It’s All About People: UN Ocean Conference Side Event

The 2022 UN Ocean Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, will take place on 27 June – 1 July 2022, in Lisbon, Portugal. The overall theme of the Conference is: “Scaling up ocean action based on science and innovation for the implementation of Goal 14: stocktaking, partnerships and solutions”.

Edinburgh Ocean Leaders is organising the following event in collaboration with UNESCO and Pleneta Océano.

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

Altice Arena, Conference Room 2

Friday 1 July 13:00 – 14:15 

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. The event will thus allow to explore best practices from around the world in order to help shift mindsets and amplify impact.

The focus of the side event is on underwater cultural heritage and the ocean’s past, on building a wider intersectoriality and on a new ocean leadership with a more comprehensive and insightful view.

It will allow participants to connect to new partners and facilitate new project and funding opportunities.


Welcome and Introduction 

  • Welcome Song, Mia Kami, Fiji

  •  Joao Costa, University NOVA of Lisbon, Chair for Ocean History, Portugal

  • Meriwether Wilson, co-founder and co-director, Edinburgh Ocean Leaders


Moderation: Kerstin Forsberg, Founder and Director, Planeta Océano

Underwater and coastal cultural heritage of the ocean: Where the past guides the future 

  • A shared history off the coast of Kenya, Caesar Bita, National Museum, Kenya
  • The value of underwater cultural heritage for a comprehensive ocean research, Athena Trakadas, Ocean Decade Heritage Network

Working with leaders and creating leadership

  • The importance of bottom-up leadership to address global challenges, Tommy Melo, Edinburgh Ocean Leader and Co-founder and President, Biosfera, UK
  • Ocean leadership and collaboration for 30X30, Shirley Binder, Edinburgh Ocean Leader and Ministerial Senior Office Advisor, Ministry of Environment, Panama

Collaboration and co-design

  • Talk less, listen more: Cultivating Pacific Owned – Ocean Science, Molly Powers, Team Leader Ocean Management and Literacy, The Pacific Community (SPC), Fiji
  • Blue Economy – creating unique partnerships, Masanori Kobayashi, Senior Research Fellow, OPRI-SPF, Japan

Q&A session

Moderation: Peter Manyara, Edinburgh Ocean Leader and Regional Program Manager of Coastal and Ocean Resilience, IUCN Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office

Closing remarks

  • Kerstin Forsberg, Founder and Director, Planeta Océano
  • Fanny Douvere, Head, World Heritage Marine Programme, UNESCO

Organising partners: Edinburgh Ocean Leaders, UNESCO, Planéta Oceano

Associated partners: Australian Association for Environmental Education (AAEE), Biosfera, Blue Ventures, CoopeSoliDar R.L, Early Career Ocean Professional Programme (ECOP), International Pacific Marine Educators Network (IPMEN), GRID-Arendal, I AM WATER, IUCN – International Union for Conservation of Nature, Locally Managed Marine Area Network International, Marine Conservation Action Fund (MCAF) of the New England Aquarium, Maritime Archaeology Trust, MigraMar, Misión Tiburón, Mission Blue, National Museum of Kenya, Nausicaá, National Sea Center, Ocean Decade Heritage Network, Ocean Knowledge Action Network (KAN), Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (OPRI-SPF), Panama – Ministry of the Environment, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Qingdao Marine Conservation Society, SciDipGLOBAL, SpeSeas, Surfers Against Sewage, The Centre for the Ocean and the Arctic at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, The Ocean Foundation, The Pacific Community (SPC), Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Universidade Nuova de Lisboa, University of South Florida – College of Marine Science, Upwell.

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