Project Update

PREP4BLUE at the UN Ocean Decade Conference 2024

Hosted by Spain and co-organised with UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO), the 2024 UN Ocean Decade Conference took place from the 10-12 April 2024 in Barcelona.

The 3-day, in-person event was co-led by a range of partners: Government of Catalonia and the Barcelona City Council through the Barcelona Capital Náutica Foundation, and the Spanish National Ocean Decade Committee, which is led by the Ministry of Science and Innovation through the Spanish Research Council (CSIC).

PREP4BLUE was active across UN Ocean Decade locations. On April 9th, PREP4BLUE co-organised four official side events, all taking place at PREP4BLUE partner Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC)’s beautiful campus in Barceloneta. The four events were all themed around citizen and stakeholder engagement and included:

Diving from local to global ocean literacy –  Exploring, sharing and developing successful practices to know, feel and join the living ocean: The event presented inclusive and participatory methodologies and strategies developed by local and regional societal actors and stakeholders to promote behavioural change towards sustainability, including diagnoses, research and evaluation. Presented in the form of success stories, these methodologies and strategies encompass classical and digital arts, aquatic sports, social media influencers, blue business, traditions and rituals, ecological activism, artificial and natural intelligence, among others. The event also included a teaser video, poster exhibition and in-person presentations. Watch the recording here.

Empowering science, policy and society through co-design for sustainable ocean development: Exploring how co-design can support social inclusion and ocean sustainability. This workshop provided a space for dialogue and learning on the importance of working across the science-policy-society interface for sustainable ocean development. Comprising inspirational examples (from different perspectives on co-design), followed by working groups, it showcased how co-designed transformative ocean science and knowledge has contributed to sustainable ocean development. Watch the recording here.

Enbluement: Connecting science and arts to expand our belonging to the ocean: This two-part event explored new ways towards harmony with nature, expanding the scientific approach through sensory and artistic perceptions and interactions. In Part 1, was a workshop where artists and influencers shared ideas and experiences on how to raise general awareness on the essential role of the ocean in the living planet. In Part 2, these ideas were shaped out as a sensory participative and inclusive celebration in Barcelona’s Charles Darwin Square, through a 90-minute choreography of music, silence, image, motion and design. Watch the recording here.

During the conference, the PREP4BLUE team were also busy running Virtual Early Career Ocean Professional (V-ECOP) Days. PREP4BLUE’s team of mobile journalists were covering the conference live as part of this on live stream and social media – read more about this here.

Overall it was an exciting (and busy) few days for PREP4BLUE partners, who worked hard to support and compliment the UN Ocean Decade Conference with their activities. The conference presented a key moment for stakeholders to take stock of the achievements of the first three years of the Ocean Decade and define a collective vision for the coming years. 

Photo credit: Laura Ponce (Web:; Instagram: @yellowcalling)