PICTURES: ‘Our ocean is not for sale’: Greenpeace Greece calls on leaders in Athens to act

Ahead of the Our Ocean Conference taking place in Athens this week, Greenpeace Greece activists reminded decision-makers of their duties to safeguard ocean life, through spectacular displays on the iconic Acropolis Hill and under the Temple of Poseidon, in Cape Sounio.

A series of messages projected on the Acropolis Hill and other sites around the city, including the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center where the conference will be held, highlighted urgent measures to protect the oceans from corporate greed, including ensuring justice for coastal communities, stopping deep sea mining and ratifying the UN High Seas treaty.

Pictures and footage of the projection are available on the Greenpeace Media Library.

Nikos Charalambides, Executive Director of Greenpeace Greece, said: “Despite the agreement of the UN High Seas Treaty in 2023, the Ocean remains under threat from industrial fishing, pollution, oil and gas drilling and the emerging deep sea mining industry. The Ocean needs this conference to not just be a moment of self congratulations and speeches but actual action and commitments to prevent this plunder. Greenpeace expects the more than one hundred countries’ representatives attending to make bold commitments to protect the oceans”.

Greenpeace is challenging the ambition of governments who have just over half a decade to protect at least 30% of the world’s oceans, urging them to prioritize protection over profit [1]. 

With only one year to go until the 2025 UN oceans conference in Nice, time is running out:

  • At least 60 countries must ratify the UN High Seas Treaty (also known as the UN Global Ocean Treaty) by Nice to enter into force, but so far only 3 have officially deposited their ratification at the UN (Palau, Chile and Belize) 
  • In July the council and Assembly meetings of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) will take place in Kingston, Jamaica where the industry and certain nations will continue to push for deep sea mining to go ahead. So far 25 countries are calling for a pause, a moratorium or even a ban on deep sea mining. We urgently need more nations to join them in calling for a ban.
  • For centuries, coastal communities and artisanal fishers have safeguarded coastal ecosystems. Despite their crucial role, they’re often overlooked in fisheries policy. Governments must secure their rights, ensuring the community’s participation in decision-making and safeguarding against industrial exploitation secures a prosperous future for all and the preservation of our oceans

World leaders wanting to be seen as ocean champions have to stay consistent: if they are really serious about ocean protection, they should ratify the UN High Seas treaty, put money on the table to bring the treaty to life and support a moratorium on deep sea mining.[2]



The 9th Our Ocean Conference is taking place in Athens, at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, on the 16th and 17th of April. Originally an initiative by the US State Department to bring high level government, CSO and business representatives together and make concrete commitments on ocean protection.

A Greenpeace delegation will attend the Our ocean conference and will be available for interviews in Greek, English and French.

[1] All governments agreed to protect at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030 under the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2022.

[2] The European Union’s Global Ocean Programme commitment of 40 million € must be followed by similar pledges from others.


Magali Rubino, Global media lead for Greenpeace’s Protect the Oceans campaign, Greenpeace France: [email protected] +33 7 78 41 78 78 (GMT+2)

Greenpeace International Press Desk: [email protected], +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)

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