The Ocean Race Summit Europe to tackle urgent threats to the seas
The Ocean Race, the world’s toughest test of a sports team, will host a high-level summit on June 16 to help drive new and improved policies to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing our blue planet is facing.
The Ocean Race Summit Europe will mobilize the determination and ambition of the round-the-world challenge, to address the lack of governance and protection of our seas, the impact of climate change and examine whether the ocean should have “ rights”. It brings together leading experts from the worlds of government, science, industry, NGOs, media and sport.
The list includes the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen and Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, who will talk about how the EU will put blue in the European Green Deal and how the Union could be at the forefront of protecting the ocean and the planet.
Mumta Ito, lawyer and founder of the NGO Nature’s Rights, will reveal why granting rights to the oceans could help secure its future and Tommy E. Remengesau, former President of the Republic of Palau, to show the way in terms of protection oceans.
Alongside these dominant voices will be the unique perspectives of sailors, who have unparalleled experiences of the ocean. Annie Lush from Offshore Team Germany will reveal what life on the high seas looks like and how offshore racers help scientists understand climate and weather systems.
The Ocean Race Summit Europe will feature local speakers live from Alicante, Spain, the race’s hometown and a live link to Brussels. The event will be held virtually, with a diverse group of exclusively invited speakers and attendees from around the world.
It will present ideas, solutions and inspiring examples of good practice from some of the main European voices. These local perspectives will help stimulate global policy making.
The Summit Series was developed in collaboration with 11th Hour Racing, first partner of The Ocean Race and founding partner of the Racing with Purpose sustainability program.
Richard Brisius, President of the Ocean Race, said: “We have an ocean, but the way it is protected and governed is shattered. When you add to that the impact of climate change, it is a recipe for disaster for our marine world.
“We urgently need to create a better system, with collaboration at the heart of it.
“The sailors of the Ocean Race have seen the ocean and its decline more than most people on the planet. Our race is synonymous with teamwork, overcoming challenges and achieving the extraordinary.
“We can apply this across our summits, to help drive change for the ocean. Sport has the power to make a real difference to the planet and we will do everything we can to make the most of this opportunity.
The Ocean Race Summit Europe will be hosted by renowned television presenter and science communicator Danni Washington. Confirmed speakers include:
Pascal Lamy, Chairman of the Paris Peace Forum and Chairman of the EU’s Starfish 2030 mission talks about the ambitious mission to overhaul ocean governance
Dr. Emily Pidgeon, Vice President, Ocean Science and Innovation, talks about the importance of including the ocean in the climate conversation
Teresa Ribera Fourth Deputy Vice-President and Spanish Minister for Ecological Transition on the need to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030
Valerie Cabanes, expert in international law and co-founder of End Ecocide on Earth, which will reveal what ecocide means for people and nature
Manu San Felix, marine biologist from Ibiza Preservation and specialist in the protection of Posidonia (seagrass), who will highlight how the ocean can be a hero in the climate crisis
The Ocean Race Summit Europe is endorsed by the United Nations Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development and is held under the high patronage of Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.
These summits support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG 14) aimed at preserving and using the oceans, seas and marine resources in a sustainable manner.
The Summit will take place on June 16, during the Ocean Race Europe, which begins on May 29 in Lorient, northwestern France and ends in Genoa, Italy, with a coastal race on June 19.
Since the first Summit in spring 2015, events have taken place across the world and have collectively seen thousands of participants, in person and online, come together to work to restore healthy oceans.
In previous years, the summits have focused on action against plastic pollution and have had significant success in driving the commitments of mayors, governors and ministers, who have signed their cities, states and countries up to to the Clean Seas program, while companies such as Volvo Cars have made a public commitment to reduce their use of plastics.
The summit will be televised live on The Ocean Race: Racing with Purpose YouTube channel.