For the first time ever, an ocean-focused pavilion will be built inside the formal negotiations area (Blue Zone) of the upcoming UN Climate Summit (COP 27) in Sharm El-Sheikh. The result of joint efforts by global leaders in ocean science and philanthropy, the Ocean Pavilion will host events and discussions aimed at ensuring the ocean is central to climate negotiations and promoting ocean-based climate solutions.
Covering 71% of the globe, the ocean is our planet’s life-support system – it provides essential oxygen, the water we drink and livelihoods for over 3 billion people. It sustains and provides jobs for billions of people, including many of the world’s most vulnerable. It is also a critical part of Earth’s climate and holds a wealth of opportunity to help solve many of humanity’s most pressing challenges, including climate change.
For the first time, the ocean is taking center stage within the COP’s traditional delegations-only “Blue Zone”. Between 6 and 18 November 2022, the Ocean Pavilion, will bring together world leaders in ocean science, engineering, policy and philanthropy to carry the message that science must lead the way in the quest for safe, long-term solutions to climate change.
Building on its successful participation in the 2022 UN Ocean Conference and the recognition of its work to generate and use knowledge for the transformational action needed to achieve a healthy, safe and resilient ocean (Lisbon Declaration, “Our Ocean, Our Future, Our Responsibility”), UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) is a partner in the Ocean Pavilion.
As the only UN body entirely dedicated to ocean science and the coordinating agency of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) (‘the Ocean Decade’), IOC-UNESCO engages with the policy, research and civil society communities for more effective integration of ocean perspectives into climate change mitigation and adaptation mechanisms. IOC-UNESCO and the Ocean Decade promote the importance of a robust scientific knowledge base to support policy development, and are uniquely positioned to provide and share expertise on the implementation of impactful solutions for sustainable climate action.
The Ocean Pavilion is an initiative led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego. Other partners include American Geophysical Union (AGU), Blue Marine Foundation, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), French National Institute for Ocean Science (IFREMER), Minderoo Foundation, National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries-Egypt (NIOF), Ocean Policy Research Institute (OPRI), OceanX, Pacific Islands Forum, Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean (POGO), Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), The Ocean Race and the UK National Oceanographic Centre (NOC).
“The ocean is too big and too complicated for any one organization to go it alone,” said WHOI President and Director Peter de Menocal. “We will only succeed by joining diverse perspectives to find solutions together.”
“The ocean is climate, and the climate is the ocean,” said Margaret Leinen, Director of Scripps Oceanography, and Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences at UC San Diego. “Ocean science is emblematic of the way we will see our way out of the climate crisis.”
Throughout the COP, the Ocean Pavilion will feature events, meetings and in-depth discussions that elaborate on the daily conference themes and explore issues surrounding COP27’s overarching goal of implementing the commitments made by nations in the wake of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
More information about the Ocean Pavilion, including ways to propose events and programming during COP27, can be found on the pavilion website.