Gulbenkian Ocean

Valuing and protecting the ocean

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation aims to enhance the role the ocean plays in fighting climate change and in sustainable economic development.

The importance of the ocean

  • The ocean is the largest ecosystem on the planet: it covers more than 70% of the Earth's surface and produces more than 50% of the oxygen we breathe;
  • It captures 30% of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere;
  • It plays a critical role in protecting the climate, absorbing 90% of all warming in the past 50 years;
  • It enables the development of several economic activities and offers a vast variety of food, pharmacological and medicinal resources, renewable energy sources, and space for transport and carrying out sports and recreational activities.


The key to many of the challenges we face lies in ensuring a healthy ocean. However, human activities, including the emission of greenhouse gases, are seriously affecting the health of the ocean, which is becoming warmer, more acidic, oxygen-poor and less resilient.

Supporting projects that explore the opportunities offered by the ocean is, therefore, a top priority for the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation under its Sustainable Development Programme.


The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the ocean

Over the past decade, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation has advanced scientific knowledge and raised public awareness of the ocean's role in human prosperity and sustainable development, both in Portugal (since launching the Gulbenkian Oceans Initiative) and through its UK branch.

Currently, the Foundation's actions in this area focus on: 

  • Promoting greater awareness of the economic value of the ocean;
  • Leveraging ocean-based climate solutions;
  • Supporting the creation and development of projects that use blue biotechnology to tackle social and environmental problems and for sustainable economic growth;
  • Fostering effective communication on the ocean-climate nexus.

Investing in the Portuguese blue carbon sink

mon, 27 Jun 2022 / 16:45, Pavilhão de Portugal

More info

Blue economy and decarbonization to meet the climate crisis: An International Agenda

thu, 30 Jun 2022 / 16:00, Altice Arena

More info

Art & Science: Animating the voice of ocean science

Wed, 29 Jun 2022 / 13:00, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

More info

United Nations Ocean Conference

The overarching theme of the Second United Nations Ocean Conference, co-hosted by Portugal and Kenya and taking place in Lisbon from 27 June to 1 July 2022, is “Scaling up ocean action based on science and innovation for the implementation of Goal 14: stocktaking, partnerships and solutions”. The conference brings together representatives from countries and organisations from around the world to raise ambition, mobilise partnerships, and stimulate investment in scientific and innovative approaches to embrace nature-based solutions that reverse the decline in ocean health.

Through co-organisation, partnership and participation in several of the scheduled events, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation intends to strengthen its position and showcase the work it has been doing and its role in ocean climate action.



16 Jun / 14:00   Sparknews Media capacity building webinar, Online

25 Jun   Workshop “Meeting of the Scientific and Advisory Committee & meeting of the Initiative Governing Committee”, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

26 Jun   Workshop and joint session of the SAC and IGC, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

27 Jun – 01 Jul   Instalação Carbono Azul, Planetário de Marinha

27 Jun – 01 Jul   Earth Journalism Network Ocean Media Fellowship Programme, Altice Arena

27 Jun – 01 Jul   Ocean Visuals soft launch and stakeholder interviews, Forum Oceana, CommsInc booth

27 Jun / 12:15   Challenges and opportunities for startups in the Blue bioeconomy: the Blue Bio Value experience, Altice Arena

27 Jun / 16:45   Investing in the Portuguese blue carbon sink, Auditório do Fórum Oceano (Pavilhão de Portugal)

27 jun / 18:15   1000 Ocean Startups: Innovation and Entrepreneurship Networking Event, SUD Lisboa

29 jun   Media capacity building, Media Center of the Conference Venue, Altice Arena

29 Jun / 13:00   Animating the voice of ocean science, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

29 Jun / 14:30   Why are we not saving the ocean? Mainstreaming ocean-climate solutions through influence and engagement, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

29 Jun / 16:00   Ocean Innovators Platform, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

29 Jun / 18:30   Ocean Innovators Platform – Networking, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

30 jun / 08:00   Putting theory into practice: systems change as a tool for tackling ocean plastic pollution at source, Restaurante #SeaTheFuture

30 jun / 16:00   Blue economy and decarbonization to meet the climate crisis: An International Agenda , Room 1 of the Conference Venue, Altice Arena

30 Jun / 19:00   Garden Conversation for Corals, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

30 Jun   Media capacity building, Media Center (Altice Arena)

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