Busan to Host the 10th Our Ocean Conference in 2025

The Our Ocean Conference was first held in 2014 in Washington D.C., initiated by the United States. It has since become an annual event, hosted by various countries around the world

Maru Kim
Maru Kim

Busan, South Korea – In a significant development for global marine conservation efforts, Busan has been announced as the host city for the 10th Our Ocean Conference (OOC) in 2025. This decision was confirmed at the 27th Cabinet Meeting, with the conference scheduled to take place from April 28 to April 30, 2025, at the BEXCO convention center.

Since its inception in 2014, the Our Ocean Conference has emerged as a pivotal high-level international event focusing on marine issues. It brings together over 1,000 leaders and representatives from more than 100 countries, including heads of state, international organizations, NGOs, and key players in the marine sector. The conference aims to address pressing issues such as marine pollution, climate change, sustainable fisheries, and marine biodiversity.

The Our Ocean Conference has been held annually since its launch by the United States in 2014, with the exception of the COVID-19 pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. The conference rotates across continents, with the most recent event held in Athens, Greece, in April 2024, attracting approximately 3,500 participants.

The conference structure includes panel discussions on six core themes: marine pollution, marine protected areas, climate change, sustainable fisheries, marine economy, and marine security. Additionally, each host country can introduce special topics of interest. In 2025, the special theme will be “Marine Digitalization,” aligning with the conference’s slogan “Our Ocean, Our Action.”

The Our Ocean Conference was first held in 2014 in Washington D.C., initiated by the United States. It has since become an annual event, hosted by various countries around the world:

  • 2014: United States (Washington D.C.)
  • 2015: Chile (Valparaíso)
  • 2016: United States (Washington D.C.)
  • 2017: Malta (European Union)
  • 2018: Indonesia (Bali)
  • 2019: Norway (Oslo)
  • 2020: Canceled due to COVID-19
  • 2021: Canceled due to COVID-19
  • 2022: Palau
  • 2023: Panama
  • 2024: Greece (Athens)

Each conference has focused on developing actionable commitments to protect the ocean. These commitments have included initiatives to combat marine pollution, establish marine protected areas, address the impacts of climate change on the oceans, promote sustainable fisheries, and enhance marine security.

The OOC not only fosters dialogue on marine issues but also promotes concrete commitments and actions. Key initiatives include combating illegal fishing, reducing ghost gear, and ratifying the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) agreement. This agreement, a third implementing agreement under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, aims to conserve and sustainably use marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

South Korea’s Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, Kang Do-hyung, expressed optimism about the upcoming conference. “We are committed to ensuring the successful hosting of the 10th Our Ocean Conference. This event will solidify South Korea’s position as a leading global maritime nation and drive forward our marine policy initiatives.”

Hosting the Our Ocean Conference is a strategic move for South Korea, enhancing its global maritime network and reinforcing its role as a leader in marine governance. The event aligns with the country’s Indo-Pacific strategy, focusing on climate change, international order, and technological advancements in marine science.

By bringing together world leaders and experts, the 10th Our Ocean Conference in Busan aims to foster international cooperation and drive forward actionable solutions for sustainable ocean management.

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