RISE UP – a blue call to action


Civil society’s Blue Call to Action for the ocean in 2020


On February 5th, members of civil society and philanthropic organisations handed over “RISE UP- A Blue Call to Action” to Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

RISE UP – A Blue Call to Action, is a joint call to urge governments and corporations to take bold action to safeguard the ocean at the next UN Ocean Conference in Portugal from 2-6 June 2020.

In May 2019, the Oceano Azul Foundation partnered together with Ocean Unite and Oak Foundation to bring together a representatives of fisherfolk, Indigenous peoples, ocean conservation organizations and foundations, to agree on common priorities and solutions needed to tackle the ocean crisis and raise the level of ambition for action.


During the preparatory meeting of the UN Ocean Conference, Tiago Pitta e Cunha, CEO of Oceano Azul Foundation said, “We have delayed for too long to take the decisions which are needed to address the ocean crisis, just as we did with climate change. We need to agree on concrete actions and now is the time to push tirelessly for such actions.”


Karen Sack, President and CEO of Ocean Unite said, “This is the first time that civil society, philanthropic, Indigenous and fisher groups have come together in this way in the Ocean space, and we are absolutely clear about what needs to be done for the ocean to recover. Science is telling us we need to do much more to ensure a healthy ocean for future generations, and governments and businesses need to act. Our ocean is essential to all life on Earth. We must supercharge ocean protection  without delay.”


The ocean’s ability to give life is being compromised, with already huge impacts on the livelihoods of Indigenous peoples, small-scale fishers and coastal communities, leaving millions of people vulnerable and in poverty. The global response by governments and businesses has fallen far short of the scale of this ocean crisis.


With a number of key meetings taking place this year, including the UN Ocean Conference, as well as several Sustainable Development Goal target deadlines coming to a head, RISE UP – A Blue Call to Action, sees 2020 as a huge opportunity for the global community to come together and raise the level of ambition. The choices the world makes this year are critical to set the ocean on a course to recovery by 2030.


2020 is the year for a strong, united wave of action to tackle the ocean crisis.


This is the moment to commit to a Blue Call to Action and RISE UP.