Rare at the 2022 Our Ocean Conference


The 2022 Our Ocean Conference in Palau brought together national government representatives, international organizations, and ocean advocates from around the world to make commitments in support of tangible progress for protecting the ocean. The Conference served as an important milestone for amplifying the growing drumbeat for ocean action and funding.

The Conference was also the first one hosted by a small island developing state (SIDS), providing a unique opportunity to demonstrate the important role of SIDS, indigenous peoples, and local fishing communities have in sustainably managing ocean and coastal resources and protecting it from threats like overfishing and climate change.

Even with a small delegation, Rare convened partners, hosted events, and even took center stage to highlight our community-led approach to ocean conservation, as well as the importance of focusing on the territorial seas and coastal communities.

Advancing Sustainable Fisheries Plenary

On April 13, Rare’s Managing Director of Fish Forever, Rocky Sanchez Tirona, joined a panel discussion on advancing sustainable fisheries. During the panel, Rocky spoke about the need to focus on the territorial seas and solutions that pair effective protection with sustainable use by communities who depend on them for food and livelihoods.


Elevating Fishers

Rare hosted two events to elevate small-scale fishers and their role in sustainably managing coastal ocean waters. First, Rare convened a roundtable discussion of small-scale fisher leaders from Palau to discuss challenges facing the sector and solutions for sustainable, community-led conservation of Palau’s coastal ocean waters.

Following the Palau fishers’ dialogue, and in partnership with EDF, Rare hosted a virtual discussion amongst small-scale fishing sector leaders representing coastal nations . The event was the latest in a series of dialogues that Rare and our partners are hosting this year, in connection with the 2022 International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA).

Bringing Together Ministers for Bold Commitments and Actions Towards Territorial Seas

Rare joined Palau’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment (MAFE) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in convening a dialogue among ministers from several coastal nations discussing challenges facing small-scale fishers and coastal communities. The Ministers also responded to recommendations from fisher leaders, coastal mayors, and youth advocates, and discuss progress on commitments. During the Ministerial dialogue, the ministers watched the video below featuring highlights from the fishers’ roundtable.

Convening the Coastal 500 Champions

The Coastal 500 is a global network of mayors and other local leaders committed to thriving coastal communities. During the Our Ocean Conference, Coastal 500 Champions responded to the outputs of the fisher leader dialogue.  Following the Dialogue, the Coastal 500 members produced a statement in support of small-scale fishers and their importance to coastal communities.

Engaging Youth Ocean Leaders

During the Conference, Rare hosted 40 youth delegates – half from Palau, half from elsewhere around the world – for a seaside salon to share perspectives and their passion for ocean advocacy. The event was an opportunity for the youth advocates to draft statements in support of ocean action to be delivered to the fisheries ministers of participating nations. Following the event, the Youth Leaders produced this statement in support of small-scale fishers.


Video: Empowering communities to protect the ocean

A central tool of Rare’s approach to enabling community-based fisheries management is a system called Managed Access with Reserves. Watch this new animated explainer video to find out how it works.

Podcast: Conserving coral Reefs in Palau

Palau is the conservation nation. In a podcast produced in partnership with Puma Podcasts, Rare brings you to the frontlines of ocean conservation to learn how Palau safeguards its coral reefs.

Story: The Palauan Protector

His love for fishing began as a child. Now, 59-year old Adolph Demei has made it his mission to protect Palau’s coastal waters and its marine heritage. Read about him and other fishers we are celebrating this International Year of the Artisanal Fisheries & Aquaculture (IYAFA).

Web: The 30x30 Campaign.

Prioritizing the right 30% of the ocean.

Fishing Communities Lead the Way

In 2022, Rare celebrates and supports the United Nations’ International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture. During this special year, we are featuring the countless contributions of artisanal and small-scale fishing community members who are creating a more bountiful and sustainable life for their communities and the 500 million people who depend on this sector.

Meet the fishers