28 June - 1 July 2022 | Lisbon

The UN Ocean Conference 2022

In Lisbon, Portugal from 27 June – 1 July 2022 the Governments of Kenya and Portugal will co-host the Ocean Conference.

Scaling up Ocean Action Based on Science and Innovation for the Implementation of Goal 14: Stocktaking, Partnerships and Solutions

The aim of the conference is to mobilize action and to 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 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

Blue Ventures will be co-hosting the following events:

Tuesday 28th June from 8:30 to 9.30 - Tejo Restaurant of the Oceanário de Lisboa 1990-005, Lisbon

A call to Action from artisanal fishing communities, vital users of the oceans

This event will be a knowledge sharing breakfast meeting to present small scale fisheries perspectives on ocean challenges, share examples of best practice in governance and securing preferential access to resources and markets. A call for action from artisanal fishing communities will be launched, and will serve as a basis to explore strategies for addressing SSF priorities for change.

Wednesday 29th June from 8 to 10am - Tejo restaurant of the Oceanário de Lisboa 1990-005, Lisbon

Dialogues for marine conservation and artisanal small-scale fisheries: A vision from artisanal small scale fisheries, seeking equity, social justice, sustainability and peace

This event will amplify the voices of artisanal small-scale fishers in territories of life that allows them to express their vision concerning marine conservation and responsible artisanal fishing.

Friday 1st July from 8.30 to 10am - Auditorium, Oceanário de Lisboa 1990-005, Lisbon

A Sea Change for Small-Scale Fisheries - Global Leadership Towards SDG14b: Preferential Access and Inshore Exclusion Zones

The Transform Bottom Trawling Coalition is hosting an official side event at the UN Oceans Conference. The event will explore the role of inshore exclusion zones free from industrial fisheries and preferential access areas for small-scale fisheries in safeguarding livelihoods and ecosystems.

Blue Ventures is also partnering with other organisations on the following events:

Monday 27 June 2022 from 11:30-12:45 - Side Event Room 1

Small in scale, big in value: Stocktaking, partnerships and solutions in support of small-scale fisheries [A IYAFA 2022 event]

An inspiring journey across regions to inform deliberations on SDG 14.b on the occasion of the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022 as a major milestone to achieving this SDG.

Organizers: Peru, FAO, Sweden, Norway. Members of the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA) 2022 International Steering Committee (ISC): Indonesia – Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Senegal – Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Economy, Tanzania – Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF), IPC Fisheries Working Group. Official IYAFA 2022 supporters: Abalobi, African Confederation of Artisanal Fisheries Professional Organisations (CAOPA), Blue Ventures, Canari, China Blue, Comunidad y Biodiversidad (COBI), Community Conservation Research Network (Canada), Global Action Network-Sustainable Food from the Oceans and Inland Waters for Food Security and Nutrition (GAN), General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), Gulf Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI), International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), International Pole and Line Foundation, Ocean Outcomes, One Ocean Hub, Sustainable Fisheries Initiative (SFI), University of the West Indies – Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) 

Thursday 30 June 13:00-14:15 - Committee Room

Blue Carbon: Charting the Path for Governance and Partnerships

As solution to climate change while also generating co-benefits, blue carbon requires governance and partnerships to ensure credible projects with sustainable and equitable best practice principles. 

Organizers: Lead Organizations and Partners: 1. Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: The International Partnership for Blue Carbon, including partners: UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), Scottish Blue Carbon Forum, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar), Rare, Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Blue Ventures, CATIE 2. Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment of The Republic of Indonesia and Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative (IOJI) 3. World Economic Forum (Friends of Ocean Action): Karen Demavivas, Lead, Friends of Ocean Action, World Economic Forum, Whitney Johnston, Director of Ocean Sustainability, Salesforce; Jennifer Howard, Senior Director, Blue Carbon Programme, Conservation International; Karen Sack, Executive Director & Co-Chair, ORRAA; Emily Landis, Climate and Ocean Lead, TNC; John Ehrmann, Senior Partner, The Meridian Institute; Douglas McCauley, Benioff Ocean Initiative 4. Government of Commonwealth of The Bahamas: Beneath The Waves, Oceans2050, Sea Legacy and International Monetary Fund.

Friday 1 July 2022 13:00-14:15 - Side Event Room 2

It’s all about people: Building inclusive leadership and cross-sectoral collaboration for a thriving ocean

A sustainable ocean demands new thinking, learning from the past, promoting leaders and unprecedented collaboration. Explore best practices worldwide, help us shift mindsets and amplify impact. 

Organizers: UNESCO, Edinburgh University – Edinburgh Ocean Leaders, Planeta Océano, Australian Association for Environmental Education (AAEE), Biosfera 1, Blue Ventures CoopeSoliDar R.L, Early Career Ocean Professional Programme (ECOP), International Pacific Marine Educators Network (IPMEN), GRID-Arendal, I AM WATER, IUCN – International Union for Conservation of Nature, Locally Managed Marine Area Network International, Marine Conservation Action Fund (MCAF) of the New England Aquarium, Maritime Archaeology Trust, MigraMar, Misión Tiburón, Mission Blue, National Museum of Kenya, Nausicaá – National Sea Center, Ocean Decade Heritage Network, Ocean Knowledge Action Network (KAN), Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (OPRI-SPF), Panama – Ministry of the Environment, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Qingdao Marine Conservation Society, SciDipGLOBAL, SpeSeas, Surfers Against Sewage, The Centre for the Ocean and the Arctic at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, The Ocean Foundation, The Pacific Community (SPC), Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Universidade Nuova de Lisboa, University of South Florida – College of Marine Science, Upwell 

Friday 1 July 2022 14:45-15:15 - Side Event Room

Supporting women is protecting coral reefs: join this female-led panel event at the Coral Reef Hub

The Gender Equity in Coral Reef Conservation panel discussion brings together four female stakeholders from reef communities across the globe to share perspectives on the fundamental role of women in the protection and longevity of these tropical ecosystems and the communities they support.


  • Karen Panton – Executive Director, Bahamas Protected Fund
  • Suzanne Rita Njeri – Vice President, AWFISHNET
  • Jovelyn Cleofe – Coordinator, LMMA Philippines
  • Madeline St Clair – Managing Director, Women in Ocean Science (Moderator)

Supporting women is protecting coral reefs: this female-led discussion will cover topics ranging from local community environmental stewardship to increasing the visibility of women in maritime careers. Hosted by Women in Ocean Science.

How To Find Us:

We’ll be located across the street from the official UN Ocean Conference location (the Altice Arena) on the first floor (with accessibility by elevator) of the PT Meeting Center. Reef Action Hub, Sala 2, R. do Bojador 47, 1990-254 Lisbon

UNOC Accreditation Not Required

As the Reef Action Hub is not an official UN Ocean Conference (UNOC) site, attendees to any events held in the Reef Action Hub are not required to be accredited or registered for the UNOC.

About Women in Ocean Science

Women in Ocean Science C.I.C. is a non-profit organisation that tackles gendered issues in marine science and conservation to empower women to thrive in ocean-related careers. This year WOS aims to bring female and underrepresented voices to the forefront of the ocean conversation. Learn more:

About The Reef Action Hub

From 27th June through 1st July, on the side-lines of the UN Ocean Conference, the GFCR and the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) will host the ‘Reef Action Hub’. The Hub will feature coral-focused side events, including workshops and roundtable meetings, aiming to accelerate action for coral reefs and showcase solutions.

Friday 1 July 2022 14:30-15:45 - Altice Arena, Side Event Room 1

Leveraging Human Rights & Gender Equity To Achieve SDG 14

The roundtable will discuss the human rights and gender equity dimension of fisheries and aquaculture governance, and devise strategies to enhance sustainability of the sector, while simultaneously enhancing the development and dignity of fishing-dependent communities. Speakers will address the potential to work towards achieving SDG 14 in ways that bring multiple development benefits and enable progress in achieving other SDGs.

Main organizers: Danish Institute for Human Rights, Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), Women in Ocean Science, The Commonwealth Blue Charter

Co-organisers: COAST Foundation, The African Confederation of Professional Artisanal Fisheries Organisations (CAOPA), Coalition for Fair Fisheries

Arrangements (CFFA), Bread for the World, Community Action for Nature Conservation (CANCO), LMMA network, Low Impact Fishers of Europe (LIFE) and AKTEA, Blue Ventures, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the Government of Sweden.

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Thailand’s small-scale fisheries are the cornerstone of social, economic and nutritional health for the communities living along the majority of the country’s nearly 3,000 kilometre coastline.
In the southernmost Trang province we are supporting communities reliant on nearshore fisheries − in particular for crab, shrimp and squid − in partnership with the Save Andaman Network (SAN).

We’re providing training and tools to aid organisational development, community led fisheries monitoring and management, and building community-owned social enterprises that fund and sustain local conservation efforts.


Since 2016, our work in Timor-Leste has evolved into a dynamic movement supporting community led marine management and coastal livelihood diversification in Asia’s newest country. From our origins on Atauro Island, considered to harbour amongst the highest levels of marine biodiversity on earth, we’re now working with numerous communities on the island and the mainland to ensure that local communities have access to diverse sustainable livelihood options to relieve fishing pressure on critical coral reefs and seagrass ecosystems.

We’re engaging communities in monitoring the relatively unexplored marine biodiversity of Timor-Leste, and managing local marine resources through customary local laws known as Tara Bandu. Alongside our community conservation efforts, we have pioneered Timor-Leste’s first homestay association, which now provides a consistent income from visiting ecotourists and sparked interest in replication by a mainland community. Using homestays as a hub, communities are well placed to host learning exchanges, training events, and act as an outreach platform to engage and inspire communities in fisheries management and livelihood diversification. Exchanges have led to communities of best practice and strengthened associations, and the opportunity to establish a formal network throughout the country.

Our team in Timor-Leste’s capital Dili works closely with government, civil society organisations and NGO partners.


Like its neighbours within the Northern Mozambique Channel marine biodiversity hotspot, Tanzania harbours some of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the Indian Ocean.  These habitats are facing unprecedented challenges from overfishing and climate change.

Our Tanzanian team has worked with communities and local organisations to support locally-led marine conservation since 2016.  Our work has expanded from Zanzibar to mainland regions of Tanga, Lindi and Kilwa where our technicians work with local partners to help communities strengthen co-management systems, working through beach management units (BMUs), Shehia Fishing Committees (SFCs) marine parks and Collaborative Fisheries Management Areas (CFMAs).

Our partners Mwambao Coastal Community Network, and Sea Sense have spearheaded a remarkable acceleration in the uptake of community-based fisheries management and conservation in recent years, notably through the use of short term fisheries closures to catalyse broader community conservation.


With one of Africa’s longest coastlines, Somalia’s diverse marine environment supports enormously productive coastal and offshore fisheries.  Decades of conflict have undermined the country’s capacity for fisheries management, with many foreign industrial vessels fishing with impunity, and little regard for the critical importance of Somalia’s coastal fisheries for local livelihoods and food security. 

A period of relative political and social stability unprecedented in recent decades is now presenting new opportunities to address past challenges, and to realise the considerable opportunities that well-managed coastal fisheries and conservation can offer Somalia. We are forging partnerships with community organisations in Somalia to build their capacity and skills to help coastal communities manage their fisheries for food security, livelihoods and conservation.


The Philippines forms part of the ‘coral triangle’ epicentre of global marine biodiversity, with unparalleled diversity of marine species. Over half of the country’s 107 million people (55.6%) live in rural areas, and approximately three quarters depend on agriculture or fisheries as their primary source of livelihoods.

With our local partner People and the Sea, we are working in the eastern Visayas to support coastal communities to establish locally led marine conservation and fisheries management efforts underpinned by participatory data systems that put evidence in the hands of communities.

Papua New Guinea

The largest country in the Western Pacific Region, Papua New Guinea‘s coral reefs and mangroves are among the most diverse and extensive in the world. Papua New Guinea has a long history of traditional approaches for fisheries management, and huge unmet marine conservation needs.

We have been supporting our local partner Eco Custodian Advocates since 2019 in Milne Bay, notable for its vast mangrove forests and coral reefs. We are now expanding this support to other local organisations in Papua New Guinea, focused on supporting the establishment of customary LMMAs that provide locally relevant approaches to community led fishery management built upon local cultural traditions.


Indonesia comprises almost 17,500 islands stretching across three time zones. This archipelagic nation has the longest coastline − and the largest coastal fisheries resource − of any country on Earth. Ninety five percent of Indonesia’s seafood production comes from small-scale fisheries, which are underpinned by the most biodiverse marine ecosystem on Earth, known as the Coral Triangle.

In Indonesia, Blue Ventures’ partner Yayasan Pesisir Lestari, based in Bali, works with locally-based organisations Forkani, Yayasan LINI, Yapeka, Yayasan Planet Indonesia, Foneb, Komanangi, JARI, Yayasan Tananua Flores, Baileo, AKAR, Japesda, Yayasan Mitra Insani and Yayasan Hutan Biru.

These partners support community-based approaches to coral reef and mangrove conservation at 22 sites across seven provinces. Interventions are customised to each context − the local fisheries, community stakeholders, seafood supply chains, legal frameworks and customary traditions governing fisheries management and conservation.

Since 2019 we have brought these partners together within a peer learning network of Indonesian organisations specialised in supporting community-based marine conservation. The network is based around the shared values of the organisations, including a commitment to promote the rights of traditional fishing communities in conservation. Seventeen of the sites represented in this group are enacting local marine management through customary management regimes and traditions. This group, largely comprising sites in Eastern Indonesia, provides an important opportunity to share learning in traditional marine and fisheries management practices.

In West Kalimantan and East Sumatra we’re supporting mangrove-dependent coastal communities to integrate mangrove fishery and forestry management, alongside activities to develop alternative livelihoods or upgrade existing livelihoods. In North Sulawesi we’re supporting the development of community-owned ecotourism businesses, such as homestays, that diversify local livelihoods and place further value on protected and healthy marine ecosystems. Across our work in Indonesia, where partner communities have an unmet need for healthcare, we’re supporting the integration of health improvement activities into our interventions.

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We continue to work in India with our long term partner the Dakshin Foundation. We are collaborating in three distinct locations; the archipelago of Lakshadweep, coastal regions of Odisha and the Andaman Islands.

Overfishing has led to a reduction in fish catches, challenging the future of many traditional fishing communities.

Our partnership is working to build the capacity of communities to manage coastal fisheries,  and improve the health of fishing communities, for the long-term wellbeing of both the communities and their fishing grounds.


Kenya’s coast supports an extraordinary diversity of tropical marine and coastal habitats.  These  waters are threatened by a proliferation of destructive fishing practices and over-harvesting within the artisanal and commercial fishing sectors.

Our approach in Kenya focuses on strengthening Beach Management Units (BMUs) to improve fisheries management.  Since 2016 our Mombasa-based technical team has provided support, mentoring and assistance to local partners including Pate Marine Community Conservancy (PMCC), Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) and Coastal and Marine Resource Development (COMRED).

These partnerships have seen notable achievements in community led fisheries management and conservation, including training and mentoring BMU leaders in eighteen communities in Kwale and Lamu Counties.


The Comoros islands are located in the northern Mozambique Channel, a region home to the world’s second highest marine biodiversity after the Coral Triangle. This globally important biodiversity underpins coastal livelihoods and food security, but is at risk from climate change and overexploitation of inshore fisheries.

We have maintained a permanent presence supporting locally led marine conservation and fisheries management in Comoros since 2015, providing support to local partners, governmental institutions and communities.

On Anjouan, the second largest and most densely populated island in the Comoros archipelago, we work closely with national NGO Dahari. Our partnership has developed a replicable blueprint for community-based marine management, which has seen the creation of the country’s first locally managed marine areas − including temporary and permanent marine closures − designed to safeguard the coral reef ecosystems underpinning the archipelago’s coastal economy.

This approach, which is expanding rapidly across the Comoros, is also demonstrating the importance of inclusive conservation in empowering women − through local women’s fisheries associations − to play a leading role in fisheries monitoring and decision making.

On neighbouring island of Moheli and the french island of Mayotte, we’re supporting the Moheli National Park and the Mayotte Marine Natural Park with efforts to strengthen community engagement in fisheries management and conservation.


Belize’s marine environment encompasses some of the most important marine ecosystems in the Caribbean Sea, including vast coral reefs, mangrove forests and seagrass ecosystems. We have maintained a permanent presence in Belize since 2010, supporting diverse fisheries and conservation efforts from our base in Sarteneja, Belize’s largest fishing community.  

We work in close partnership with the Belize Fisheries Department, MPA managers, fishing cooperatives and fishers’ associations, and are actively involved in promoting the establishment of a national scale domestic fishery for invasive lionfish.  We’ve worked with coastal stakeholders to develop a national strategy for lionfish management, including launching the National Lionfish Working Group.  

We’ve led a ten year MPA monitoring and evaluation programme in Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve, and provide training in coral reef monitoring methods to six MPA authorities in Belize, including helping establish management targets for Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve, Belize’s largest MPA. 

Our team supports community-based fisheries and conservation groups across the country to ensure local interests are mainstreamed in the design and implementation of marine conservation and fisheries management, improving the effectiveness of co-management of conservation areas.


Our Mozambican team has worked with communities to develop locally led approaches to fisheries management and marine conservation since 2015.

Our approach is focused on supporting and strengthening local organisations and Community Fisheries Councils (CCPs) to better understand their local fisheries, make informed management decisions to rebuild fisheries, and assess the impact of management actions.  This work is developed in close collaboration with our partners Oikos- Cooperação e Desenvolvimento in Nampula province and African Parks in Inhambane province.

Ongoing security challenges have devastated many coastal communities and emerging marine conservation efforts in several areas of Cabo Delgado, where our work is regrettably now on hold.

As in Madagascar, given extremely high levels of coastal poverty and a pervasive lack of access to basic services, alongside our work in conservation we facilitate partnerships with specialist health providers, through an integrated health-environment approach.


Blue Ventures’ journey began in Madagascar in 2003, and we’ve been supporting communities in marine conservation across the country ever since. We have five regional field programmes along Madagascar’s west coast, as well as regional offices in the towns of Toliara, Morondava and Ambanja.  Our national headquarters is located in the capital Antananarivo.

Across all these sites we support communities with the establishment of locally managed marine areas (LMMAs), and work with government partners to secure national recognition for community conservation initiatives.  First developed in Madagascar by Blue Ventures in 2006, the LMMA concept has since been replicated by communities at hundreds of sites over thousands of kilometres of coastline, now covering almost one fifth of Madagascar’s inshore seabed.  Our research in Madagascar has demonstrated globally important evidence of the benefits of LMMAs to fisheries and conservation.

Our work focuses on strengthening community institutions in marine management and governance, and pioneering new approaches to catalyse community engagement in ocean conservation.  These innovations have included establishing the world’s first community-based sea cucumber farms and the country’s first mangrove blue carbon project.

At the national level, we have incubated the MIHARI network, now an independent civil society platform that brings together 219 LMMA sites across the country and 25 supporting conservation partner organisations.  Our policy team is also actively involved in advocating for more robust legislation to safeguard the rights and interests of fishing communities, and to remove destructive industrial fishing from coastal waters.

Given the lack of basic services in remote coastal regions in Madagascar, we also help communities access basic healthcare through training and supporting women to serve as community health workers. We do not replace government health systems, but work to strengthen existing structures in close collaboration with government health actors and specialist NGOs.  We also incubate Madagascar’s national health-environment network, which brings together 40 partner organisations to address the health needs of communities living in areas of conservation importance across the country.