UN Ocean Conference

From Monday 27 June to Friday 1 July 2022, the UN Ocean Conference will be held in Lisbon, Portugal. The Conference will discuss solutions and ways to ‘Save Our Ocean’ and will aim to mobilise action and seek to propel much needed science-based innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action.

The Conference supports the UN Ocean Decade, a collective global initiative, with a transformative vision to harness ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’. It will inspire new design, delivery and use of ocean knowledge to enable lasting change to our shared ocean.

Discover more about the NOC-led Ocean Decade Actions.

Experts from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) will be in attendance to contribute their knowledge and understanding of ocean science to the conversations.

Discover more about the sessions we will be participating in below.

Promoting and strengthening sustainable ocean-based economies, in particular for Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries

(Tuesday 28 June, Morning Session 10am – 1pm)

SIDS and LDCs face many common threats and challenges that are reflective of their size and populations, remoteness and vulnerability to environmental and economic shocks. Their coastal and marine resources have the potential to support diversified and sustainable economies that encompass established industries such as fisheries, tourism and marine transport, as well as emerging activities such as offshore renewable energy and deep-sea resources. The development of these sectors requires a more comprehensive knowledgebase of the resources, and greater capacity to manage and monitor them against the impacts of climate change, pollution and illegal fishing.

The SAMOA pathway recognises that science, technology and innovation are essential enablers and drivers for sustainable development, and that access to appropriate, reliable, affordable and environmentally sound technologies is critical for achieving sustainable development objectives. The NOC is proud to work in partnership with SIDS and LDCs through UK Government funded programmes to enable the application of innovative technologies that help facilitate sustainable marine economic development by providing the data, skills and capabilities required to ensure social and economic benefits for current and future generations. Such capacity can also support the restoration, protection and resilience of marine ecosystems and enhance food security in ocean-based economies.

Managing, protecting, conserving and restoring marine and coastal ecosystems

(Tuesday 28 June, Afternoon Session 3pm – 6pm)

Marine and coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, tidal wetlands and seagrass meadows represent some of the most productive regions on Earth, thus the exchange of carbon into and out of these systems helps influence global climate change. Active management of such blue carbon stores has the potential to play a significant role in meeting international Net Zero targets whilst supporting ancillary benefits such as providing coastal protection from storms and nursery grounds for fish. Effective and sustainable management of these ecosystems requires an improved understanding of the behaviour and fate of carbon in marine and coastal environments, as well as how the efficiency and stability of these sinks may vary in the future.

Through application of innovative technologies we can assess the effectiveness of protection and restoration strategies, enabling the measuring, monitoring and reporting of blue carbon stocks required to facilitate their inclusion into international reporting commitments. The NOC is proud to be working alongside an array of national and international partners to improve our understanding of the health of marine and coastal ecosystems and the vital services that they provide, as well as the extent to which such blue carbon habitats can support nature-based solutions to global climate change.

Increasing scientific knowledge and developing research capacity and transfer of marine technology

(Thursday 30 June, Morning Session 10am – 1pm)

Continuous ocean sensing is integral to increasing scientific knowledge and designing, informing and evaluating ocean actions and solutions. Future decision tools like a Digital Ocean Twins Ocean critically depend on sensing from the real ocean. Achieving the Decade of Ocean Science challenge of completing the Global Ocean Observing System by 2030 will need important changes including:

  • Transformation of continuous ‘in water’ ocean sensing by uptake of marine autonomous surface and underwater sensing technologies
  • Recognition that the global ocean sensing system is the foundation of a multi-stakeholder global data infrastructure feeding value chains of ocean information and knowledge
  • Innovation of business and funding models to support ocean sensing infrastructure is now needed to match the technological innovation making this infrastructure possible
  • Expansion of underwater observations and the Essential Ocean Variable parameter ranges is needed to avoid biasing data coverage to the sea surface covered by satellites
  • Diversification and inclusion of participation all countries including Least Developed Countries (LDC) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in regional and global ocean sensing is made possible through transfer of marine technologies enabling the skipping several intermediate generations of technology, resulting in the use of a locally appropriate number of lower unit-cost ocean sensing platforms

Enhancing the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

(Thursday 30 June, Afternoon Session 3pm – 6pm)

The implementation of UNCLOS Part XIII is fundamental to ensuring the best science data is acquired and knowledge shared. And to support the dissemination of such knowledge Part XIV is critical to enable a worldwide community to contribute to a global endeavour that no one country can undertake in isolation. Many of the world’s largest marine States are SIDS that benefit greatly from collaborative efforts with states that have the means to enable the transfer of marine technology, including not only instruments and equipment, but the sharing of methodologies and skills in science, technical and legal know how.

Without the application of these two parts alone there would be significant shortfalls in how humankind addresses the issue of declining ocean health. Simple measures such as processes to manage diplomatic clearances need to be resolved such that all countries have sight of what activity is ongoing in their waters, consequently bringing visibility to what data is available and in turn saving states many millions of dollars in data acquisition.

The NOC is proud to share that with the support of UK Government Aid funding we have been working with dozens of developing countries worldwide supporting critical needs identified by them.

Event dates: 
Monday 27 June 2022 - 00:00 to Friday 1 July 2022 - 00:00