Peace Boat held various events at the United Nations Ocean Conference, co-hosted by Portugal and Kenya, in Lisbon from June 27 – July 1. Under the theme of “Scaling up Ocean Action Based on Science and Innovation for the Implementation of Goal 14: Stocktaking, Partnerships and Solutions,” the conference came at a critical time in ocean health. There are many reasons why we need to manage the ocean sustainably – as set out in the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water.

Scaling Up Ocean Action with Empowerment of SIDS Youth, Awareness Raising, and Citizenship Engagement – June 27

Peace Boat’s official side-event in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kiribati to the United Nations on “Scaling up Ocean Action” featured many organizations from all over the world, together with keynote speakers Ambassador Teburoro Tito of Kiribati and Yoshioka Tatsuya, Director and Founder of Peace Boat. Moderated by Peace Boat US Director Emilie McGlone, the event featured three panels: “Empowering Youth from Large Ocean States,” “Awareness Raising and Citizenship Engagement,” and “Ocean Literacy in the UN Ocean Decade.” This was an opportunity to showcase Peace Boat’s Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassador Programme, launched at the first UN Ocean Conference as a Voluntary Commitment to SDG14. 

Youth and Innovation Forum – June 24-26

The UN Ocean Conference Youth and Innovation Forum was held during the weekend prior to the conference, in partnership with the United Nations Global Compact Ocean Stewardship Coalition and Sustainable Ocean Alliance. Hundreds of youth from around the world came together at the Forum with a shared goal: to protect the ocean. During a panel featuring youth speakers from Large Ocean States including Peace Boat Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassador Khadija Stewart, the need to “bring youth to the decision-making table” was stressed, as well as the vital need to create platforms for SIDS youths to connect. “One of the best things about coming to these types of gatherings is… to connect and understand more… now I have a better idea of what’s happening on other islands,” said Khadija.

RISE UP,  A Blue Call to Action – June 26

RISE UP is a joint call from +550 ocean conservation organizations which highlights common priorities and solutions needed to tackle the ocean crisis and raise the level of ambition for ocean action. Among the UN officials, directors of ocean research institutes, innovators and NGO leaders, Yoshioka Tatsuya, Director of Peace Boat, had a chance to present the Ecoship project in an intervention from the audience explaining new solar and wind technology that the Ecoship will use in order to secure maximum environmental standards for an oversea passenger ship and marine protection.

UN Ocean Conference Opening Night – Special High-Level Reception – June 27

The Special High-Level Reception on the WaterX Catamaran celebrated the beginning of the UN Ocean Conference, providing an opportunity for attendees to join together in a network of innovative leaders in the ocean space, making personal connections with one another to work towards a more sustainable ocean for all. 

Guest speakers included:

  • Dr Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer in-residence
  • Fabien Cousteau, Aquanaut, Ocean explorer
  • Roberto Manrique, Actor and Ocean Advocate
  • Yoshioka Tatsuya, Founder of Peace Boat Ecoship
  • Henk Rogers, Founder of Blue Planet Alliance
  • H.E. Ambassador Ilana Seid, UN Permanent Representative from Palau
  • Nicole Franz, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Sailing Towards a Renewable Energy Future – June 29

A panel coordinated by Peace Boat in the SDG Media Zone, “Sailing Towards a Renewable Energy Future” provided space to discuss how the reduction of carbon emissions will positively impact our oceans. Speakers included Yoshioka Tatsuya on Peace Boat Ecoship and other transformative projects; Khadija Stewart from Trinidad and Tobago on her experience as a Peace Boat Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassador in 2019; Henk Rogers, founder of Blue Planet Alliance, shared their success in working in Hawaii toward 100% renewable energy by 2045, and expanding this work to the rest of the world, starting with Large Ocean States. Please see a video of the event here.

United Nations Ocean Decade of Science for Sustainable Development – June 30

Peace Boat is a member of the UN Ocean Decade nexus working group and is participating in the decade through outreach, program development, and youth education for SDG 14 focused on Life Below Water. On June 30, 2022 at the UN Conference in Lisbon Portugal, youth speaker Dakota Peebler gave a presentation about the Youth Advisory Councils to the UN Ocean Decade. As the co-founder of Heirs to Our Oceans, a youth-led international organization, she seeks to empower the next generation of environment and humanitarian leaders. She emphasized the importance of giving youth a place at the table, and building the skills they need for creating real world change and solutions. Heirs to Our Oceans has created a comprehensive toolkit which outlines how individuals can start their own youth advisory council. Her presentation speaks to the greater importance of youth empowerment, a responsibility towards the world and its challenges that will ultimately be inherited by the next generation. 

Sounds of the Ocean at the Lisbon Planetarium – July 1

The “Sounds of the Ocean Concert & Reception,” took place on the evening of July 1st, organized as an official UN side event in collaboration with the Lisbon Planetarium and bringing together governments, civil society, artists, academia and stakeholders in celebration of the role of the ocean as a vital resource to our collective future. The show was an inspiring, immersive journey under the sea with the sounds of whales and dolphins accompanied by stunning underwater visuals and an original, meditative musical score. Opening with a lively discussion of collaborative work to help our “blue planet go green,” the event was held in partnership with The Convergence, Peace Boat US, Blue Planet Alliance, Global Fashion Exchange, United By The Sea, PazPazes, 5min Foundation, and EarthX.