Thursday 20 June 2019

First Ocean Wealth summit to make landfall in Cork this weekend

Maria Herlihy

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.

That is the firm viewpoint of Marine Institute CEO Peter Heffernan, who will join more than 30 heads of state and ministers along with UN representatives and ambassadors from Island nations in Cork this weekend for the first 'Our Ocean Wealth Summit', which will discuss the impact of climate change on island nations. 

The Prime Minister of St. Lucia, Mr. Allen Chastanet, Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa Ms Fiame Naomi will be joined by ministers from the Maldives and Malta as well as political representatives from Grenada, Barbados, Belize, Fiji Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Trinidad & Tobago and many more will be arriving for the summit.

Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson and 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.

The summit is sponsored by PwC and it will take place at Cork City Hall over two days on June 9-10, following Ireland's national maritime festival, SeaFest, this year.

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

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