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Former US Secretary of State John Kerry for Our Ocean Wealth Summit in Cork

17th April 2019
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John Kerry will deliver the keynote address in Cork John Kerry will deliver the keynote address in Cork

Former US Secretary of State John Kerry has been announced as a keynote speaker at Ireland’s flagship blue economy conference Our Ocean Wealth at City Hall Cork on June 9th & 10th.

The determined environmentalist and former presidential candidate is visiting Ireland to share his insight on climate change and the action required to sustainably and effectively manage our oceans to ensure the health of our planet.

As Afloat.ie reported previously, Kerry gave the keynote address at a conference last October in Bali attended by Marine Minister Michael Creed.

Our Ocean Wealth Summit sponsored by PWC will welcome more than 30 representatives from island states around the world to Cork this year, including senior political representatives from island nations in the Pacific, the Caribbean, and the Indian Ocean, as well as more than 500 national and international delegates.

Welcoming the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, Peter Thomson, and delegations from Small Island Development States (SIDS), An Tánaiste Simon Coveney said, “As an island nation, Ireland is committed to managing our ocean wealth in a sustainable and efficient way, and we have so much in common with island nations around the globe. I am particularly delighted to welcome representatives from island nations to the Our Ocean Wealth Summit in Cork this year, and look forward to important and fruitful discussions on the balance required to manage our collective blue economies while safeguarding our most precious natural resources.”

Welcoming the announcement of the Summit Programme and the distinguished keynote speakers, including Secretary John Kerry, for the 2019 International Conference in City Hall, Cork, Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine, Michael Creed said “The shared natural resources of our seas and the global oceans transcend national boundaries. We must continue to ensure they are sustainably managed, developed and protected, for the benefit of this and future generations. I look forward to the opportunity that the Our Ocean Wealth Summit 2019 provides, as a platform for the small island nations of the world to speak on the particular and acute challenges they are facing and to learn from them. The Conference should provide a valuable contribution to the global debate on how to manage the Ocean and protect the future of the small island nations of the world.”

With a particular focus on international cooperation, Our Ocean Wealth Summit will bring together a unique mix of national experts and policy makers with representatives from island nations. Participants will discuss the unique challenges faced by island nations, share stories of island life and identity, connections to the ocean, historical links and new partnerships. The Summit will identify practical ways that island states can work better together, through partnership, to address threats, manage ocean resources and build sustainable blue economies.

Marine Institute CEO Peter Heffernan said, “The Our Ocean Wealth Summit is a flagship conference, not only for the marine sector but for the economy in general. The Summit brings together engineering, technology, energy and food sectors, and provides enormous opportunities for collaboration and innovation in business. We are looking forward to hosting Our Ocean Wealth Summit in Cork this year, and welcome business attendees from every sector to engage for success and sustainability in our blue economy.”

PwC Partner, Declan McDonald, said: "We are in our third year of sponsoring the Summit and once again we are delighted to be supporting such an important event. Development of our ocean economy in a sustainable manner is a key theme that will be explored at the Summit. Responsible investment aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is of increasing significance to the global investment community and will be an important enabler to continue developing our marine resources.”

As always, the diverse programme planned for the Summit reflects strong cross-governmental approach, spearheaded this year by the Department of Agriculture Food & Marine and the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade. The programme will reflect also the in-depth collaboration between relevant agencies, including Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, IDA, Tourism Ireland, Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) and the Marine Institute.

The Summit is an output of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, the Government’s integrated plan for Ireland’s marine sector, which aims to double the value of the marine economy’s contribution to GDP by 2030. As a forerunner to Our Ocean Wealth Summit, SeaFest, Ireland’s largest maritime festival, takes place at the Port of Cork from 7 - 9 June. Cork City Council and the Inter-Departmental Marine Coordination Group (MCG) present this national free and family-friendly festival as it docks in Cork for the next three years until 2021.

Published in Marine Science
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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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