NGO Forum, 24 March 2011

The NGO Forum was organised by SEDIF at the Free University of Brussels (ULB) to contribute to promoting the spirit of international solidarity characteristic for the whole series of events in the context of 'Campus Plein Sud'.

From 10 o'clock in the morning to 16 p.m. numerous associations and NGOs, including Mundus maris asbl, had their stands in the premises of the Sociology Department of the ULB on the ground and first floors of 44, rue Jeanne. The range of activities proposed by the NGOs was quite wide, but many were addressing sustainability issues, inter-cultural exchange and educational and awareness activities.

A steady stream of visitors came through staying here and there for discussions. It started slow in the morning but picked up during the day.

The Mundus maris team at the Forum was composed of Christiane Daem, Thomas Zadrozny and Cornelia E. Nauen.

Special emphasis was placed in the stand display on the combination between scientific research and how to bring results within reach of citizens, artistic reactions of young people to such results and what can be done.

A selection of 'Darwin posters' and related print materials were used to illustrate the point and engage discussions with visitors. Internet access allowed to showcase a wider range of activities past and forthcoming. The basic concept of Mundus maris asbl met with lots of positive feedback and interest. A number of visitors put down their names and contacts to remain in touch or get involved more actively. The diversity of angles from which such interest arose was quite impressive and a lesson for how students, staff and passing visitors made their own connections between their specific focus and the Mundus maris proposals.

The fish rulers for North Sea fishes were particularly popular as they empower sustainability conscious people to avoid buying baby fish and thus contribute to sending the right signal to fishers, traders and supermarkets for offering only mature fish for sale - thus with a good potential to do something concrete and down-to-earth for promoting sustainable fisheries.