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Maritime Forum

Spring Call for Young Ocean Advocates on the UN Ocean Decade

The next Call for Young Ocean Advocates will be launched on the 25 March and, in connection to the UN Ocean Decade Conference taking place in Barcelona on 10-12 April, it will celebrate the Challenges of the UN Ocean Decade. 

Youth Call_deadline extended

Understanding the thematic focus: the UN Ocean Decade at a glance 

The UN Ocean Decade, officially known as the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, is a global initiative launched by the United Nations to address the challenges facing the ocean and to promote its sustainable use. Its primary goal is to mobilise the international community to enhance scientific research, observation, and knowledge-sharing related to the ocean. 

The motto of the UN Ocean Decade for Science and Sustainable Development is “The Science We Need for the Ocean We Want” and is composed of 10 Challenges to be achieved by 2030. It provides a framework for scientists and stakeholders from diverse sectors to develop the scientific knowledge and the partnerships needed to accelerate and harness advances in ocean science to achieve a better understanding of the ocean system, and deliver science-based solutions to achieve the 2030 Agenda. 

Become a Young Ocean Advocate


  1. Understand and beat marine pollution 
  2. Protect and restore ecosystems and biodiversity 
  3. Sustainably feed the global population 
  4. Develop a sustainable and equitable ocean economy 
  5. Unlock ocean-based solutions to climate change 
  6. Increase community resilience to ocean hazards 
  7. Expand the Global Ocean Observing System 
  8. Create a digital representation of the ocean 
  9. Skills, knowledge and technology for all 
  10. Change humanity’s relationship with the ocean 

While the 10 Challenges of the UN Ocean Decade cover a broad range of topics, the overarching theme of the Decade is ocean science and science-based solutions to the challenges above. Applicants’ projects should therefore have a focus on ocean science or at least a scientific component. 

Eligibility and selection criteria 

Applicants can apply if they are:  

  • 16–30 years old; 
  • Based in Europe and/or having a project (or project idea) with a relevant impact on European coastlines and sea basins; 
  • Leading a project with a clear connection to the UN Ocean Decade, its main theme and Challenges. 

The project or idea should be:  

  • An ocean literacy initiative engaging children, young people or a local community in the sustainable use of the ocean and its resources; or 
  • Focused on education; conservation; research, performing or visual arts; Blue Economy and entrepreneurship; fisheries and aquaculture; maritime or river transport; tourism; sports; etc.  and 
  • Provide a solution to a marine and/or social challenge, promoting sustainable development, community engagement, good practice and behaviour; or 
  • Something completely different with potential to innovate and drive change for the ocean. 

Benefits of becoming a Young Ocean Advocate for the UN Ocean Decade 

  • Young Ocean Advocates will have access to exclusive benefits and resources to make a positive change for the Ocean: 
  • Your project and personal profile will be showcased in the Youth4Ocean Forum section on the Maritime Forum website of the European Commission, and promoted on social media by the EU4Ocean Coalition; 
  • You will get support and guidance from members of the EU4Ocean Coalition, to help you carry out your activities; 
  • You will have access to the coaching and mentoring programme of the EU4Ocean Coalition to develop your project and skills; 
  • You will be able to attend high-level events and network with leading experts, likeminded young people and professionals from all over Europe; 
  • You will get access to tools and networks to promote ocean literacy in Europe; 
  • You and your project team will be invited to participate in the #MakeEUBlue Awards and the EU4Ocean Challenge of the Year. 

Become a Young Ocean Advocate