Public Awareness and Sensitization
Public awareness and sensitization efforts are among MOm’s key priorities – we constantly strive to educate people about the need to protect the critically endangered Mediterranean monk seal and the entire coastal and marine environment of Greece. MOm’s education programs are designed for the general public, as well as specific stakeholders and interest groups including government officials, members of professional and recreational associations, scientific colleagues etc. MOm uses a variety of outreach tools, such as press releases, articles in scientific journals, interviews, radio and TV ads, postings on the internet and on social media sites, presentations at conferences etc.
Since 1990, MOm has been operating Information Centers in areas that are important for the Mediterranean monk seal in Greece within the framework of its Summer Awareness and Sensitization Campaigns. More than 500,000 people have visited these Information Centers on the islands of Alonissos, Skopelos, Skiathos, Kimolos, Milos, Karpathos, Syros, Fournous and Keratea in the Prefecture of Attica, and have been informed on the critically endangered status of the Mediterranean monk seal and the actions of MOm to protect it. Our outreach and awareness activities are always carried out with the help of MOm’s dedicated team of volunteers, which is comprised of more than 1,000 individuals who have participated so far in our summer campaigns!
MOm’s Rescue Team frequently conducts training seminars to teach people how to respond in emergency cases when seals are in distress or are found dead. The participants are trained on the established reporting protocols in place to quickly notify the Rescue Team about emergency situations, which can help facilitate rescue efforts to save an animal in distress. In addition, MOm’s Rescue Team has prepared a special instruction manual titled “Rescuing a monk seal. Now I can help as well!”, which provides step-by-step guidelines on what to do when a sick or injured monk seal is found until MOm’s Rescue Team arrives.
Through e-newsletters, information leaflets, manuals, posters and social media tools (facebook and youtube), the public can be informed directly for the Mediterranean monk seal in Greece, the marine environment as well as MOm’s actions.