The Large Ocean Nations Forum & Blue Fashion Challenge 2021

The term Large Ocean Nation appeals to the strengths and opportunities of small island nations, highlighting the size and potential of our marine jurisdictions, rather than focusing on the limits of our land area and population size.

In the international context, the concept of Large Ocean Nation underlines the value of cooperation among equals, connected as we are by similar realities, challenges and opportunities as island nations highly dependent on the sea for our well-being and future development.

The Faroe Islands plans to host the second Large Ocean Nations Forum (LON2) in Tórshavn in the latter half of 2021. The focus at LON2 will be on moving from global words to island actions, providing a platform for further broadening and deepening cooperation between Large Ocean Nations. It was originally planned for August 2020, but like so many international events, it has been necessary to postpone it due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

LON Forum Partners are currently exploring ideas for digital events and other creative ways of keeping communications active and involving more countries and relevant organisations in the LON network, as plans proceed to gather in person in the Faroe Islands in 2021. LON Partners are seeking to enhance engagement with other Large Ocean Nations from all ocean regions with an interest in being an active part of shaping and coordinating LON activities.

LON2 in 2021 will build on the success of the first Large Ocean Nations Forum on Blue Growth in Malta in 2017, which was attended by representatives from Large Ocean Nations from the North Atlantic, Africa, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. The Forum addressed common challenges and opportunities facing Large Ocean Nations when it comes to sustainable use of marine resources, with an emphasis on innovation in marine value chains. It also showcased the results from the first Blue Fashion Challenge in August 2017, when designers from the Nordic region competed to create original and innovative fashion garments from sustainable marine materials.

Subsequent events have also focussed on blue bio-economy and blue fashion. These have included the COFI/33 Side Event in 2018 on Blue Growth in SIDS, as well as the Blue Fashion for Blue Growth event during the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference hosted by Kenya in November 2018, both of which were organised in close collaboration with FAO.

The 2021 Forum will feature dedicated workshops and forums for invited experts and stakeholders from ocean regions around the world:

  • Workshop on Aquaculture: Developments, experiences and future challenges in fish and seaweed farming in Large Ocean Nations organised and sponsored by the GRÓ Fisheries Training Programme in Iceland in collaboration with Fiskaaling, the Faroese Aquaculture Research Agency.
  • Workshop on Fisheries Crime & Blue Justice: Following up on the 2018 Copenhagen Declaration on Transnational Organised Crime in the Global Fishing Industry, with a focus on practical challenges in monitoring and enforcement, organised and sponsored by the North Atlantic Fisheries Inspection Group in collaboration with the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries.
  • High-level Policy Day, featuring keynote presentations and interactive discussions that explore both existing and new areas for future cooperation between Large Ocean Nations around the world, including input directly from the Forum workshops. Organised in collaboration between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Culture in the Faroe Islands and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Iceland.
  • The Second Blue Fashion Challenge will run concurrently during the week of workshops and policy discussion. Twelve designers from ocean regions around the world will be selected by an independent committee and will have five days to put together original and innovative creations from sustainable marine materials. Organised by the Nordic Atlantic Cooperation (NORA).

The 2021 LON Forum will culminate on the last day with the Blue Fashion Showcase, a runway fashion event where the competing designers will discuss their pieces, judges will ask questions, and the winner of the Blue Fashion Challenge will be selected.

The programme of events for the week will be organised to allow time for participants to visit Faroese companies, agencies and other facilities of relevance to discussions during the Forum.

LON2 will be hosted by the Government of the Faroe Islands and organised by the Nordic Atlantic Cooperation (NORA), in partnership with:

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Iceland
  • GRÓ Fisheries Training Programme under the auspices of UNESCO, Iceland
  • Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, Norway
  • Nordic Council of Ministers
  • Commonwealth Secretariat, Blue Charter
  • United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

More information about the first Large Ocean Nations Forum and Blue Fashion can be found in the following reports:

For more information on the next Large Ocean Nations Forum and the LON network in general, please contact Kate Sanderson, Head of Ocean Affairs in the Faroese Foreign Service at

July 2020

                                             Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Culture

                                              Government of the Faroe Islands