All Hands on Deck!

Empowering Young Leaders to Scale Ocean Solutions

Oceanário de Lisboa

2020 Ocean Youth Forum

In alignment with the 2020 UN Ocean Conference theme, "Scaling up ocean action based on science and innovation for the implementation of Goal 14: stocktaking, partnerships and solutions", and with the aim of giving youth the opportunity to contribute for the implementation of this important SDG,  the Governments of Portugal and Kenya will host the Ocean Youth Forum, organized by the Sustainable Ocean Alliance, in close cooperation with the Portuguese Minister of Education and with the support of Oceano Azul Foundation.
The Ocean Youth Forum will showcase youth-led ocean solutions focusing on the two pillars of the theme - science and innovation - and feature discussions on existing solutions to address targets of Sustainable Development Goal 14: conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. 

2020 Ocean Youth Forum

UPDATE 1 April 2020: Applications Now Closed

  1. The deadline for submission of applications has been extended until 29 March at 23:59PST. However; application review is now ongoing. Apply/nominate ASAP.
  2. The Ocean Youth Forum organizers are now in a position to guarantee accreditation to the UN Ocean Conference for selected delegates. Thus;
      • Anyone may now self-nominate for the forum without the support of an accredited organization.
      • Organizations may still nominate and register their support for individuals as before. 
      • Criteria and selection process remain unchanged.

Info on the impacts of COVID-19 can be found in the FAQ.

The Ocean Youth Forum seeks problem solvers, sustainability champions, students and young professionals between the ages of 18 -35 to be among the 100 delegates from over 50 countries invited to attend the Ocean Youth Forum. See the FAQ for more details.

The Ocean Youth Forum (OYF) will take place in Lisbon, Portugal, at the Oceano Azul Foundation Oceanário de Lisboa, from May 30th-31st 2020, and will:

    • Create a platform for effective and inclusive participation of young people, from sectors such as science, technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, civil society and sports;

    • Feature youth-led solutions at the OYF and the UN Ocean Conference that can accelerate the implementation of SDG14 targets, in particular those that are maturing already in 2020 (14.2 / 14.4 / 14.5 / 14.6);

    • Support young entrepreneurs and innovators in scaling up their initiatives, projects, ideas, campaigns, with professional training, matchmaking with investors and the private sector, including with other organizations and government officials to maximize their impact;

    • Highlight the Ocean-Climate nexus and the importance of knowledge and science as the basis of innovation and ocean actions, including the source-to-sea / ridge-to-reef approach;

    • Engage young leaders as a key driver for change and harness the potential of the youth movement and social platforms to raise awareness to the vital importance of leaving a healthy Ocean to future generations.

On June 1st, there will be an informal program available with activities taking place around Lisbon.

On June 2-3, delegates accredited for the UN Ocean Conference will attend the UN Ocean Conference, at the Altice Arena. 
Delegates can choose to stay for the remaining days (June 4-6) at their own expense

It is the intention of the organizers to provide every delegate with a scholarship covering a return flight and accommodation.

Delegates can be nominated for attendance until the deadline: March 29, 2020.

*Please note that this forum is not organized or sponsored by the United Nations.*

Ocean Youth Forum Participation

The Ocean Youth Forum Organizers call on all organizations and member states that are accredited (or seeking accreditation) to submit nominations for the forum. There are no limits to the number of nomination submissions, however, only one delegate will be invited per organization with a maximum two per country.

The Ocean Youth Forum prioritizes resources (funding and registrations) for nominees from Developing Countries and Middle-Income Countries. Member states listed as Developed Countries or organizations from these countries are highly encouraged to provide accredited registration and/or funding for their nominees. For classification, see here.

You can find more information on the accreditation process here.

SOA cannot answer questions about an organization's accreditation status, please contact the UN Ocean Conference Secretariat for questions or see the FAQ page. 

The March 29 Nomination Deadline has passed.


Ocean Youth Forum Agenda

  • May 29
  • May 30
  • May 31

Delegates arrive to Lisbon. 

Welcome Receptiondetails forthcoming. 

Associated Programming

  • June 1
  • June 2-3
  • June 4-6

On June 1st, delegates will be invited to attend related events and/or to explore the beautiful host city.

Evening High-Level Reception

[additional details forthcoming]

Support the Ocean Youth Forum

We will gladly accept any additional support for the Ocean Youth Forum, including:

  • Providing delegate registration(s) to the UN Ocean Conference
  • Sponsoring delegate travel
  • Suggesting or providing speakers
  • Other fiscal or in-kind sponsorship

If you can support the OYF, please fill out this brief interest form to be contacted by a forum organizer.

Click on the image below to download the Save the Date (left) or Flyer (right) to share this opportunity.

OYF flyer OYF 2020 Flyer


Any Questions?

Please read the FAQ 

Previous SOA-organized events

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