United Nations
World Oceans Day 2020

8 June, 2020
2020 Theme

Innovation For A Sustainable Ocean

First-Ever Virtual Event

The first-ever fully virtual celebration of United Nations World Oceans Day, on 8 June 2020, highlighted the theme of Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean.

Produced in partnership with the non-profit organization Oceanic Global, more than 350,000 people tuned into the live event from all continents except Antarctica – making the 2020 celebration a truly global event.

2020 World Oceans Day

As the challenges to the ocean continue to grow, so does the need for novel solutions and the people driving them. The day-long 2020 event featured 43 international speakers over seven hours of content. Touching on wide-reaching topics relating to the theme Innovation For A Sustainable Ocean, keynote speeches, panels, and presentations were kicked off by the United Nations Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly, with leading ocean voices featured throughout the day. The event closed with a virtual concert for the ocean featuring global voices such as Mali’s Fatoumata Diawara, Niger’s Bombino, and the UK’s Jess Glynne.

Featured Speakers

Cara Delevingne

Cara Delevingne

Jean-Michel Cousteau

Jean-Michel Cousteau

Sylvia Earle

Sylvia Earle

Forbi Perise Eyong Nyosai

Forbi Perise Eyong Nyosai

Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben

Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding

Gayatri Reksodihardjo-Lilley

Gayatri Reksodihardjo-Lilley

Lilly Platt

Lilly Platt


United Nations Opening Remarks

10:00 am

The UN WOD announcement video will kick the event off, featuring voices from around the globe working to protect and preserve our oceans.

H.E. António Guterres

Secretary-General of the United Nations

H.E. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande

President of the General Assembly

Ms. Cara Jocelyn Delevingne

Actress, Model & Co-Founder, EcoResolution

The State of our Ocean

10:15 am

This segment will highlight the issue and the link between climate change and our oceans from an ocean solutions perspective. Topics covered will include the solutions to protect and restore the beauty of our oceans and the current state of ocean governance. Additionally, Miguel de Serpa Soares - United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel - will share the current challenges and opportunities in ocean affairs, and the role of the UN System.

Mr. Bill McKibben

Co-Founder, 350

Mr. Paul Hawken

Environmental Author

Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares

Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs & United Nations Legal Counsel

"Spotlight Solutions" for the Ocean

10:45 am

This segment spotlights current projects offering innovative solutions that address the themes of the eight interactive dialogues of the 2020 UN Ocean Conference.

Peter Thomson

United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean

Moderator: Lucy Biggers

Climate and Sustainability Correspondent, NowThis

Francis Zoet

Co-Founder & Director of Operations, The Great Bubble Barrier

Ahmad "Aki" Allahgholi

Founder & Managing Director, Coralive

Olivier Ceberio

COO and Co-Founder, Resolute Marine

Michael Selden

Co-Founder & CEO, Finless Foods

Bigs Eggert & Jossie Jasmin

Sales and Marketing Director of Amun Ini Beach Bigs Eggert

Dirk Rosen

Founder & Executive Director, Marine Applied Research and Exploration

Elisa Morgera

Professor of Global Environmental Law, Strathclyde University Law School & Director, “One Ocean Hub"

Jim Ritterhoff

Executive Director, FORCE BLUE

The Cousteaus: A Multigenerational Conversation on Ocean Exploration

11:40 am

The Cousteaus will provide a multigenerational perspective on our evolving understanding of the ocean across time, highlighting certain innovations in science and exploration that have shaped our relationship with the ocean.

Jean-Michel Cousteau

Celine Cousteau

Fabien Cousteau

OceanX: Innovation, Technology and Deep Sea Exploration

12:00 pm

The segment will highlight exciting developments in the world of science, technology and exploration, with a particular focus on deep sea exploration, opportunities for future discoveries and the rapid progress in this field.

Mark Dalio

Founder & Creative Director, OceanX

Edith Widder

CEO & Senior Scientist, Ocean Research & Conservation Association, Inc.

UN World Oceans Day Photo Competition Winners

12:20 pm

Announcement of the finalists and winners of the 2020 UN World Oceans Day Photo Competition.

Curator: Ellen Cuylaerts

Freelance Underwater and Wildlife Photographer and Curator, 2020 UN World Oceans Day Photo Competition

The Blue Economy and Private Sector Impact

12:45 pm

This panel discussion will shed light on how the private sector is engaging communities to develop solutions for a healthy ocean.

Moderator: Curtis Brainard

Managing Editor, Scientific American

Tom Szaky

Founder & CEO, TerraCycle

Dave Ford

Founder, Soul Buffalo & Co-Founder, Ocean Plastics Leadership Network

Melissa Garren

CEO & Founder, Working Ocean Strategies

Michael W. Lodge

Secretary-General, International Seabed Authority

Deeper Dive

One Ocean Foundation

Communities Innovating for a Sustainable Ocean

1:40 pm

This segment will feature community-oriented, -managed, and -driven solutions for a healthy ocean. True solutions have public buy-in and this is an opportunity to highlight the successful coalition building efforts of groups that include affected voices at the decision-making table.

Moderator: Andrea Thompson

Associate Editor for Sustainability, Scientific American

Gayatri Reksodihardjo – Lilley

Yayasan Alam Indonesia Lestari, Indonesian Nature Foundation

Julia Kumari Drapkin

Founder & CEO, ISeeChange

Asha de Vos

Founder & Executive Director, Oceanswell

Shanta Shamsunnahar

Program Coordinator, MPA Program, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bangladesh

Deeper Dive: Christophe Bailhache

Photographer & Filmmaker - Co-Founder of Underwater Earth

Youth Driving Innovation

2:40 pm

Youth from around the world will share their solutions to drive innovation, engage their community and bridge generational gaps for a healthy and sustainable ocean.

Moderator: Jackson Harries

Filmmaker & Environmentalist

Forbi Perise Eyong Nyosai

Greening Forward

Lilly Platt

Environmentalist and Global Youth Ambassador for Plastic Pollution Coalition, WODI &Youth Mundus. Founder of Lilly's Plastic Pickup

Dylan Vecchione

Founder, ReefQuest Foundation

Callie Veelenturf

Marine Conservation Biologist; Founder, The Leatherback Project and Rights for Nature

World Ocean Week Remarks

Remarks on World Oceans Week and the efforts of the Friends of World Oceans Day (FOWOD) community.

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

A Concert for our Ocean

3:40 pm

The Day will conclude with a celebration of the ocean through live performances from musicians around the world!

In partnership with Oceanic Global, supported by One Ocean Foundation, Blancpain and Foundation House CT.

A Concert for the Ocean

Fatoumata Diawara

Fatoumata Diawara



Nick Mulvey

Nick Mulvey

Vieux Farka Touré

Vieux Farka Touré

Tenzin Choegyal

Tenzin Choegyal

Jess Glynne

Jess Glynne

Alice Phoebe Lou

Alice Phoebe Lou