The UNESCO general director, Audrey Azoulay, opened the Ocean Decade Conference in Barcelona, urging societies to include sea protection classes in the world’s education and guaranteeing the preservation of sealife.

“We have to maximise all efforts to educate on conscience about oceans, and we must reinforce education on them, as we have a long path to follow,” Azoulay said on Wednesday on the first day of the three-day event in the Catalan capital.

“We have crucial objectives, and there is still much work. This is why we must continue investing in science and education and continue with international cooperation” she added.

Meanwhile, Barcelona mayor Jaume Collboni has already announced the city’s candidacy to host an Ocean Decade centre focused on promoting the blue economy.

The three-day event, taking place at the International Conventions Centre in Barcelona (CCIB), will see 1,500 experts and over 40 international speakers from Wednesday to Friday.

The ‘The Science We Need for the Ocean We Wan’’ event is a forum for the global debate on reaching the 10 goals set in the UN Ocean Sciences Sustainable Development text for the 2021-2030 decade.

Among these goals are protecting and restoring sealife and maritime biodiversity, fighting polluted waters, and developing a sustainable system for the world’s population.