Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, UNESCO, Sea Beyond Strengthen Ties

MILAN — Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli and UNESCO on Friday revealed a partnership to spread the message of ocean conservation at the 37th America’s Cup. The UNESCO and Sea Beyond logos will be displayed on the sails of Luna Rossa during the competition, which will take place between Aug. 22 and Oct. 27 in Barcelona.

The announcement was made on the opening day of the first Ocean Literacy World Conference held in Venice Friday and Saturday, organized by UNESCO and the Prada Group as part of the Sea Beyond education program, a project established in 2019 to promote ocean education to younger generations.

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“Knowing that Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli has been recognized by UNESCO as ambassador for the protection of the ocean is a source of great pride for us all,” said Lorenzo Bertelli, executive director of the Prada Group and patron of the Ocean Decade Alliance. In this latter role, said Bertelli, he felt “personally committed to launching this synergy that will help us spread knowledge and share our love for the sea.”

The decision to launch this partnership with Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli is part of a long-term project by UNESCO to support and observe the oceans through sailing, which has involved sailors from the Barcelona World Race, the Ocean Race and the Vendée Globe over the years.

“Through the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli boat, it is the protection of the ocean that will participate in the America’s Cup,” said Audrey Azoulay, director-general of UNESCO. “It’s a wonderful way to strengthen the partnership between UNESCO and the Prada Group on ocean education.”

The main objective of the conference — held with the patronage of the Municipality of Venice, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the third United Nations Ocean Conference to be held in Nice in June 2025 — was to bring together 131 delegates from UNESCO member states and ocean literacy experts from around the world to contribute to the “Venice Declaration for Ocean Literacy,” a collective document that in 10 points contains concrete recommendations to rebalance the relationship between the ocean and humans.

This included the definition of a common path to introduce ocean literacy in school curriculum.

The Declaration will be shared with U.N. member states on July 2 in New York, helping to shape the agenda for the U.N. Ocean Conference to be held in Nice and which will be cohosted by the governments of France and Costa Rica.

“The future of our planet depends on the health of the ocean. This is why it’s important for the youngest to be aware and capable of taking action,” said Bertelli. “We also hope that the document resulting from the reflections of these days will raise the awareness of decision-makers so that they put the protection of the ocean at the centre of the international agenda.”

Emma Watson in the Prada Re-Nylon collection campaign.
Emma Watson in the Prada Re-Nylon collection campaign.

“According to recent data published in UNESCO’s ‘State of the Ocean Report 2024,’ the rate of ocean warming has doubled in the last 20 years and sea levels rose 20 centimeters in the last century,” said Vidar Helgesen, UNESCO assistant director general and executive secretary of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. “The ocean is running out of breath and we are running out of time.”

The second day of the Ocean Literacy World Conference will present the first Sea Beyond Ideas Box created in collaboration with Bibliothèques Sans Frontières [Libraries Without Borders in English] during a conversation between Philippe Starck and Patrick Weil, founder of the French NGO.

Prada Group and UNESCO said in January that they are expanding their joint ocean literacy efforts to 56 countries this year, aiming to educate and sensitize some 34,000 students with its Sea Beyond program.

Now in its third edition, Sea Beyond training is to reach 184 secondary schools and focus on the interrelation between the ocean and climate, along with the environmental challenges wrought by human activity.

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