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WHOI joins world leaders at UN Ocean Conference: June 27 – July 1, Lisbon, Portugal

June 22, 2022

Woods Hole, MA – Thousands of participants from around the world will converge in Lisbon, Portugal beginning June 27 as part of the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference. Among them will be representatives from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the world’s largest independent organization dedicated exclusively to ocean research, engineering, and education.

The team from WHOI will include President and Director Peter de Menocal, Senior Advisor on Ocean and Climate Policy Kilaparti Ramakrishna, and senior scientist Ken Buesseler. A cornerstone of the team’s message while in Lisbon will be that science must play a central role in charting a path through the many environmental challenges facing society. The WHOI delegation's appearance is supported by the Francis E. Fowler IV Center for Ocean and Climate.

“Knowledge about the ocean is key to addressing global problems like climate change, food security, and renewable energy, as well as to the general health and well-being of both humanity and the planetary systems that make Earth livable,” said de Menocal. “Being at the UN Ocean Conference reinforces the importance of WHOI’s mission to helping society meet those challenges, as well as our commitment to helping develop science-based solutions that are actionable, scalable, and sustainable.”

The Ocean Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, comes at a critical time as the world is seeking to address the many of the deep-rooted societal problems laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic that will require major structural transformations and common shared solutions that are anchored in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. To mobilize action, the Conference will seek to propel much-needed science-based innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action reflected in the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which began in 2021. It also comes after four projects led or co-led by WHOI scientists were recently named by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to receive Endorsed Action status as part of the Decade.

Over the course of the conference, de Menocal, Ramakrishna, and Buesseler will participate in events organized with a wide range of partners (see list below). Among these, de Menocal will appear at high-level events in the main conference venue, Altice Arena, focusing on increasing scientific knowledge, developing research capacity, and transfer of marine technology, and on trans-Atlantic cooperation to support decarbonization and the blue economy; Ramakrishna will participate in panel discussions about the Seabed 2030 project to map the global seafloor and about about grand challenges in ocean science for a sustainable future; and Buesseler will present on three separate panels about strategies to remove more carbon from the atmosphere than human activities emit and the need for a code of conduct to govern scientific research on carbon dioxide removal. Advance registration by conference attendees to side events is strongly encouraged.

In addition, WHOI is partnering with the Portuguese Institute of the Ocean and Atmosphere (IPMA) on a booth space in the Portuguese Pavilion featuring information about both organizations. During the week, WHOI and IPMA will hold a signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding to boost cooperation between affiliated scientists, engineers, and students.

“Meetings like the UN Ocean Conference are crucial to building the partnerships that make solutions possible at the broadest possible scale,” said de Menocal. “We’re here to find common ground with other attendees so that together we can forge new connections between ocean science and a vision of a sustainable future for all humanity.”


Events at UN Ocean Conference with WHOI participants (subject to change)

Date/Time (GMT+1) Event Title Location Details
Monday, 27 June

10:05-10:50 a.m.

Grand Challenges in Ocean Science for a Sustainable Future Portuguese Pavilion Official side-event for Blue Zone attendees only.

Registration required

Monday, 27 June

4:30-5:45 p.m.

Ocean-based Carbon Dioxide Removal—Code of Conduct Altice Arena,

Committee Room

Official side event for Blue Zone attendees only.

No registration required

Tuesday, 28 June

4:00-5:30 p.m.

How the ocean can help us solve our climate crisis—Putting science first Pavilion of Knowledge Off-site side event. Registration required
Wednesday, 29 June

6:00-8:00 p.m.

Seabed 2030—Mapping for People and Planet Myriad Hotel Off-site side event. Registration required
Thursday, 30 June

10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Increasing scientific knowledge and developing research capacity and transfer of marine technology Altice Arena Interactive dialogue for Blue Zone attendees only
Thursday, June 30

1:00-2:15 p.m.

Ocean Carbon Negative Emissions and Sustainable Development Virtual Official side event. Registration required:
Thursday, 30 June

4:00-5:15 p.m.

Trans-Atlantic Cooperation for Blue Economy & Decarbonization Altice Arena, Side Event Room 1 Official side event for Blue Zone attendees only.




About Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930, its mission is to understand the ocean and its interactions with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate an understanding of the ocean’s role in the changing global environment. WHOI’s pioneering discoveries stem from an ideal combination of science and engineering—one that has made it one of the most trusted and technically advanced leaders in fundamental and applied ocean research and exploration anywhere. WHOI is known for its multidisciplinary approach, superior ship operations, and unparalleled deep-sea robotics capabilities. We play a leading role in ocean observation, and operate the most extensive suite of ocean data-gathering platforms in the world. Top scientists, engineers, and students collaborate on more than 800 concurrent projects worldwide—both above and below the waves—pushing the boundaries of knowledge to inform people and policies for a healthier planet. For more information, please visit