What is the "One Ocean Summit"?

Published on 01.28.2022

2 min read

Middle School

The One Ocean Summit in Brest, from February 9 to 11, is the first major international gathering entirely dedicated to the oceans. It precedes a United Nations conference on the oceans that will be held in Lisbon at the end of June. And don't forget to celebrate World Ocean Day on June 8 each year.  

Why is it so important?

The ocean covers more than 70% of the world's surface, giving the Earth its unforgettable image of a "blue planet". It is the largest reserve of the biosphere, which is the sum of all living organisms, whether animals, plants or . It is also the 'lungs' of our planet, generating 50% of the oxygen it needs and absorbing 25% of CO2 emissions. It also absorbs most of the that our anthropogenic activity has generated in excess since the industrial revolution and is therefore our great ally in the fight against . And it is an endless source of food, energy and mineral resources.


5 oceans and a myriad of seas

We often talk about 'the ocean', but geographers list five oceans: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic (around the North Pole) and Southern (around the South Pole Antarctica). The Southern Ocean was officially added to the list in June 2021, demonstrating the importance now given to the - from the Greek kryos, cold - which refers to the frozen areas of the planet.

There are hundreds of seas. A sea is much smaller than an ocean. It can be closed (Caspian Sea, Sea of Azov), almost closed (Mediterranean Sea, Baltic Sea, Red Sea...) or part of the oceans (the Yellow Sea in the Pacific Ocean, the North Sea or the Caribbean Sea in the Atlantic Ocean).


A wide range of topics

The Brest summit agenda includes a wide range of issues:
  • Marine energies: off-shore wind , tidal energy, currents, waves, etc.
  • The effects of global warming on ocean levels, (fishing) and nutrition, (e.g. corals), etc. 
  • The melting of ice packs, which is a major issue for the Arctic region.
  • New technologies and new jobs.
  • Energy savings in maritime transport and port facilities.
  • Pollution of all kinds and Sea regulation.


A global approach together with climate and biodiversity

The Brest summit brings together some twenty heads of state and government, the United Nations, the European Union, etc. But it also includes workshops with NGOs, associations, especially youth associations, researchers, cities and regions and large companies. The involvement of the 'civil society', i.e. citizens, has become a key feature of the 'Conferences of Parties' ( ) on climate and biodiversity.

The Brest summit is part of this series of 'universal' actions for the preservation of the planet, and there will be many of them in 2022:
  • 2-3 June: Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit (Brazil)
  • 27 June - 1 July: United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon (Portugal)
  • 7-18 November: COP27 climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt)...