The ocean – our biggest ally against climate change – is in serious trouble. To jumpstart solutions to protect the planet and open a new chapter of global ocean action, world leaders and ocean advocates will gather in Lisbon, Portugal, from 27 June to 1 July, for the second UN Ocean Conference.
Here, UN News dives into all the action; we’ll give you daily updates on the Conference and bring you interviews podcasts and features spotlighting the human stories behind the global movement to #SaveOurOcean.
5 things you should know about the UN Ocean Conference
The Ocean is the planet’s largest ecosystem, regulating the climate, and providing livelihoods for billions. But its health is in danger. Not every day will offer us a chance to save it, but every day is going to offer us an opportunity to affect it.
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Find all our Ocean Conference coverage
Find more UN News daily updates on the Conference including interviews, podcasts and features spotlighting the human stories behind the global movement to #SaveOurOcean.
Did you know
The ocean covers 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, and is home to up to 80 per cent of all life on the planet? It is our largest biosphere.
Our world’s greatest ally against climate change
… and did you also know that our ocean generates 50 percent of the oxygen we need, absorbs 25 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions and captures 90 percent of the excess heat generated by these emissions? It is not just ‘the lungs of the planet’ but also its largest ‘carbon sink’ – a vital buffer against the impacts of climate change.
Here are a few more reasons we safeguard the ocean as our best ally for climate solutions
About the Conference
UN Ocean Conference
The Ocean Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, comes at a critical time as the world is seeking to address many of the deep-rooted problems of our societies laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic and which will require major structural transformations and common shared solutions that are anchored in the SDGs. To mobilize action, the Conference will seek to propel much needed science-based innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action.
Life below water
The oceans are the most prominent feature on the planet, covering nearly three quarters of the Earth, and are essential for planetary survival. Just as a person cannot live without a healthy heart and lungs, the Earth cannot survive without healthy oceans and seas. They serve as the Earth’s respiratory system, producing oxygen for life and absorbing carbon dioxide and waste. The oceans provide storage and absorb the world’s carbon dioxide, while marine phytoplankton generates the oxygen needed for survival.
Four recommendations to help us all ‘Save Our Ocean’
Highlighting that the ocean connects us all – UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that because we have taken the ocean for granted, today, we face an “Ocean Emergency” and that the tide must be turned.