Portugal will host the United Nations’ Ocean Conference, in Lisbon, from June 27 to July 1, 2022. Aiming to “Save the Ocean, Protect the Future”, this conference is a co-organization between the UN and the Governments of Portugal and Kenya.
The Conference, as well as the associated special events, call for the participation of States, civil society and partners from the business and associative sector, urging them to take an active role in achieving the goals of SDG 14 – Protect Marine Life – and to commit to the sustainability of marine resources.
At a critical and decisive moment for the Planet, Portugal is committed to highlighting the nexus between the Climate and the Ocean. It is necessary to protect the ocean to guarantee the future. In this context, the Conference takes place at an ideal time to stimulate new habits and a sustainable blue economy, based on innovative solutions based on science, more environmentally friendly technologies and the sustainable use of marine resources, protecting biodiversity and reducing pollution.
Portugal, the country that hosts the conference, is 18 times more ocean than land, being the third country with the largest EEZ (exclusive economic zone) in the European Union. Portuguese history and culture are marked by a deep relationship with the sea, which has also determined the open, available and innovative character of its people. The oceans have also been a reason for establishing commercial and economic initiatives and defining strategic relationships with other nations.
The Portuguese coastline is extensive: with over 2500 km between the mainland and islands, it is punctuated by a variety of natural conditions and an exceptional climate, which always provides unique and unforgettable experiences. It is precisely because of these assets that Portugal is one of the water sports destinations, especially surfing, which is a worldwide reference and can be practiced all year round. The variety and quality of surf spots, with emphasis on the “Canhão da Nazaré” (Nazaré North Canyon), where the underwater geology allows the formation of giant and perfect waves, and the Ericeira Surf Reserve, ranked first in Europe by the Save the Waves Coalition, generate great moments for water sports lovers.
Portuguese Natural Parks with an oceanic component are recognized all over the world, especially those on the east coast, such as Sintra-Cascais and Arrábida, and to the south, in the form of the labyrinthine channels of the beautiful Ria Formosa. They are certified destinations, with high natural value, where preservation comes first.
The ocean plays a critical role in protecting the health of our planet, providing oxygen and food, functioning as the main climate regulator, absorbing excess carbon emissions and mitigating the impact of climate change. The resilience of marine ecosystems must be preserved, so ocean-based climate action, supported by political will and investment in technology, will allow the oceans to remain the main instrument in the fight against climate change.