The ocean has vast scope as a place for sustainable climate solutions and action, offering vital adaptation and mitigation options in a warming world – and ocean health is of paramount importance if we’re to make full use of its potential. However, while a range of solutions for ocean conservation and climate action are at our fingertips, current actions from governments, businesses and individuals don’t match the scale or the urgency of the problem.
Our aim was to raise awareness of the need to accelerate international ocean-climate action, developing long-term cross-sector communications strategies to influence the UN Oceans Conference, COP27 and other key forums, and build a social mandate for change.
Approach and delivery
Communications Inc planned and delivered a co-ordinated two-year programme of activities, ranging from putting on thought leadership events, to assembling creative resources to help others bring key ocean-climate issues to a wider audience.
Alongside the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, we worked to drive the conversation, championing a collaborative and evidence-based approach that shares learning across the sector to mainstream ocean communications and engage new, wider and more diverse audiences. This work included panel events at the UN Oceans Conference and COP27.
We also collaborated with the Climate Visuals project to address the growing need for more authentic, representative and impactful ocean-climate imagery to be made freely available for use by NGOs, the media and others. We oversaw new research to inform the brief, which included a literature review, interviews and focus groups on three continents, and amplified the call for entries through our global network of contacts.
Words matter along with images, and broadening the voices speaking for the ocean is essential to bring the message to wider segments of society. This led to us running a pilot event at a literary festival which brought together authors to discuss the role that literature can play in ocean conservation.
Our work with the Gulbenkian Foundation revealed many opportunities for further action and greater collaboration in the ocean-climate communication space. Following the events we put together and made available a collection of resources including a summary paper and a toolkit on ‘How to talk about the ocean so people will listen’, plus other related guides, white papers and reports. These are now being widely used by many different stakeholders.
The ocean-climate resource base was strengthened by the success of the Climate Visuals initiative, which received some 1,800 submissions from more than 100 countries, resulting in a final collection of 93 varied and compelling evidence-based images which are now being used around the world. As with our author panel, the initiative shows how we can use creativity to offer new routes for communicating about the biggest issues facing the planet today.