One Ocean Foundation was born on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Costa Smeralda yacht club. The first step is the organization of a forum in Milan in 2017, to which actors from the public and private sectors working closely with the sea were invited. The actual association was opened in 2018 with the aim of accelerating the creation of solutions to the problems of the oceans by inspiring international leaders, companies, institutions and individuals. We spoke with Giulio Magni, director of operations.
"One Ocean," Magni told us, "was born with the intention of creating a platform at the service of the ocean to protect it." In order to successfully develop this idea, several participants have were since the beginning: "a pull of companies, a scientific committee, and a series of other partners such as CNR (the italian National Research Center) and Bocconi University". For four years now, the foundation has been living thanks to the support of a growing number of companies. The activities are based on three pillars: "education; research, which leads to the realization of environmental projects; and finally what we call Blue Economy".
One Ocean proposes, among several concepts it relies on, to call Earth "Planet Ocean," as opposed to Green Planet. "We call Earth Planet Green," Mangni explains, "but in reality seventy percent of its surface is water." Similarly, when we talk about climate change, too often the conversation is limited to focusing on protecting forests and green areas, which is certainly essential. However, giving a more prominent position to the oceans would be a step forward in the fight against global warming. Especially because the crucial role of the sea is supported by increasing scientific evidence: just think that "fifty percent of the oxygen we breathe is produced by phytoplankton". Despite this, 2021 was the hottest year ever recorded for the oceans, which absorb a large part of the excess heat that our planet could not bear, acting as climate regulators. This is precisely why the ocean's well-being should concern everyone - individuals, institutions, and businesses - whether they are near the sea or not.
Even in economic terms - despite this fact is not generally taken into account early - the sea has a huge weight for society: "if we put together and quantify all economic activities that revolve around the sea, we would get the seventh largest economy in the world". Hence the concept of Blue Economy, one of the pillars that underpin One Ocean's activities. "The term Blue Economy," Magni specifies, "has been used in many contexts and can be misleading." The definition that One Ocean embraces is the latest one approved by the scientific community: "Blue Economy is defined as the resilient use of marine resources by companies and people." In other words, all the resources produced by the sea must be used in a sustainable way by both people and businesses, ensuring protection for future generations.
Thanks to projects such as One Ocean, it is possible to think of a world in which companies unite to face the climate crisis, in Magni's words "promoting cooperation rather than competition".