United Nations World Oceans Day 2021 Virtual Event

The Ocean:
Life & Livelihoods

Tuesday, 8th June, 2021 Presented by Blancpain, Supported by La Mer

Oceanic Global has been the official non-profit and production partner to the United Nations for World Oceans Day events & celebrations since 2018.

For the second time in history, on June 8th 2021, the United Nations hosted a fully-virtual rendition of its annual World Oceans Day celebration. The event was hosted by the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs, in partnership with the non-profit organization Oceanic Global, presented by Blancpain, and supported by La Mer.

The 2021 United Nations World Oceans Day theme, The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods, shed light on the wonder of the ocean and how it is our lifesource—supporting humanity and every other organism on Earth.

Watch the Event Livestream

Featured Speakes

The event featured over 70 thought-leaders, celebrities, institutional partners, community voices, entrepreneurs, and cross-industry experts including:

Full Lineup & Schedule

The programming deepened our understanding of the ocean, explored our connection to it, and discussed the need for building a new balance with the ocean that is inclusive, innovative and informed by those who depend on it,
as well as by lessons from the past.

United Nations Opening Remarks

10:00 AM

High-level speakers will open UN World Oceans Day with remarks on the 2021 theme "The Ocean: Life & Livelihoods”.

  • H.E. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

  • H.E. Volkan Bozkır, President of the General Assembly
  • 
Gael García Bernal, Actor and Co-Founder, La Corriente del Golfo

Featuring an original score by Michael Leonhart

Our Underwater World

10:10 AM

Recognizing the significant role the ocean has played in the evolution of life on Earth and its continued influence in supporting thriving and biodiverse ecosystems.

  • Jean-Michel Cousteau, President, Ocean Futures Society

Featuring an original musical composition by Nitin Sawhney

Oceanic Discoveries

10:15 AM

Highlighting the awe and beauty of the ocean through recent oceanic discoveries.

  • Brian Skerry, Wildlife Photojournalist and Film Producer
  • Nicole Yamase, PhD Candidate in the Marine Biology Graduate Program, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Dr. Jonathan Whitney, Marine Biologist, NOAA - Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center and the University of Hawaii
  • Dr. Austin Gallagher, Chief Scientist, Beneath the Waves
  • Mattie Rodrigue, Science Program Lead, OceanX

Humanity's Relationship with the Ocean

10:55 AM

Addressing the relationship between the ocean and human health and well-being.

  • Dr. Sylvia Earle, President and Chairman, Mission Blue / The Sylvia Earle Alliance

Faces of the Sea

11:05 AM

Stories of individuals whose lives are deeply interconnected with the ocean across sectors.

  • Moderator: Céline Semaan, Executive Director, Slow Factory
  • Dr. Easkey Britton, Surfer and Marine Social Scientist, INCLUSEA Project
  • Deeper Dive: Racing the King Tide, Short Film
  • Max, Search and Rescue Manager, SOS MEDITERRANEE
  • Deeper Dive: Lessons from Jeju, Short Film
  • Manthura Sheikh, Fish Processor and Trader, Malindi Women in Fisheries Entrepreneurship
  • Deeper Dive: Dive Tierra Bomba, Short Film
  • Deepika Tadi, MRF Staff, Green Worms
  • Bandarbeyla fishing community, Puntland, Somalia
  • Catarina Lorenzo, Heirs to Our Oceans
  • Mauro Colagreco, Chef-Owner, Mirazur

Featuring an artistic performance by The Longest Johns

The Ocean Connecting Us Daily

12:00 PM

Exploring how ocean science and resources are used in household items with otherwise invisible ocean origins.

  • Amanda Cerny, Actress, Entrepreneur & UNEP Ambassador

UN World Oceans Day Photo Competition Winners

12:15 PM

Announcement of the finalists and winners of the 2021 UN World Oceans Day Photo Competition.

Curator: Ellen Cuylaerts
Freelance Underwater and Wildlife Photographer and Curator, 2021 UN World Oceans Day Photo Competition

Judges:
Jennifer Hayes, Julian Lennon, Joakim Odelberg, Ipah Uid Lynn, and Michel Strogoff

The UN World Oceans Day Photo Competition is co-organized and supported by the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations, Oceanic Global, DivePhotoGuide, and Blancpain.

Deeper Dive: Blancpain

  • Will Harrison, Editor of Oceanographic Magazine
  • Laurent Ballestra, Marine scientist, underwater photographer, pioneer deep diver, Leader of the Gombessa Expeditions

Remarks: Sam Waterson

12:25 PM

Addressing the relationship between the ocean and human health and well-being.

  • Sam Waterson, Actor, Activist, and Chair of Oceana's Board of Directors

A Changing Ocean

12:30 PM

Highlighting our human impact on the ocean, 
how ocean life and livelihoods are affected by issues from climate change to biodiversity loss, and the need to take action.

  • Moderator: Alejandro Alba, Host and Correspondent, NowThis
  • Danni Washington, Co-Founder, Big Blue & You
  • Dr. Kim Currie, Marine Chemist, NIWA
  • Dr. Kevin Conrad, Medical Director of Community Affairs and Health Policy, Ochsner Health
  • Deeper Dive: David Doubilet, Underwater Photographer
  • Keynote: Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO

Remarks: Alessandra Ambrosio

1:15 PM
  • Alessandra Ambrosio, Model, Actress, and Togetherband Ambassador

Creating Sustainable Livelihoods

1:25 PM

Highlighting harmonious solutions and human-centric approaches to balance our relationship with the ocean.

  • Moderator: Dr. Sherry Pictou, Assistant Professor, Dalhousie University
  • Hannah Kihalani Springer, Director, Kuaʻāina Ulu ʻAuamo
  • Mitchell Lay, Programme Coordinator, Fisher and Advocate, Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organizations
  • Dr. Carl Cater, Associate Professor in Tourism, Swansea University, Wales, UK
  • Deeper Dive: La Mer
  • Justin Boxford, Global Brand President, La Mer
  • Dune Lankarde, Eyak Athabaskan Native and Founder, The Native Conservancy
  • Lela Devine, Youth Leadership Council Member, EarthEcho International
  • Francisco Núñez, Central Caribbean Director, The Nature Conservancy
  • Keynote: Peter Thomson, United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean

Blue Economy and Private Sector Impact

2:20 PM

Discussing the role of the private sector and blue economy in creating a sustainable and just working ocean.

  • Moderator: Martin Koehring, Head, The Economist Group's World Ocean Initiative
  • Amy Novogratz, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Aqua-Spark
  • Elizabeth Petit González, Head of Communications, Sustainable Shipping Initiative
  • Marisa Drew, Chief Sustainability Officer & Global Head Sustainability Strategy, Advisory and Finance, Credit Suisse
  • Mitchell Lay, Programme Coordinator, Fisher and Advocate, Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organizations
  • Ted Janulis, Founder & Principal, Investable Oceans

Passing Down Knowledge

3:05 PM

A dialogue across generations to discuss the need for intergenerational engagement, knowledge sharing and education to better understand how the ocean is changing and how this will affect us.

Biskungwi Izquierdo speaking with his nephew, Guneymaku.

  • Biskungwi Izquierdo
  • Guneymaku

Featuring an artistic performance by Yilian Cañizares

UN-Oceans

3:15 PM

UN agencies share the impact of their work on ocean life and livelihoods.

  • Opening: Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel
  • Moderator: Alice Hicuburundi, Senior Legal Officer, Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations
  • Moderator: Bart Smit Duijzentkunst, Legal Officer, Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations
  • International Atomic Energy Agency
  • International Labour Organization
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • World Meteorological Organization
  • International Maritime Organization
  • UNESCO World Heritage Centre
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

World Oceans Week Closing Remarks

3:50 PM

A dialogue across generations to discuss the need for intergenerational engagement, knowledge sharing and education to better understand how the ocean is changing and how this will affect us.

Biskungwi Izquierdo speaking with his nephew, Guneymaku.

  • H.E. Ricardo Serrão Santos, Minister of Sea, Government of Portugal
  • H.E. Ambassador Raychelle Omamo, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Francois Bailet, Senior Legal Officer, Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations
  • Lea d’Auriol, Founder & Executive Director, Oceanic Global

Concert for the Ocean

4:00 PM

Celebrate UN World Oceans Day by tuning in for a virtual Concert for the Ocean, featuring renowned musical artists from around the world.

  • Angelique Kidjo
  • Bomba Estereo
  • Valerie June
  • Arthur Jeffes / Penguin Cafe
  • +TBA more!

Artistic Performances

Angelique Kidjo
Valerie June
Arthur Jeffes / Penguin Cafe
Bomba Estero
The Longest Johns
Little Dragon
Earthgang
Seun Kuti & Egypt 80
Yilian Cañizares
Nitin Sawney

A Special Thank You to:
and .

To all the speakers, musicians, Friends of World Oceans Day group, community partners including Thirty Two Music.

EXPLORE PREVIOUS UN WORLD OCEANS DAY ANNUAL EVENTS