UN Ocean Conference
Lisbon, Portugal | 27 June to 1 July 2022

Save our Ocean,
Protect our Future

The Ocean Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, comes at a critical time as the world is seeking to address the many of the deep-rooted problems of our societies laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic and which will require major structural transformations and common shared solutions that are anchored in the SDGs. To mobilize action, the Conference will seek to propel much needed science-based innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action.

More about the Conference



Our priority

UN Takes Ocean Action

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.  The overarching theme of the Conference is "Scaling up ocean action based on science and innovation for the implementation of Goal 14: stocktaking, partnerships and solutions".

Photo: A piece of coral ready to form new reefs at Coral Vita. Photo by WeWork


Special Envoy for the Ocean

In 2017, the United Nations Secretary-General Guterres appointed Ambassador Peter Thomson of Fiji as his Special Envoy for the Ocean.

clown fish in coral reef

Contribute to the concept papers on each of the themes for the eight interactive dialogues of the Conference.

Blue Foods and the Ocean



Aerial view of green island with boats

Funding the Sustainable Blue Economy


Funding the sustainable blue economy lies at the heart of solving the climate crisis. This event highlighted that while financial institutions are key enablers of this transition, public support is essential to close the ocean finance gap. Creating an enabling policy environment will allow innovative mechanisms for capital to flow. Public-private partnerships and science-based planning remain crucial factors to create investment opportunities, together with increased ocean literacy and knowledge sharing on risks and long-term opportunities in a sustainable blue economy. UNEP FI’s Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles (please see here: https://www.unepfi.org/blue-finance/the-principles/) and Guidance (please see here: https://www.unepfi.org/publications/turning-the-tide/) offer practical tools that financial institutions can use now to act. For more information and to watch the event, please visit this link: https://www.un.org/en/cop26/page/programme


Mr. Dennis Fritsch, UNEP FI (Moderator),
Mr Chip Cunliffe, Biodiversity Director, AXA XL
Mr Justin Mundy, Strategic Advisor, WTW
Ms Louise Heaps, Head of Sustainable Blue Economy
Margaret Kuhlow, Global Finance Practice Leader, WWF
Ms Piera Tortora, Coordinator of Sustainable Oceans for All Initiative, OECD
Mr Peter Thomson, UNSG’s Special Envoy for the Ocean

School of fish in reef ecosystem

Expanding Ocean Acidication Observing Capacity to Take Action


It is now clear that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are the chief cause of ocean acidification. We know that these gases are also the prime cause of the accelerating processes of the ocean’s deoxygenation and warming, with a long list of consequences including reduced marine biodiversity, habitat reduction, death of coral and rising sea levels. As such, anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions threaten to undermine the achievement of SDG14’s goal of conserving and sustainably using the ocean’s resources, thereby impeding the current and future well-being of the ocean ecosystems upon which life on Planet Earth depends. This event will be a call for action to governments, industries and scientists to increase ambition for ocean acidification action, and to expand ocean acidification observing capacity required to minimize the impacts on ocean and human health. For more information and to watch the event, please visit this link: https://www.un.org/en/cop26/page/programme


Kirsten Isensee, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO,
Peter Thomson, UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for the Ocean
Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO
Carol Turley, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK
Jodie Miller, Section Head of the Isotope Hydrology Section, NAPC, IAEA
Steve Widdicombe, Co-chair of GOA-ON, OARS, Director of Science at Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK

COP26 Logo

Linkages Between Environmental Conferences


Does the ocean have a voice at COP26? Ambassador Peter Thomson, The UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean and Richard Brisius, Race President of The Ocean Race, sought to find out what role the ocean is playing in the critical climate negotiations in a special session held today. Panelists, including Dr. Joanna Post, Acting Manager Collective Progress sub-division UNFCCC Secretariat and Ambassador Waldemar Coutts, Director for Environment and Oceans of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile, provided expert insights alongside soundbites from key personalities from throughout the conference. For more information, please visit this link: https://www.un.org/en/cop26/page/programme


Ambassador Peter Thomson, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean,
Richard Brisius, Race President of The Ocean Race