UNESCO is the main partner of the 1 OCEAN Foundation, which it supports in its exploration missions. The 1 OCEAN Project is part of the United Nations Decade of the Ocean (2021-2030).

Since its creation in 1945, UNESCO has been committed to the Ocean. The institution contributes to the preservation of the marine environment through World Heritage sites and biosphere reserves. Through its educational activities, it also helps to raise awareness of environmental issues, and thus contributes to safeguarding the world's oceans.

In 1960, UNESCO created the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) to enable Member States to share their work and knowledge about the Ocean. Since 2021, the IOC of UNESCO has been leading the Ocean Decade (2021-2030). This major programme for the Ocean aims to mobilize the scientific community, political decision-makers, companies and civil society around a common research and technological innovation programme.

"With only 20% of the ocean floor mapped today, we are the ungrateful children of an ocean that gives us everything," Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director General. To better protect the ocean, we must understand it; to understand it, we must explore it.
At the dawn of the Ocean Decade, photographer Alexis Rosenfeld and UNESCO launched 1 OCEAN, an international exploration project. This is the second collaboration between the photographer and the institution: they had worked together on the project "Coral reefs, a challenge for humanity" in 2018.

Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO

"How can we protect the ocean without studying it? How can we understand it without exploring it? Sharing knowledge, transmitting knowledge, raising awareness of this wonderful world without borders is one of the key actions of UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. Through the photographic work of Alexis Rosenfeld, the 1 OCEAN project conveys UNESCO's environmental concerns to decision-makers, scientists and the general public. 1 OCEAN is the Ocean's testimony for the decade to come."