ALICANTE, Spain, July 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Ocean Race is launching One Blue Voice, a new initiative to drive public support for ocean rights. The ambitious campaign aims to give the ocean a voice and put in place a global framework for protecting the marine environment, which is critical to maintaining the health of the planet.
Through the campaign, the round-the-world sailing race is calling on members of the public to show their support for a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights by signing a petition which will be presented to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York in September 2023, alongside draft principles underpinning ocean rights.
Richard Brisius, Race Chairman at The Ocean Race said: "We’re all connected to the ocean. But though it is critical to all life on Earth, the seas are deteriorating at an alarming rate, as sailors we’ve witnessed this first-hand.
"We need to take action and create a global approach to protecting the ocean with collaboration at its heart. By joining forces and speaking as one, we can create the kind of noise that will be heard by the world’s decision-makers. Individually it can be hard to create impact, but together, we can make a difference by giving the ocean the voice that it desperately needs."
One Blue Voice has been created in collaboration with 11th Hour Racing, founding partner of The Ocean Race’s Racing with Purpose sustainability programme. The campaign will raise awareness of the declining state of the seas, highlight how the ocean’s rights are being ignored and help to shift perception of the ocean from a resource to use and exploit, to an entity that has a right to thrive. The call comes as UN Secretary General António Guterres last week issued a warning that the planet is facing an "ocean emergency."
While One Blue Voice focuses on gathering public support, The Ocean Race has been working for over a year to explore the concept and build support with key decision-makers across the world through The Ocean Race Summits. The series of high-level events brings together a range of insights on ocean rights, which are later analysed and explored with experts in international law, policy, diplomacy and ocean science. Draft principles underpinning ocean rights will be produced from this work and shared at UNGA in September 2023 alongside the petition, to create a powerful proposition for member countries’ consideration.
The Ocean Race’s work on ocean rights has got traction from a number of high-level supporters, including Cabo Verde Prime Minister Ulisses Correia e Silva, who said: "As a Small Island Developing State, Cabo Verde’s economy and future is inextricably linked to the health of the ocean. We need the seas to be protected and well-managed, yet Earth’s ocean has no voice, no advocate, and no guardian. Clearly the time has come for a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights, and we stand with The Ocean Race in working to make this a reality by 2030."
SOURCE The Ocean Race