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Cork Independent


World leaders to convene at Ocean Wealth Summit

Wednesday, 5th June, 2019 4:48pm

More than 30 heads of state, UN representatives and ambassadors will attend a special summit in Cork this week to discuss the impact of climate change on island nations.

The Our Ocean Wealth Summit takes place at Cork City Hall on 9 and 10 June, directly following Ireland’s national maritime festival, SeaFest, which takes place from 7-9 June.

Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, former US Secretary of State John Kerry and the UN Special Envoy for the Oceans Peter Thomson 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


The summit brings together Irish and international organisations to discuss sustainable solutions which can have a global impact and drive the blue economy in areas including engineering, shipping aquaculture, energy, technology and biosciences.

Among those attending the summit will be the Prime Minister of St Lucia Allen Chastanet, Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa Fiame Naomi and Foreign Minister of the Maldives Abdulla Shahid. Political representatives from Grenada, Barbados, Belize, Fiji Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Trinidad & Tobago and more will also be in attendance.

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 per cent 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.”

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

Declan McDonald, Partner at PwC, who are sponsoring the summit, 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.”

The summit programme will also reflect the collaboration between agencies including Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, IDA, Tourism Ireland, Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland and the Marine Institute, and a strong cross-governmental approach, spearheaded this year by the Department of Agriculture Food and Marine and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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