SIDE EVENT: A Sustainable Blue Pacific Continent – Scaling up action through Ocean Science, Policy and Traditional knowledge


The United Nations Ocean Conference

27 June 1 July 2022 - Lisbon, Portugal

Integrated ocean management for a sustainable and Resilient Blue Pacific Continent - Scaling up innovative action for a healthy ocean, people and islands informed by science and traditional knowledge. To be held on Friday 1 July 2022, 14:30-15:45 local time in the Interactive Dialogue Room in the Lisbon Altice Arena Convention Center in Lisbon, Portugal.

An official UN Ocean side event jointly brought to you by The Pacific Community (SPC) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) with the co-organising partnership support of Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, France, French Polynesia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO), The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), and The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF).

A Sustainable Blue Pacific Continent: Scaling up action through Ocean Science and Traditional knowledge for informed governance’ Official Side Event.

Friday 1 July
14:30 – 15:45 (Portugal Time) | Interactive Dialogue Room

This event will be livestreamed: Watch the livestream here.

Integrated ocean management for a sustainable and Resilient Blue Pacific Continent. Scaling up innovative action for a healthy ocean, people and islands informed by science and traditional knowledge.

We are the Blue Pacific Continent: A region of Large Ocean Island States.  A healthy ocean is crucial for our survival and the cultural, spiritual, social and economic linkages inherent between our people, islands and ocean. The challenges we face in striving for ocean management are immense, but we need to and are working to overcome them. The UN Ocean Decade represents the opportunity of a lifetime for the Pacific.

Pacific island countries and territories are amongst the most vulnerable to climate change, living with its impacts are already part of our everyday life. Our homes and infrastructure are threatened with sea-level rise, the distribution and abundance of fish stocks in our Pacific EEZ will change impacting our economic revenue, and the coastal ecosystems that our Pacific communities rely upon are under threat – we are challenged with coral bleaching, and erosion and ocean acidification. The challenges of marine pollution further exacerbate the problem to our environment and human health.

In the face of climate change, ocean science, policy frameworks and traditional knowledge form the 3 pillars of the emerging integrated ocean management within National Ocean Policies. The Pacific was the first region to organise a planning workshop on the UN Decade of Ocean Science in 2019, agreeing on clear priorities.

Our special circumstances as Small Islands Developing States, being collective guardians of 30 million square kilometres of ocean will be highlighted as we strive for SDG14.  We have many stories to share as we strive to scale up our ocean action, based on science and innovation.  As empowered Large Ocean Island States this event will be a strong catalyst for building, and enhancing current, partnerships for solutions to our challenges. 

We will amplify our Pacific voices on the global stage, as we share our aspirations, experiences and initiatives. We want to highlight how we are applying our best available science and traditional knowledge in order to forge new and strengthen existing partnerships to enable us to achieve SDG14. It will also showcase how the UN decade of Ocean Science can be leveraged to bring solutions and actions toward a sustainable Blue Pacific.

This side event will include the following announcement, events, and discussions:

Outline of side event (75 minutes)

Master of Ceremony: Mr. Sefanaia Nawadra, Director General of SPREP

French Polynesia: Coral Reef Protection
on  Mr. Heremoana MAAMAATUAIAHUTAPU, Minister of Culture, Environment and Marine Resources, French Polynesia

Samoa: Weather-Ready Pacific – A Decadal Programme of Investment 
H.E Dr Fatumanava-o-Upolu III Pa'olelei Luteru, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of the Independent State of Samoa to the United Nations

Australia: Pacific Ocean Litter Project  
Dr Sally Box, Assistant Secretary, Climate and Environment Policy Branch, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia

Papua New Guinea: Marine Scientific Research Database and Monitoring System
Dr  Eric Kwa- Department of Justice Attorney General

Fiji:  Ocean Climate Nexus 
Kushal Raj, Acting Head of Climate Change and International Cooperation Division, Acting Manager Climate Change and Ocean Specialist

Aotearoa/ New Zealand:  Science, governance and traditional knowledge under the UN Decade, both in Aoteraoa New Zealand and in the Pacific  
Nicola Reid, NZ Permanent Delegate to UNESCO

Signature of an MoU between IOC-UNESCO and SPC formalising collaboration between IOC-UNESCO, SPC and Members
Dr. Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of IOC/UNESCO, Cameron Diver, Deputy-Director General SPC 

Questions and Answers from the Floor (10 minutes)

Event will conclude with Ms. Mia Kami


Below is a list of further UN Ocean Conference events Pacific Community is participating in:

Please note this list is subject to change.

AOSIS: A New Frontier in Marine Science and Innovation for Small Island Developing States (Launch of Declaration) More information available here

1300-1415 | Interactive Dialogue Room

Featuring Pacific Community Deputy Director General Cameron Driver

Future of Food is Blue: Coalition Acts to Support Responsible Development of Aquatic Foods and Thriving Communities. More information available here

13:00-14:15 | Side Event Room 1

Featuring Pacific Community Deputy Director General Cameron Driver and Inland Aquaculture Advisor Timothy Pickering


Fostering international and regional cooperation in support of the sustainable development of the blue economy in LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS. More information available here

08:00 | 09:30 | Hotel Olissipo Oriente, Room Pequim B 

Featuring Head of the Pacific Community Centre for Ocean Science (PCCOS), Jerome Aucan.


Taking Action to Address Ocean Acidification and Implement SDG 14.3

14:30-15:45 | Committee Room. More information coming soon

Featuring the Pacific Community Centre for Ocean Science (PCCOS) Coordinator Dr. Katy Soapi.


Advancing women empowerment and leadership in marine scientific research to support inclusive sustainable ocean governance.  More information available here

08:00-09:30 | Hotel Olissipo Oriente - Room Pequim B

Featuring the Pacific Community Centre for Ocean Science (PCCOS) Coordinator Dr. Katy Soapi.


Interactive Dialogue on the Theme - Increasing scientific knowledge and developing research capacity and transfer of marine technology.

10:00-13:00   | Tejo Hall, at the Altice Arena

Featuring Pacific Community Deputy Director General Cameron Driver


The need for an International Panel for Ocean Sustainability (IPOS) More information available here

17:00-18:00 | Maritime Museum in Lisbon

Featuring Pacific Community Deputy Director General Cameron Driver


Ocean Science Capacity as a Condition to Achieving SDG 14: Perspectives and Solutions.  More information available here

18:00 – 20:00 | Leónides Room at the Myriad Crystal Center

Featuring the Pacific Community Centre for Ocean Science (PCCOS) Coordinator Dr. Katy Soapi.


13:00-1415 | Altice Arena Side Event Room 2

Building inclusive leadership and cross-sectoral collaboration for a thriving ocean. (Planeta Oceano, Biosfera, UNESCO-- Ocean Literacy, Cultural Heritage)  More information available here

Featuring Pacific Community Team Leader Ocean Management and Literacy, Molly Powers


Save our Ocean, Protect our Future

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.

Solutions for a sustainably managed ocean involve green technology and innovative uses of marine resources. They also include addressing the threats to health, ecology, economy and governance of the ocean - acidification, marine litter and pollution, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and the loss of habitats and biodiversity.

More about the Conference >

Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability (CCES) Programme
Fisheries, Aquaculture & Marine Ecosystems (FAME) Division
Geoscience, Energy and Maritime (GEM) Division
Pacific Community Centre for Ocean Science (PCCOS)