Edinburgh Ocean Leaders at Immersed in Change, Costa Rica

Edinburgh Ocean Leaders recently attended the high-level event on ocean action, titled “Immersed in Change,” in San Jose, Costa Rica. The gathering emphasised the urgent need for the global ocean conservation community to intensify both individual and collective efforts to restore and safeguard our oceans. As the ocean community looks forward to the Third UN Ocean Conference in Nice, France, in June 2025, co-hosted by Costa Rica and France, the event served as a vital platform for exchanging best practices and successful experiences in ocean health and governance.

Painting created during the opening ceremony by local artist by local artist Carlos Hiller. Image: IISD/ENB - Diego Noguera

The event brought together a diverse assembly of experts from various fields to share successful and replicable conservation actions. Among them were several Edinburgh Ocean Leaders representing their respective organisations, including Diva Amon, Shirley Binder, Jessie Turner, Haydée Rodríguez-Romero, Ilena Zanella, Alexi Grosskopf, and Loreley Picourt. Throughout the event, interventions from the Ocean Leaders during plenary sessions and side-events highlighted the diversity of sectors and international scope of the Edinburgh Ocean Leader’s network.

Discussions at the event covered a wide array of critical topics for the global ocean agenda. These included the importance of global ocean agreements, such as the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Agreement), the sustainable use of ocean and coastal marine biodiversity and the role of technology in accelerating ocean conservation efforts.

A significant outcome of the High-Level Event was the Peace for the Ocean Declaration, signed by over two dozen countries. This declaration expresses a strong commitment to scaling up transformative ocean actions to support nature-positive economies. The declaration is grounded in the best available science, traditional knowledge, and innovation. It reaffirms commitments to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 (life below water) and outlines priority ocean actions for the remaining six years of the Ocean Decade and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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