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1 Ocean, A Decade of Exploration in the 21st Century is a project conducted by the photographer Alexis Rosenfeld in partnership with UNESCO. As part of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), we are telling the story of the Ocean, of its riches, of threats affecting it, and solutions we can provide. 1 Ocean is a journey of discovery of the Ocean, over a full decade seeing secrets at great depths and the wonders of marine life.

The feature report has been developed along three key lines.


For centuries, basic curiosity has been the central driving force urging human beings to explore, to slake their thirst for knowledge, climbing ever higher, crossing deserts and diving to extreme depths in the Ocean. Such human ventures in the past had one sole purpose and that was to provide knowledge to the human race, knowledge of worlds hitherto unknown, never even imagined, but they also revealed fragile aspects of the environment. Explorers who traveled the world related their experiences and, in many ways, shaped the legend of the “blue continent” as seen on the surface, but there was another world far below, a world all but beyond the scope of human knowledge, almost impossible to reach. Now, in the early 21st century, the “1 Ocean” crew has embarked on voyages of discovery of unexplored realms, uncovering many mysteries of the Ocean.

The reason for this exploration is to generate new knowledge. Explorers of the past who traveled the seas would return with objects that were added to the great collections of Europe: stones, botanical specimens, art works and artefacts were brought back, thus providing future generations with valuable samples from the past. Today, following the example of our predecessors, 1 Ocean, A Decade of Exploration in the 21st Century will produce new content. Alexis Rosenfeld is providing visual coverage of the journeys, through both still photography and documentary films.

This documentary record is designed so that everyone can see the story of the Ocean and its riches. The idea of sharing knowledge, passing it on from generation to generation is a key part of the project which is founded on the principle that knowledge is the first step on the path to protection. Given the environmental threats to the Ocean today, we are duty bound to report on this. Our ambition is to raise awareness in minds today and, above all, to build the minds of the future.

Alexis Rosenfeld

Alexis Rosenfeld

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