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Press Release - The Ocean Decade Exhibition

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO

United Nations / Ocean Science & Technology / Ocean Policy & Sustainable Development / Business & Industry / Donors & Foundations

Transforming the image of the ocean to raise awareness about its importance and inspire action through creativity.

The Ocean Agency together with UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, Adobe, HP Inc. and other key partners announced the official launch of the Ocean Decade Exhibition – a global exhibition of creativity that aims to raise awareness of the importance of the ocean and inspire greater ocean knowledge and conservation during the pivotal UN Ocean Decade for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 (the Ocean Decade).

The exhibition kicked off this month in the center of Paris at UNESCO headquarters. Over the course of the next months, it will then travel to other UN locations, beginning with UN Headquarters in Geneva, and major conferences and events. The artworks are also being made freely available so anyone can curate and create their own exhibitions. Micro-exhibitions are already being planned and displayed in venues ranging from schools in Paris, to universities and major aquariums across the globe. 

The exhibition program, endorsed as an official activity of the Ocean Decade, was the brainchild of The Ocean Agency – the nonprofit, famous for taking Google Street View underwater and revealing the impacts of climate change on the ocean in the award-winning Netflix Original Documentary, Chasing Coral.

“Ocean science and conservation has an image problem – people generally aren’t engaged or interested in the ocean. There is also a people problem – people supporting action are often labelled as environmentalists and are all too easily ignored. Together these circumstances have led to a chronic lack of support for ocean science and conservation. This exhibition addresses both issues, using raw creativity to inspire, educate, and motivate a mainstream audience and present that support to world leaders at decision making events and conferences.” said Richard Vevers, Founder of The Ocean Agency.

Content for the ongoing exhibition is being provided by the global creative community, especially young artists and designers, mobilized through a series of creative challenges in partnership with Adobe and other creative partners. A new campaign #CreateWaves was launched this week by Adobe and The Ocean Agency, allowing anyone to be part of Ocean Decade Exhibition and have their work help raise awareness and inspire action. 

 “I can’t believe my artwork is being used to actually create change.” said Prunelle Chappert, a young French designer involved in the exhibition.   

The exhibition contributes to a busy launch year for the Ocean Decade which was officially launched on 1 January 2021. The Ocean Decade is a UN initiative designed to raise awareness and address the chronic lack of connectivity between ocean knowledge and smart, innovative solutions to sustainable development.

“The ocean couldn’t be more important, it’s what sustains life on the planet, and it is at a dangerous tipping point due to the combined human impacts of climate change, overfishing and pollution. However, despite this, SDG 14 (Life Below Water) remains the Sustainable Development Goal that attracts the least financial support that would allow us to sustainably manage the ocean. The Ocean Decade was launched to raise awareness of this crucial moment for the future of the ocean and the importance of supporting the delivery of SDG 14 through a host of ocean knowledge-based solutions to sustainable development,” emphasized Julian Barbière, Chief of Marine Policy and Regional Coordination at UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, focal point for global coordination of the Ocean Decade.

HP is proud to be the printing partner for the exhibition, utilizing water-based inks with HP Latex printers designed specifically with the environment in mind. HP aspires to be the world’s most sustainable and just technology company and, among other initiatives, has been utilizing ocean-bound plastic in products and ink cartridges. Other partners involved in the exhibition include D&AD, a nonprofit supporting the design industry, and the PangeaSeed Foundation, working with artists to create change through street art. 

  • Media contacts: 

The Ocean Agency: 

 Richard Vevers  richard@theoceanagency.org  +1 717 571 6671 


 Vinicius Lindoso v.lindoso@unesco.org  +33 (0)1 45 68 11 70 

 HP Inc.: 

 Vanessa Forbes vanessa.forbes@hp.com  +1 570 241 3221 


About the Ocean Agency 

The Ocean Agency is a US nonprofit with a unique approach to ocean conservation - supporting and accelerating action through creative communication and powerful collaboration. The agency’s efforts include creating the Netflix Original Documentary, Chasing Coral – winner of the 2018 Emmy for Outstanding Nature Documentary, bringing Google Street View underwater, and completing the XL Catlin Seaview Survey – the most comprehensive underwater photographic survey and record of coral reefs with over 1 million images captured and analyzed. For more information, visit theoceanagency.org.  

About HP Inc. 

HP Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through our product and service portfolio of personal systems, printers and 3D printing solutions, we engineer experiences that amaze. More information about HP Inc. is available at http://www.hp.com

©Designer Credits: Aanish Peshave


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