A showcase of art to inspire greater ocean awareness and action
LISBON, PORTUGAL (25 June 2022) – Oceano Azul Foundation, together with The Ocean Agency, UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, the Lisbon City Council, and other partners opened the Ocean Decade Exhibition, a global exhibition of creativity that aims to raise awareness of the importance of the ocean and inspire greater ocean knowledge and conservation during the pivotal UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 (the Ocean Decade).
The Exhibition will run from 25 June – 9 July 2022 in Rossio Square, Lisbon and is timed to coincide with the UN Ocean Conference in the city. It will then travel to Geneva, and other major cities. Nearly forty artworks by artists from around the world are featured in the Exhibition, and each creatively illustrates one of the UN’s 7 Principles of Ocean Literacy. The artworks are also being made freely available so anyone can curate and create their own exhibitions. Micro-exhibitions are being planned and displayed in over 1000 venues ranging from schools to aquariums across the globe.
The Exhibition Program, endorsed as an official activity of the Ocean Decade, was the brainchild of The Ocean Agency, the nonprofit, best known for taking Google Street View underwater and revealing the impacts of climate change on the ocean in the award-winning Netflix Original Documentary, Chasing Coral.
“Ocean science and conservation has an image problem – people generally aren’t engaged and there is little awareness about the fundamental importance of the ocean to life on our planet. This has led to a chronic lack of support for ocean science and conservation. Our aim with this exhibition is to make people see the ocean from a completely new perspective and to think about the importance of protecting it,” said Richard Vevers, CEO and Founder of The Ocean Agency.
Julian Barbière, Chief of Marine Policy at UNESCO, who heads the Ocean Decade Coordination Unit, welcomed the opportunity to use the Ocean Decade Exhibition “as a means to bring society closer to the high level policy discussions happening through the UN Ocean Conference. “Effective, truly transformative ocean action must come from governments and citizens, alike, informed by the best knowledge available. This Exhibition is an important piece in promoting the kind of co-design of knowledge for ocean policies and solutions that we need to create the ocean we want by 2030. That’s what the Ocean Decade is all about,” he added.
João Falcato, board member of Oceano Azul Foundation, highlighted that “for decades, the Ocean has been quietly defending us against the full impacts of climate change. Yet our societies continue to overlook the profoundness of the ocean crisis. This exhibition intends to trigger an emotional response from people, bringing the ocean out of the deep and dark depths and into the lives of the viewer”.
Content for the ongoing exhibition is being provided by the global creative community, especially young artists and designers, mobilized through a series of creative challenges in partnership with Adobe and other partners. The campaign, #CreateWaves, by Adobe and The Ocean Agency kicked off its second creative challenge this past World Oceans Week, allowing anyone to be part of Ocean Decade Exhibition and have their work help raise awareness and inspire action.
Top Image Credit: Aanish Peshave, Tim Helou, Umut Reçber, Hüseyin Şahin, Hansruedi Ramsauer
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Oceano Azul Foundation
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About the Ocean Decade:
Proclaimed in 2017 by the United Nations General Assembly, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) (‘the Ocean Decade’) seeks to stimulate ocean science and knowledge generation to reverse the decline of the state of the ocean system and catalyse new opportunities for sustainable development of this massive marine ecosystem. The vision of the Ocean Decade is ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’. The Ocean Decade provides a convening framework for scientists and stakeholders from diverse sectors to develop the scientific knowledge and the partnerships needed to accelerate and harness advances in ocean science to achieve a better understanding of the ocean system and deliver science-based solutions to achieve the 2030 Agenda. The UN General Assembly mandated UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) to coordinate the preparations and implementation of the Decade.
The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (UNESCO-IOC) promotes international cooperation in marine sciences to improve management of the ocean, coasts and marine resources. The IOC enables its 150 Member States to work together by coordinating programmes in capacity development, ocean observations and services, ocean science and tsunami warning. The work of the IOC contributes to the mission of UNESCO to promote the advancement of science and its applications to develop knowledge and capacity, key to economic and social progress, the basis of peace and sustainable development.
About Oceano Azul Foundation:
The Oceano Azul Foundation was established in 2017, with the motivation to contribute to a healthier and more productive ocean. Under the motto “From the ocean’s point of view”, the Foundation works around three concepts: blue generation, blue natural capital, and blue network. Using a science-based approach, the model of change of the Oceano Azul Foundation integrates these three concepts supporting projects on literacy, conservation, sustainable fisheries, campaigns, blue economy, and capacity building namely working with governments, foundations and civil society organizations, within the UN and the EU systems, to advance the international ocean agenda. Learn more on oceanoazulfoundation.org.
About the Ocean Agency:
The Ocean Agency is a US nonprofit with a unique approach to ocean conservation – supporting and accelerating action through creative communication and powerful collaboration. The agency’s efforts include creating the Netflix Original Documentary, Chasing Coral – winner of the 2018 Emmy for Outstanding Nature Documentary, bringing Google Street View underwater, and completing the XL Catlin Seaview Survey – the most comprehensive underwater photographic survey and record of coral reefs with over 1 million images captured and analyzed. For more information, visit theoceanagency.org.