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2022 UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon

Date: 9 May 2022

The 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference (Lisbon, 27 June - 1 July), co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, came at a critical time as the world is seeking to address many of the deep-rooted problems of our societies laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Themed around “Scaling up ocean action based on science and innovation for the implementation of Goal 14: stocktaking, partnerships and solutions”, the Conference hoped to unlock ocean-based solutions to address some of the most defining issues of our time, from climate change to economic inequality. The Conference was set to propel science-based innovation to start a new chapter of global ocean action.

This is the homepage for IOC’s participation in the 2022 UN Ocean Conference, providing an overview of our key events throughout this momentous week for the ocean community.

For further information, please contact Vinicius Lindoso (, Communications Officer.


flagship event



Empowering Youth for the Ocean We Need: UNESCO welcomes Maya Gabeira as UNESCO Champion for the Ocean and Youth

27 June | 14:00- 14:30 | Blue Zone, SDG Media Zone

Media event to mark the formal designation by UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, of Maya Gabeira as UNESCO Champion for the Ocean. UNESCO Director-General, Maya Gabeira and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador OSkar Metsavaht will be in conversation about the challenge of mobilizing citizens to act for the ocean we need, through the perspective of the GenOcean Campaign, launched by UNESCO as official public-facing communications campaign for the UN Ocean Decade 2021-2030.

Watch the event recording

High Level Meeting of the Ocean Decade Alliance

27 June, 15:00-16:45 | Main Committee Room, Altice Arena

Event co-hosted by the Presidents of Portugal and Kenya and the Director-General of UNESCO.

The High-Level Ocean Decade Alliance Event at the 2022 UN Ocean Conference will be the first in person meeting of Alliance Patrons and members. It will provide a platform for commitments and announcements by Alliance members, and will mark the launch of a joint Call to Action for investment in ocean science by members of the Alliance, as well as the release of a publication - supported by Portugal - on the links between the Ocean Decade and the 2030 Agenda. The event will present the aspirations and plans of the Ocean Decade Alliance while offering an opportunity for networking and discussion between high-level Alliance members.

Watch the event recording 

Accelerating Action Tackling Tsunami Risk: Partnerships and Solutions for A Safe Ocean Resilient to Tsunamis

27 June | 17:30-18:45 | Room 2

The side event will include new announcements by cities and Member States on their progress to being Tsunami Ready by 2030. There will be particular focus on science, innovation and partnerships, showcasing the solutions, including on early warning systems, which are saving lives.

Ocean Science and Its Policy Interface: from Knowledge to Sustainable Ocean Solutions

28 June | 17:30-18:45 | Altice Arena, Side Event Room 1

This side event will provide a platform for world experts engaged in the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) and in the UN Regular Process - scientists, NGOs, international organisations, private sector representatives – to showcase ambitious science-based initiatives that are accessible, reliable, scalable and sustainable. It will also provide the opportunity to engage policymakers and understand how the knowledge discovered by the scientific community can support them.  These actions share the commonality that they are built on collaboration and co-design amongst various stakeholders in the development and use of science-based solutions to start managing the ocean sustainably.

The Ocean Decade Forum

30 June | 14:30-17:00 | Ciência Viva (Auditorium), Parque das Nações

The Ocean Decade Forum will convey a message of action, partnership and inclusivity, showing participants the many ways they can be part of the Decade! Endorsed Decade Actions will be showcased, providing information on their implementation and achievements, and a wide range of partners will make announcements about exciting new commitments. This event will be both in person (200 persons maximum) and live streamed.

Watch the event recording

full programme of side events

* Includes IOC-UNESCO and Partner Events

** All times in Lisbon Time (GMT+1)

2 june unesco events at un ocean conference

Climate financing for Ocean Adaptation and Resilience Measures

27 June | 08:00- 10:00 | Olissippo Oriente Hotel

Private breakfast reception by the Ocean Acidification Alliance. 

Empowering Youth for the Ocean We Need: UNESCO welcomes Maya Gabeira as UNESCO Champion for the Ocean and Youth

27 June | 14:00- 14:30 | Blue Zone, SDG Media Zone

See event description and key links above, under “Flagship Events”.

Watch the event recording

High-Level Ocean Decade Alliance Event

27 June | 15:00-16:45 |  Main Committee Room, Altice Arena

See event description and key links above, under “Flagship Events”.

Watch the event recording

Digital ocean systems to support and strengthen implementation of sustainable development goals 

27 June | 18:45-20:30 | Pavilion of Portugal, Parque das Nações

Workshop and round-table discussion on how digital ocean services can support the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Key discussion questions will include how to ensure that ocean science and digital ocean systems are designed to respond to SDGs and ocean governance/policy needs, how to deliver ocean knowledge products that are targeted, findable and useable for governance and policy, and how to include civil society, youth and LDCs as collaborators and users of prediction systems to support SDGs.

28 June

Workshop on Science Communication and Blue Storytelling in cooperation with EU4Ocean and the Ocean Decade Communications Advisory Group

28 June | 10:00-13:00 | Ciencia Viva

This event is a 3 hours immersive and interactive workshop that will provide information, skills and ready-to-use tools for youth from EU4Ocean, Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs) and other networks to better develop key messages and use storytelling when promoting narratives about the ocean.

Seabed mapping and marine data supporting multifunctional spatial planning

28 June | 11:00-12:45 | Blue Zone

This event will explore how seabed mapping and marine data - including real world cases, challenges and innovations - can contribute to a multifunctional use of the ocean.

Polar Regions in a changing climate:  ocean solutions through science to services (WMO Side event)

28 June | 13:00-14:30 | Online

The Side Event has the potential to raise discussion about identification of gaps and needs in observations, sustained monitoring and data, ways to assimilate them into Earth prediction models, predicting changes and recommendations how best this can be achieved through a coordinated approach to services. Also investment horizons will be discussed.

Ocean Science and Its Policy Interface: from Knowledge to Sustainable Ocean Solutions 

28 June | 17:30-18:45 | Altice Arena, Side Event Room 1

See event description and key links above, under “Flagship Events".


29 June

Public-Private Cooperation to Foster Sustainable Ocean Management Globally

29 June, 07:30-11:30 | Forum Picoas, Lisbon

The Government of the Netherlands, the UN Global Compact, EY, IOC-UNESCO, and partners would like to invite you to join us at the UN Ocean Conference for a side event on Wednesday, 29 June, at 8:00-10:15 Lisbon Time at Fora Picoas in Lisbon, followed by interactive networking until 11:30. The event will discuss how effective, science-based public-private collaboration can be used to explore future scenarios of marine space. The event will look at socially innovative stakeholder engagement tools and approaches - including a ‘Community of Practice’ - and analyse how these can be scaled up and adapted in different national and regional contexts.

Integrating Marine Litter Monitoring to Inform Action

29 June, 08:30-19:30 | Centro Cultural de Cascais, Cascais

The International Ocean Carbon Coordination Project (IOCCP) on behalf of GOOS together with AirCentre, GEO Blue Planet and UNEP Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) will host a high-level event called "Integrating Marine Litter Monitoring to Inform Action" at the Centro Cultural de Cascais, Portugal. Building on the UN Decade “Clean Ocean” Satellite activity One Integrated Marine Debris Observing System (IMDOS), that took place in November 2021, the event is addressed to non-specialists and member states representatives in order to advocate the necessity of a global sustained IMDOS that will work hand in hand with the UNEP Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) Digital Platform to enable the access to harmonized and integrated data on marine litter and plastic pollution to a wide range of stakeholders.

Sea Beyond Final Ceremony

 29 June, 11:00-12:30 | Auditorium

Final Ceremony of Sea Beyond project in cooperation with PRADA. This event will celebrate the winner of the contest and have the presence of jury members, which are well-known professionals of the ocean. 

Watch the event recording

Taking Action to Address Ocean Acidification and Implement SDG 14.3

29 June, 14:30-15:45 | Altice Arena, Committee Room

This event will showcase how action-driven trans-disciplinary science and cross-sectoral collaboration can help stakeholders to act towards minimising the impacts of ocean acidification.

Scaling up ocean action through inter-agency cooperation coordination: Case studies, challenges and opportunities

29 June, 14:30-15:45 | Altice Arena, Side Event Room 1

Selected members of UN-Oceans will present brief case studies of ocean-related initiatives where the delivery of results was enhanced through inter-agency cooperation. This section will place a particular focus on cooperative action on the role of science in scaling up ocean action and on areas in which innovative solutions were developed.

UN-Oceans Members will, at the highest levels, discuss challenges and opportunities for inter-agency cooperation in the field of oceans, and put forward concrete proposals in this respect, with a particular focus on action on the role of science for the ocean.  Participating States and other stakeholders will also be invited to engage in the discussion by sharing their questions, thoughts and ideas.

Seabed 2030: Mapping for People and Planet

29 June, 18:00-20:00 | Myriad Hotel, Parque das Nações

This high-level panel session to discuss the benefits of ocean mapping from a global perspective, and explore how mapping data is essential to supporting the UN SDG 14 and Decade outcomes, as well as safeguarding our future and that of the planet.

The panel discussion will be followed by networking drinks and canapés in the Leonidas Room of the MYRIAD Hotel, with a fantastic view over the Tagus River.

Interoperable, transparent, and accessible marine data for the UN 2030 Agenda, the UN Decade of Ocean Science, and for the benefit of all.

29 June, 18:00-20:00 | Portuguese National Pavilion - Expo98

This side event will provide a high-level overview of current ocean data interoperability initiatives with key examples from around the world, share insights from these efforts and discuss how these can support the goals of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and contribute to achieving UN 2030 Agenda, and in particular SDG14. Two-hour hybrid workshop, with 2 round-table discussions of 50 each, with live speakers and moderators and remove audience, interactive Q&A and polls (Slido).

Watch the event recording Part 1

Watch the event recording Part 2

Official Side Event: Ocean Literacy Dialogues

29 June, 18:00-20:00 | Pavilhão do Conhecimento, Ciência Viva Auditorium

The IOC-UNESCO, the European Commission and the EU4Ocean coalition are pleased to invite you to the Ocean Literacy Dialogues high-level side event. The event marks the beginning of a process to look into the shared commitments that can be brought together to support ocean literacy across the globe and that will culminate at the next session of the UN Ocean Conference. The overarching objective is to include ocean literacy in the next iteration of high-level dialogues. This dialogue will welcome contributions from different stakeholder groups to engage with a wide range of sectors. This will foster the inclusion of multiple perspectives in ocean literacy, and will support the implementation of the objectives of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). Decision-makers, journalists, entrepreneurs, educators, artists, and youth will be encouraged to share their values, beliefs, and visions for ocean literacy.

Ocean Acidification Reception

29 June, 18:30-21:00 | Ciência Viva, Parque das Nações

Private reception.


30 June

Sustainable Ocean Planning Working Breakfast

30 June, 08:30-09:45 | Aquarium Restaurant (TBC)

Private working breakfast co-hosted with Norway.

Uncovering People's Engagement with the Ocean: From Local to Global Perspective 

30 June, 11:00-12:00 | Ciência Viva, Library

The event will launch the official results of a national survey carried out in Brazil to assess citizen’s engagement with the ocean. This innovative pilot survey will inform the implementation of the Ocean Decade communication strategy in Brazil, and could offer a template for similar work in other countries.

Growing the Ocean Decade through Aquariums

30 June, 12:00-13:00 | Ciência Viva, Auditorium

The event will discuss how Aquariums can help perpetuate messaging around the Ocean Decade, exploring examples of engagement from aquariums around the world including China, France, United States, Japan, Mexico.

Blue Carbon: Charting the Path for Governance and Partnerships

30 June, 13:00-14:15 | Altice Arena, Committee Room

As solution to climate change while also generating cobenefits, blue carbon requires governance and partnerships to ensure credible projects with sustainable and equitable best practice principles.

German official side event: Ocean Governance - From scientific information through political commitments to effective management and action

30 June, 13:15-14:30 | Altice Arena, Plenary Room

The event will present a stock take of knowledge, solutions and actions for effective ocean governance to achieve conservation and sustainable use, encompassing climate and biodiversity.

Ocean Acidification: Co-designing data connections to underserved communities for equitable outcomes

30 June, 13:30-15:00 | Ciência Viva, Library

The University of Washington’s Washington Ocean Acidification Center and Ocean Nexus Center are pleased to invite you to a side event highlighting successful partnerships with Indigenous, SIDS, and other underserved communities on co-designing activities for adaptation and response strategies on local scales and to inform UN goals and global strategies.

The Ocean Decade Forum

30 June, 14:30-17:00 | Ciência Viva (Auditorium), Parque das Nações

See event description and key links above, under “Flagship Events”.

Blue Carbon Reception

30 June, 18:30-21:00 | Ciência Viva, Parque das Nações

Private reception.


1 July

Training for Policy-Makers on Blue Curriculum in cooperation with IBE-UNESCO

1 July, 10:00-13:00 | Library

This 3 hours workshop will be composed of interactive sessions that will provide training, information and tools for educational authorities, policy-makers and curriculum developers on how to include Ocean Literacy in the national curriculum frameworks and educational policies around the world.

It’s all about people: Building inclusive leadership and cross-sectoral collaboration for a thriving ocean

1 July, 13:00-14:15 | Altice Arena, Side Event Room 2

The sustainable future of our ocean depends on a new wave of thinking, learning from the past, recognizing & promoting emerging leaders worldwide and collaborating like never before. We’ll explore best practices from around the world to help us shift mindsets and amplify impact.

A Sustainable Blue Pacific Continent – Scaling up action through Ocean Science, Policy and Traditional knowledge

1 July, 14:30-15:45 | Altice Arena, Interactive Dialogue Room

Integrated ocean management for a sustainable and Resilient Blue Pacific Continent. Scaling up innovative action for a healthy ocean, people and islands informed by science and traditional knowledge. Side Event and signing of Memorandum of Understanding between UNESCO and the Pacific Community (SPC).

Ocean and Coastal Observation and Monitoring at scale: Co-Designing the value chain from data to impact through a partnership approach

1 July, 16:00-17:15 | Altice Arena, Side Event Room 2

This event will act as a bridge or "missing link" connecting existing ocean and coastal observing and monitoring systems to each other and to end users and stakeholders to create a continuous feedback loop that addresses needs and supports the development of innovative solutions to the problems our ocean and coasts are facing. The event provides an opportunity to drive the co-design of innovative monitoring and actions that can leverage available data on the ground. The focus will be on obtaining inputs, recommendations, feedback, and active engagement from governments and Regional Seas, providing a space for the sharing of experiences and lessons learned, best practices, partnership models, funding opportunities, initiatives and emerging issues. Stakeholders and participants are especially encouraged to provide feedback and actively participate in the co-design process of UNEP’s Global Environment Monitoring System for the Ocean and Coasts (GEMS Ocean) Programme. The Programme is being designed in a way to not duplicate existing ocean monitoring and observation efforts, but to play a critical role in linking them to specific needs and policy making.

Delivering Ocean Solutions for the SDGs: The role of Africa in the Alliance of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and in Developing a Sustainable Blue Economy

1 July, 17:30-18:45 | Altice Arena, Side Event Room 1

Foundations and philanthropies strengthening the Alliance to meet the challenges of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development: what role for Africa?


public exhibitions


These exhibitions will bring the themes and major issues of the UN Ocean Conference out of the conference venue and into several locations throughout Lisbon City! 

Ocean Decade Creative Exhibition

24 June - 9 July | Praça do Rossio, Lisbon

A global exhibition of creativity that aims to raise awareness of the importance of the ocean and inspire greater ocean knowledge and conservation during the pivotal UN Ocean Decade for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 (the Ocean Decade).

Our Partners: Oceano Azul Foundation, The Ocean Agency, Adobe

Ocean Art Gallery

29-30 June | Ciência Viva (Atrium), Parque das Nações

Using the amazing artwork from the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s “Artist-in-Residence” Programme as well as assets from Nautilus Magazine and the Frame Store (London), this interactive exhibit will mix more classic art formats with modern representations of the ocean and its biodiversity, providing an eclectic fusion of colours, sounds, light and virtual reality.

Our Partners: Schmidt Ocean Institute, Nautilus Magazine