The Ocean Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, in Lisbon from June 27 to July 1, is expected to be attended by two dozen heads of state, representatives from 193 countries, including the United States, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, 938 civil society entities, 75 foundations, and 74 universities.
The Conference comes at an essential time as the world seeks to address many of the deep-rooted problems of our societies laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic, which requires major structural transformations.
Because the ocean covers 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, is the planet's largest biosphere, and is home to up to 80 percent of all life in the world. It generates 50 percent of the oxygen we need, absorbs 25 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions, and captures 90 percent of the additional heat generated from those emissions, which are impacting reefs that occupy only 0.1 percent of the global sea surfaces. But more than 25 percent of marine biodiversity is supported by them.
Reef Dwellers, an art show by artist Selva Ozelli, a member of Climate Heritage Network, will be on exhibit at the Conference.
Reef Dwellers is endorsed by UN Ocean Decade and celebrates the role of the oceans in our everyday life and inspires action to protect our oceans.
As the ocean nurtures unimaginable biodiversity and produces food, jobs, and mineral and energy resources needed for life on the planet to survive and thrive. Yet a vast majority of the ocean remains unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored. Our understanding of the ocean and its contribution to sustainability largely depends on our capacity to conduct effective ocean science - through research and sustained observations, supported by adequate infrastructures and investments.
The Ocean Decade provides a common framework to ensure that ocean science can fully support countries’ actions to sustainably manage the ocean and, more particularly, to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – through the creation of a new foundation across the science-policy interface, to strengthen the management of the ocean and coasts for the benefit of humanity. Because there is a great deal we still do not know about the ocean, but there are many reasons why we need to manage it sustainably - as set out in the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water.
The ocean is facing unprecedented threats as a result of human activities. Its health and ability to sustain life will only worsen as the world population grows and human activities increase. If we want to address some of the most defining issues of our time, such as climate change, food insecurity, diseases and pandemics, diminishing biodiversity, economic inequality, and even conflicts and strife, we must act now to protect the state of our ocean.
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.
Running parallel to the UN Ocean Conference, Reef Dwellers is also featured at the London Climate Action Week running from June 25-July 3, 2022.
Selva Ozelli Esq, CPA is a legal and finance executive with diversified experience dealing with highly complex issues in the field of international taxation and related matters within the banking, securities, Fintech, alternative and traditional investment funds. Her first of its kind legal analyses involving tax laws, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), blockchain technology, solar technology and the environment and have been published in journals, books and by the OECD. Her writings have been translated into 15 languages.