World leaders convene to discuss ocean health at Our Ocean Wealth Summit in Cork

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 2 days on 9 & 10 June, following Ireland’s national maritime festival, SeaFest, this year.

At the launch of Our Ocean Wealth Summit 2019 Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Mick Finn and Eoghan Linehan, Senior Manager, PwC. (Credit: Cathal Noonan)

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 & 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.

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.”

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.

PwC Partner, Declan McDonald, 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.”

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 & Marine and the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade.

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About the Author

Ann Robinson
Has a passion for coastal heritage and maritime history. Loves sharing the best of the Irish coast online. Contact me or follow me on Twitter @AnnRobinson22