A Year of Ocean Action: Countdown to the UN Ocean Conference 2025

Date: 5th June 2024

World Ocean Day is much more than a day. It’s a rallying cry for year-round ocean action and a celebration of the critical role that the ocean plays in keeping our planet healthy.

This year, we encourage all to celebrate this 365-day commitment to our ocean by embarking on a journey through significant conservation moments and milestones leading up to the highly anticipated 3rd UN Ocean Conference in 2025 (#UNOC25). 

The next 12 months promise to be transformative for ocean health and sustainability, with pivotal events and initiatives paving the way for meaningful action. These moments are crucial for deep-sea conservation, the ratification of the High Seas Treaty, the establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Antarctica, and the fight against plastic pollution. 

Countdown to #UNOC25

Here’s a countdown of the key moments from June 2024 to June 2025.

June 2024: 

World Ocean Day Kickoff

World Ocean Day 2024 launches a global celebration of our ocean, highlighting their importance and the urgent need for conservation. Various campaigns and initiatives focus on combating plastic pollution, promoting marine protected areas, and advocating for sustainable fisheries. This day sets the tone for the year ahead, encouraging collective action for ocean health. Submit your World Ocean Day event here or join the conversation online with this year’s resources.

High-Level Event on Ocean Action

From June 7-8, 2024, Costa Rica will host a high-level event on ocean action, “Immersed in Change.” This event will facilitate the exchange of best practices in ocean health and governance, focusing on preparation for the UN Ocean Conference in 2025. This is crucial for fostering international collaboration and setting ambitious conservation targets​​. Our friends at The Ocean & Climate Platform are organising an official side event on the first day of the Immersed in Change Conference, Friday 7 June at 08h00-09h00 in the Hammerhead Shark Meeting Room of the Costa Rica Convention Centre. Join if you are attending the conference or share your views on ocean protection towards the UN Ocean Conference 2025 on social media using the hashtag #BeNicetotheOcean.

July 2024: International Seabed Authority 29th Session (ISA 29)

From July 29 to August 2, 2024, the International Seabed Authority (ISA) will continue its 29th Session in Kingston, Jamaica, with both ISA Council and Assembly meetings. This session States will continue discussions on whether to open the deep sea to a new extractive industry – deep-sea mining. Ensuring that deep-sea mining do not begin and compromise the health of fragile deep-sea ecosystems is critical​. Get ready to #DefendTheDeep!

September 2024: UN General Assembly 79th Session (UNGA 79)

The 79th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 79) convenes in September 2024, with a strong focus on climate change and ocean conservation. This session is pivotal for advancing the High Seas Treaty, aimed at protecting biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction. #UNGA79 marks the one-year anniversary since the High Seas Treaty opened for signatures. Swift ratification of the High Seas Treaty is essential for regulating activities in international waters and ensuring the conservation of deep-sea ecosystems. Follow the #RaceForRatification and its progress on the Ratification Tracker.

September 2024: New York Climate Week

Coinciding with UNGA 79, New York Climate Week gathers global leaders, activists, and stakeholders to address climate change impacts on our ocean. Panels and discussions highlight the interconnectedness of climate and ocean health, emphasising the need for integrated solutions to protect marine ecosystems from climate-induced threats such as rising sea levels and ocean acidification. The week will also underscore the urgency of addressing plastic pollution, which exacerbates climate change impacts. Let’s remind world leaders that ocean action is climate action!

October 2024: Convention on Biological Diversity COP 16 (CBD COP 16)

The 16th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity takes place in Cali, Colombia in October 2024. This conference focuses on implementing the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). Adopted at COP 15, the GBF includes objectives directly related to Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). One of the key targets of the GBF is the 30×30 target, which aims to protect 30% of the planet’s land and marine areas by 2030. This target emphasises the importance of creating and effectively managing MPAs to preserve biodiversity, restore ecosystems, and ensure ocean health. Expanding MPAs globally, including those in critical regions like Antarctica, is crucial for protecting unique ecosystems from the impacts of climate change and human activities. 

November 2024: UNFCCC COP29 in Azerbaijan 

The 29th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP29) in November 2024 addresses the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate impacts on the ocean. Key agreements and commitments are expected to enhance the resilience and adaptive capacity of marine ecosystems, aligning with broader climate goals. Protecting the deep sea from mining and other destructive bottom-impact activities, such as bottom trawling, is crucial for maintaining its role in carbon sequestration.

April 2025: Our Ocean Conference in Korea

The Our Ocean Conference 2025, held in Korea in April, will gather governments, NGOs, and industry leaders to commit to actionable steps for ocean conservation. Key focus areas include marine pollution, sustainable fisheries, and climate change impacts on the ocean. This annual conference in its 10th year serves as a critical precursor to the UN Ocean Conference, solidifying commitments and partnerships. The establishment of MPAs in Antarctica and the enforcement of the High Seas Treaty are expected to be high on the agenda, alongside strategies to tackle plastic pollution​.

June 2025: UN Ocean Conference 2025

The countdown culminates with the 3rd UN Ocean Conference (UNOC) in June in Nice, France. This pivotal event will bring together global leaders, scientists, activists, and stakeholders to forge actionable plans for sustainable ocean management. Key outcomes are expected to include new conservation targets, funding commitments, and collaborative initiatives aimed at preserving marine ecosystems for future generations. Hopes are high to see the High Seas Treaty ratified by at least 60 countries and the implementation of a deep-sea mining moratorium by UNOC 2025.

From World Ocean Day 2024 to UNOC 2025, it will be essential for the OneOcean Flotilla to leverage our collective voice, amplify the impact of each event, and drive meaningful change for ocean conservation by raising the voice of the ocean community together, with the right message, at the right time. 

As we celebrate World Ocean Day 2024, the journey toward the UN Ocean Conference 2025 is filled with significant events and milestones dedicated to ocean conservation. Each moment brings us closer to achieving a sustainable and thriving ocean ecosystem. Join us in supporting and participating in these crucial efforts, ensuring a healthy ocean for generations to come. Stay tuned to OneOcean Flotilla for updates and insights on this exciting journey!

Remember, we only have #OneOceanOnePlanet!

Learn more about the World Ocean Day 12 Months of Action by clicking here.

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