Virtual Ocean Pavilion

Virtual Ocean Pavilion at COP26

The Global Ocean Forum is excited to announce that it will once again lead in the organization of the Virtual Ocean Pavilion (VOP) to be held at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in November/December 2023, in close partnership with the Plymouth Marine Laboratory and other collaborating partners.

The Virtual Ocean Pavilion is an online platform dedicated to raising the visibility of the ocean and showcasing why the ocean matters in climate negotiations and to all life on our planet. It aims to increase knowledge, commitment and action for the ocean-climate nexus during and at key events in the run up to COP28. The Pavilion aims to:

  1. Continue to raise the profile of the ocean among members of the ocean and climate community as the previous iterations of the Virtual Ocean Pavilion did in COP26 and COP27;
  2. Provide a communication platform for those who are unable to participate in COP28 in person from various parts of the world;
  3. Address COP28 priorities while promoting the space for ocean in the climate conference; and
  4. Promote cross-sectoral cooperation and collaboration on ocean-climate action at the national, regional, and global levels.
COP26 Virtual Ocean Pavilion Exterior View

A dedicated Ocean Pavilion raises the visibility of the ocean and showcases why the ocean matters in climate negotiations and to all life on our planet. As the ocean concerns everyone, the Virtual Ocean Pavilion has the capability of engaging and reaching those that cannot attend COP28 in-person and presents a long-lasting resource for all – leaving no one behind. A virtual presence at COP28 will ensure that the Pavilion will be: 

  • Totally within the co-organizers’ control in terms of timing, allowing flexibility to respond to changes in the COP28 schedule 
  • Adaptable and scalable
  • Long-lasting and accessible – being hosted online means it will be available long-after the VOP has ended
Exhibit Hall at the COP27 Virtual Ocean Pavilion

The Virtual Ocean Pavilion at COP28

The Global Ocean Forum is committed to organizing the VOP to be user-friendly, informational and accessible, with plans to streamline user experience and add new and exciting features to this year’s VOP. Plans for the VOP at COP28 include:

  • Twelve exhibits showcasing new ocean-climate initiatives
  • Four live days including the COP28 opening day (November 30), Youth, Children, Education and Skills thematic day (December 8), Nature, Land Use and Oceans thematic day (December 9), and the COP28 closing day (December 12)
  • Eight live events
  • On location reporting of what’s happening at COP28, including interviews with negotiators to be led by a youth group
  • Easy-to-access overview of all ocean-related events at COP28
  • Gamification of the VOP, with features such as Treasure Trove trivia and attendance certifications to be earned via short, fun quizzes based on information from VOP exhibits, live events and the COP more broadly

COP27 Virtual Ocean Pavilion Live Event (left) and Live Day Overview (right)

The main objective for the VOP at COP28 is to make the platform a venue for greater interaction among various stakeholders about the ocean-climate nexus and promoting the ocean agenda at the UNFCCC, especially for those who are unable to physically attend the COP28. For more information on the Virtual Ocean Pavilion and how to get involved, please see this flyer.

Expression of interest forms: exhibit & live event

Contacts: Sarah Davidson, Global Ocean Forum & Thecla Keizer, Plymouth Marine Laboratory

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