Our beautiful ocean is under threat- from fishing, plastic pollution and climate change to name just a few. We need to take action fast to ensure we protect the ocean and all the amazing animals that live in it. 

There is a very important opportunity coming up that potentially will have a big impact on the ocean. After close to 20 years of discussions, Governments are meeting in New York in August 2022 to finalise an agreement known as “the High Seas Treaty” that will help protect ocean life in international waters. The High Seas Alliance and RISE UP are working with our members to encourage governments to make as ambitious an agreement as possible. 

Young people have unfortunately been invisible from these important discussions, even though they have the most at stake in the long-term.

The High Seas Alliance and RISE UP would like to bring in these key young voices to the discussions, using art as a universal language that we all speak and understand. 



Brief for Youth Art Initiative:

The High Seas Alliance and RISE UP would like to raise awareness with its school and youth members to promote how amazing our ocean is and how important it is to protect it in the lead up to the final conference where the High Seas Treaty will be agreed in August 2022. In particular, we would love for you to work together to create an art project that symbolizes “what the ocean means to me”.

Show us how much the ocean inspires you, how beautiful it is and why we all should care.

Just go wild!


What Does the Ocean Mean To Me?


Important Specs

  • This can be a joint creation, or made individually. 
  • There are no minimum or maximum age limits (1-99 years!)
  • It can be as big and colourful as you want.
  • It can include a short written message
  • Ideally the format is landscape.
  • Once finished take a close-up photo of your art masterpiece and send it as a jpeg by email to info@riseupfortheocean.org with your name, age, (school or class if relevant)
  • In your email please include this short disclaimer text that we will be able to use the artwork. 

The High Seas Alliance and RISE UP is amplifying and delivering your messages and images to key leaders via our social media and at key political moments, including the United Nations in New York during the conference.


We are also proud to be working with well-known nature artist Mathias Horne to select the most outstanding artistic creations that we will also profile on our website, bring to the United Nations, as well as send a small prize!





Background information on High Seas

70% of our planet is covered by the ocean. Really, we should call our planet Ocean rather than Planet Earth. Countries that border the sea or ocean have clear rules on how to look after their waters (which reach out to about 200 nautical miles (370 km) from the coast). 

Beyond that there is a huge amount of water that belongs to all of us- it’s called the high seas. It makes up half of our planet. Unfortunately, this area is much less protected and doesn’t have the proper rules in place to protect it. 

However- that is about to change! Governments are meeting at the United Nations to negotiate a new agreement that will help protect ocean life in these areas- such as whales, turtles, sharks, corals. 

After years of talking, we are now just months away from the final agreement. These coming weeks are important, because the positions and decisions that governments still need to make will determine whether a good strong agreement is made, or a weak one that will not really change the current situation. We are asking you to help us highlight the issue to ensure that governments feel the pressure to do the right thing for the ocean and make a strong agreement.

If you are looking for additional inspiration and lesson plans relating to the ocean, these links will hopefully be useful.