World leaders to discuss climate change at Our Ocean Wealth conference

04 June, 2019

More than 30 heads of state and ministers, UN representatives and Ambassadors from island nations around the globe will convene in Cork for this year's Our Ocean Wealth Summit to discuss the impact of climate change on island nations. Our Ocean Wealth Summit, sponsored by PwC, takes place at Cork City Hall over two days on 9 and 10 June, following Ireland's national maritime festival SeaFest this year.

The Prime Minister of St. Lucia Mr. Allen Chastanet, Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa Ms Fiame Naomi and Foreign Minister of the Maldives Mr. Abdulla Shahid and the Maltese Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Carmelo Abela, and political representatives from Grenada, Barbados, Belize, Fiji, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Trinidad and Tobago and many more will be arriving for the Summit.

Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, the UN Special Envoy for the Oceans Peter Thomson and former US Secretary of State John Kerry are also among those participating at the Summit to highlight the challenges faced by small island nations as a result of climate change, and to galvanise efforts to protect the world's seas.

Pictured: Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Mick Finn with Eoghan Linehan of PwC.

Pictured at the launch of Our Ocean Wealth Summit 2019 are Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Mick Finn with Eoghan Linehan, Senior Manager, PwC.

Marine Institute CEO Peter Heffernan said, "The health of our oceans is critical to the health of our planet. Almost three quarters of the Earth's surface is covered by the oceans and it absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity. Plastics in our oceans are affecting over 700 species from plankton to whales, and climate change is impacting the world's oceans in terms of acidity and global warming. We must act as a collective."

"Tackling these global challenges will also present many opportunities for innovative developments in a circular blue economy. Along with the Dept. for Agriculture, Food and Marine and the Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Marine Institute is working with small island nations to prioritise our oceans' health and that will be the focus of the Our Ocean Wealth Summit 2019 in Cork."

Declan McDonald, PwC Partner, said, "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. We, at PwC, are delighted to be supporting such an important and international event."

Moderated by Tara Shine, a climate justice activist and advisor, the Our Ocean Wealth Summit will continue on Monday 10 June with an impressive line-up of experts, leaders and speakers on sustainability for the oceans.

The Summit 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, and the diverse programme reflects a strong cross-governmental approach, spearheaded this year by the Department of Agriculture Food and Marine and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

See Our Ocean Wealth for further details.

ENDS

Our Ocean Wealth 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 old
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tonnes 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

Reference: Marine Institute

 

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