Interview Oceanic Global

Interview: Oceanic Global

Natasha Berg, Head of Communications, and Board Director, Oceanic Global
Natasha Berg, Head of Communications, and Board Director, Oceanic Global

1.  One Ocean, One Climate, One Future – Tell us about Oceanic Global and which countries it operates in.

Oceanic Global is a 501(c)(3) global nonprofit organization that sheds light on humanity’s essential relationship to the ocean and empowers individuals, communities, and industries to create positive change for our collective wellbeing.

Oceanic Global inspires us to care deeply for the ocean and provides solutions to protect it through grassroots initiatives, including Regional Hubs Programs and through industry solutions through the Blue Standard (Blue).

Oceanic Global operates globally across over 26 countries and spanning major global regions, including the US, UK, UAE, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, South America, and more. 

2.  Tell us about your Organization's collaboration with the UN, UNEP, and UN Ocean Decade and its initiatives to educate a global audience about climate change, plastic pollution, and its impact on the Oceans?

Turtle in the ocean
Photo by Naja Bertolt Jensen on Unsplash

Oceanic Global has long-standing alignments with various United Nations agencies and initiatives to help educate the collective about our oceans and the critical role it plays for the health of our planet. 

Initiatives we work on include contributing to World Oceans Day educational programming each year. We also work with the UNDP in various capacities to help promote sustainable tourism and educate and uplift local communities about sustainable development and business practices.

3.  Tell us about the Blue Standard

Blue is a cross-industry sustainability standard that empowers businesses of all sizes to achieve measurable impact that protects our blue planet and establishes accountability for sustainable business leadership.

Blue offers a 3-star verification for plastic-free & sustainable Business Operations and a plastic-free verification for Products & Packaging. Blue is applicable across various industries, including hospitality, music, events, office spaces, professional sports, and consumer packaged goods. 

Beyond verification, the Blue program provides industry-specific sustainability guides, free education resources, step-by-step auditing, and consultation support, and buying deals with our vetted network of sustainable solution providers.  In doing so, Blue combats greenwashing by establishing universal accountability for sustainable business leadership.

Blue helps businesses achieve their sustainability goals, establish universal transparency and accountability, communicate and market their sustainability achievements, access to vetted sustainable solution providers, and tap into the business case for going Blue – which includes cost savings by increasing efficiency and reducing wasteful practices, building brand equity & loyalty, helping meet consumer demand for sustainable businesses, helping reach ESG & CSR targets, and serving as a brand differentiator.

4.  The Climate Heritage Network (CHN) members - including myself - are invited to provide inputs on the culture or heritage dimensions of climate action. What are your thoughts on the impact of culture or heritage dimensions on climate change, and plastic pollution education, particularly concerning the Ocean since your Organization regularly holds art events?

Climate discussions must consider, be led by, and be representative of cross-cultural and indigenous heritage and values. Climate change disproportionately impacts global communities, especially those in low-lying island nations facing the brunt of sea level rise of developing nations receiving shipments of global waste, and must be proportionately centered in discussions and solutions. 

Many case studies illustrate that traditional ways of knowledge, indigenous land stewardship, and farming practices, etc. are often the most conducive to ecosystem health and sustainability. As such, they should be centered at the forefront of climate discussions and solutions. 

The impact of culture and heritage dimensions on the ocean, climate change, and plastic pollution is in providing invaluable wisdom, global perspectives, and tangible solutions to more effectively and equitably protect our blue planet.

5.  The UN agreed to create a 'historic' global treaty on plastic trash; what are your thoughts about this?

Plastic pollution is a complex, global, and system-wide issue that demands a global response from stakeholders across the board. As such, the treaty is historical as it was agreed to create a legally-binding framework for reducing plastic pollution. This is a necessary and exciting first step. 

Nonetheless, negotiations for terms of the treaty must be legally binding and enforceable globally to effect real change, and negotiations can take years. As such, we need to do everything we can to stop the creation of so much plastic as soon as we can– which is where businesses, corporations, individuals, and local or state governments need to do their part in the short term and eliminate single-use plastics.

6.  Anything else you might want to add?

At Oceanic Global, we underscore our interconnectivity to a reliance on the ocean across all facets of life and provide cross-sector solutions to protect it. Over the past year, it became abundantly clear to us that while the ocean covers 70% of our planet and is our biggest ally in mitigating climate change, it's still largely a secondary in the global climate narrative. That’s why we launched The Ocean x Climate Appeal to celebrate the ocean’s role in the global climate agenda and finally put the ocean first.

The Ocean x Climate Appeal seeks to generate a groundswell of public awareness for the importance of the ocean, all who depend on it, and all it sustains, in mitigating the climate crisis. It is a global movement to demand urgent attention for the ocean, as well as to amplify collaborative initiatives and catalyze streamlined action to protect our blue planet. By adding your name and/or signing on as a partner organization, you commit to doing your part to amplify visibility for the ocean-climate nexus, and helping to place the ocean center stage in the global climate agenda.

7. How can people get involved with your organization?

Sign the Ocean x Climate Appeal

  • Join The Current, Oceanic Global’s newsletter, to stay in the loop about ocean news and policies, events, resources, etc., with the latest and most relevant ways to get involved.
  • Follow us on social media! @oceanicglobal
  • Join one of Oceanic Global’s Regional Hubs 
  • Transition to sustainable practicing by implementing Blue Actions in your own spheres of influence or supporting Blue Verified businesses listed in our Blue Directory
  • Inquire about joining our Blue Consultant Network – which is our global network of independent consultants that help businesses achieve Blue Verification. Email blue@oceanic.global to learn more.
  • Explore free resources, guides, and a full list of ways to take action on our website.
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