Ocean and Climate Action
Peace Boat's inaugural Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassador Programme took place September-October 2017. A group of young leaders from states on the front line of climate change and marine degradation joined Peace Boat's 95th Global Voyage in Barcelona on September 22, 2017 as a part of a new programme to highlight these crucial issues, share the outcomes of the Ocean Conference, and build momentum for climate action and the Bonn 2017 UN Climate Change Conference (COP23). This programme was an officially endorsed event of COP23.

The young women and men between 19 and 26 years of age were from the regions of the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, and the Caribbean. Over three weeks, they visited Lisbon (Sep 25), Bordeaux (Sep 28), London (Oct 1), Edinburgh (Oct 3), Reykjavik (Oct 7) and New York (Oct 15-16). In every port, they connected with civil society organizations and government agencies, bringing their message to citizens and government representatives and discussing initiatives and activities related to the ocean and climate. A flag bearing the official logo of COP23 was raised in a ceremony onboard the ship, and various related activities were also held onboard, including discussions with previous UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Ms. Christiana Figueres.

The Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassador Programme concluded in New York on October 16, where the group exchanged with representatives from the UNPD and AOSIS Climate Change Fellows, as well as reported on their activities at an event at the United Nations Headquarters.

A documentary film was made about the journey of the seven young people, Against the Tide: A Journey for Climate Hope'. It was screened for the first time at the Fiji Pavilion at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn in November. Screenings are scheduled to be held in the United States, Japan, and the participants home countries. Peace Boat is now distributing the film worldwide as an education tool to personalize and humanize the impact of ocean and climate change on small island states. Organisations and individuals wishing to organize a screening are asked to contact Peace Boat. A report featuring articles by the participants, photographs and a Call to Action, as well as information about SDG14 and what individuals can do to Save the Ocean has been published to accompany the film and is available for download.

Following the success of the first edition of the Ocean and Climate Ambassador Youth Ambassador Programme, Peace Boat has committed to holding a second edition in 2018 to support the Ocean Pathway, a COP23 Presidency ocean initiative, which embodies the important relationship between the Ocean and Climate Change and affirms the Ocean Conference Call to Action. Details and a Call for Applicants will be published on Peace Boat website and social media in the coming months.

Ocean Pathway Partnership (OPP)

Peace Boat was one of the first NGOs to support the Ocean Pathway at its launch at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn in November 2017. A COP23 Presidency ocean initiative, the Ocean Pathway embodies the important relationship between the Ocean and Climate Change. The Pathway affirms the Call for Action from the UN Ocean Conference and works for the recognition of the vital role of the ocean in the UNFCCC process. Peace Boat Founder and Director, Yoshioka Tatsuya spoke at the launch about the importance of recognizing the relationship between the ocean and climate and pledged Peace Boat's support for the Pathway. The Ocean Pathway Partnership will be co-chaired by Fiji and Sweden following their collaboration for the UN Ocean Conference.

The Ocean Conference

Peace Boat was a proud participant and supporter of The High-Level United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. As a committed campaigner for the 2030 Agenda, Peace Boat was honored to host an event onboard its ship with the Global Goals logo on the side of the hull while it was docked in Sweden on June 2, 2017, the Friday before the conference. The event onboard Peace Boat was described by the Swedish government as the 'kick-off' for The Ocean Conference and brought together political leaders, civil society representatives, academia and youth to discuss ocean health, and expectations for the conference. At the conference, Peace Boat held a side-event entitled, "From Awareness Raising to Action: the Role of Civil Society and Youth". It focused on key issues of the Ocean Conference including the impact on SIDS and the key role of youth in achieving the SDGs including SDG 14. Keynote speaker at the Side Event was Permanent Representative of the Maldives to the United Nations and Chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).

Peace Boat Founder and Director, Yoshioka Tatsuya presented Peace Boat's Ecoship in the partnership dialogue focused on "Minimizing and addressing ocean acidification". Yoshioka spoke about the technology used onboard the Ecoship including solar panels, ten retractable sails, and increased energy efficiency. "With such technology existing nowadays we can build such a ship, and reduce CO2 emissions by 40%," he said. During the Ocean Conference, the Peace Boat delegation was honored to meet with H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, President of the 71st United Nations General Assembly. Mr. Thomson congratulated and expressed his appreciation for Peace Boat for being the first civil society organization to submit a Voluntary Commitment.

Peace Boat's Voluntary Commitment to SDG14: The Ecoship Project

Peace Boat was the first NGO to make a Voluntary Commitment to the implementation of SDG 14 at a Special Event at the Preparatory Meeting of the Ocean Conference on February 16 together with the government of Sweden. Peace Boat makes the solid commitment to the concrete action of the Ecoship Project. Sailing in 2020 as a flagship for the SDGs, the 60,000 ton, 2000 passenger capacity nature-inspired vessel combines radical energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energy at a level never achieved before in maritime transport. With zero Nox and sulfur emissions and 40% reduction in CO2, the Ecoship seeks to address ocean acidification. The ship has closed water and closed waste systems to combat marine pollution. The Ecoship will offer a solution to climate change and contribute towards the implementation of SDG14, and take thousands of people around the world every year to places that are directly affected by rising sea levels and the degradation of marine ecosystems.

Education onboard and in ports

With three global voyages every year spanning the world's oceans and seas, Peace Boat is acutely aware of the importance of our oceans and the necessity to support the implementation of SDG14. Peace Boat's voyages visit coastal communities who are on the front line of marine degradation and rising sea levels. From beach clean-ups to programmes on marine life and cultural programmes with communities whose cultures and economies are so deeply interconnected to the oceans educational programmes are organized both onboard and in ports of call in collaboration with local NGOs and institutions to raise awareness of the importance of ocean health and closely related issues including climate change. Peace Boat holds education programmes related to the ocean onboard and in ports including beach cleanups, programmes about marine conservation in collaboration with local partners.