualification as Environmental Officer with a specific curricula. The resulting course will be available online, free and accessible to all. It will give the employees in nautical sector, both current and prospective, the foundation to implement environmental practices in their businesses, while also enhancing their key competencies. Giving the industry a state-of-the art tool to close the knowledge gap between employees, practitioners and the legislation in place, will enable them to move towards sustainability. Employees in the following companies will have access to the qualification: marinas, water sports companies, skipper services, nautical schools and other training institutions, and charter companies. EBI's recognised expertise makes it a key partner connecting organisations across Europe for the project. As the main representative of the recreational boating sector in Europe, EBI will provide a comprehensive insight into the challenges and objectives of the sector and how to meet them.
On top of its European expertise, EBI oversees the dissemination and will ensure that EnviroNaut is developed in such a way that there is a standardisation of environmental skills at European level. Philip Easthill, Secretary-General commented “The EnviroNaut Project will be a game-changer for the industry. The Environmental Officer qualification will take sustainability to a whole new level for nautical tourism companies. EBI will support the project with our consolidated European network as well as our technical knowledge, providing a unified vision of the challenges and opportunities for the sector at European level. This directly follows our new strategy through which we aim to advance a sustainable boating and nautical tourism industry Made in Europe”
Companies, employees and all stakeholders from the nautical tourism sector are invited to sign up to the Stakeholder Engagement Platform to be involved in the development of the qualification.
European Maritime Day
EBI is co-organising a workshop at the upcoming European Maritime Day (EMD) in Ravenna, Italy (19 & 20 May) on: "Knowledge and Skills gaps in the blue sector: Towards sustainable blue growth". The EMD is the annual event where ‘Oceans Leaders meet’ to discuss the most pressing issues affecting European maritime community and move the blue economy forward. The workshop will present the sector, its challenges and the development of environmental skills, as well as the EnviroNaut project to the key decision-makers at EU level. Speaking at the workshop, moderated by Silja Teege from Sea Teach, will be Eirini-Asimina Stamatopoulou (National Technical University of Athens); Frank Schweikert (German Ocean Foundation) and Stefano Pagani Isnardi (Confindustria Nautica).
This workshop has already attracted the attention of more than 120 participants in advance. The session provides a space for debate in which the EU institutions and marine stakeholders will discuss the challenges facing the next generation of marine professionals as well as the skills and capabilities needed to meet the goals of the blue economy and deliver sustainable ocean businesses. The workshop will identify the blue skills needed and implementation actions to support sustainable nautical tourism, shipping & ship-building and other marine professionals to address key challenges faced by the blue economy in the next decade.
EMD 2022 is a hybrid event, and participants have the opportunity to join in-person or virtually. Registrations are open until 12 May (Registration here). The EBI-organised workshop takes place on 19 May from 15:45 – 16:45.