WMU and OECS collaborate at Annual World Ocean Summit

WMU and OECS Collaborate at Annual World Ocean Summit

From 11 to 13 March 2024, the World Maritime University – Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute (GOI) contributed to The Economist Impact 11th annual World Ocean Summit and Expo held in Lisbon, Portugal. The Summit featured more than 200 expert speakers with an agenda focused on ocean health, climate solutions and industry strategies for a sustainable ocean economy.

The GOI co-hosted a Strategy Session on 12 March with the Economist Impact titled “Driving ocean-centred solutions by islanders for small island developing states (SIDS)”. The session opened with a keynote address by Mr. Mitsuyuki Unno, Executive Director of The Nippon Foundation.

This was followed by a panel that included WMU PhD graduates Dr. Roxanne Graham and Dr. Tricia Lovell of the Nippon Foundation-WMU Closing the Circle Programme, as well as Ms Susanna Debeauville-Scott from The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and His Excellency Honorable Walter Roban, Deputy Premier of Bermuda and the Minister of Home Affairs of the Government of Bermuda. Moderated by the Global Director of Impact at the Forum for the Future, Mr. Martin Koehring, the session explored several topics critical for SIDS including the challenges of waste management, plastics pollution, limited economic opportunities, and accessibility to global processes in island nations as well as how they may turn the tide through education, financing, local investment in technology and innovation.

The GOI team showcased the research findings and WMU educational programmes in the Exhibition Hall, which was visited by many of the 1,200 delegates attending the Summit. A notable highlight was the launch of a video about the Blue Planning in Practice workshop and High-Level Blue Economy Roundtable that were delivered in collaboration with OECS in April 2023 in Saint Lucia within the framework of the Closing the Circle Programme.

The workshop included the OECS Ocean Governance Team (OGT) and the Roundtable was attended by several ministers from OECS member States. The video, jointly produced with OECS, showcases the importance of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and the Blue Economy in the Eastern Caribbean region and the need for collaboration to support on-going work through capacity development training, outreach and research.

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