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Ocean Community Recap: 10th Economist Impact’s World Ocean Summit, 2023

As we prepare for the return of the 11th Economist Impact's World Ocean Summit in March 2024, we summarised our findings from 2023; Ocean Community participated in the 10th Economist Impact’s World Ocean Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, from February 27th to March 1st, 2023. The event served as a global gathering of ocean leaders, startups, businesses, and government bodies, all united in a mission to foster a sustainable ocean economy and address pressing environmental concerns.

With over 1,000 delegates and nearly 200 esteemed speakers, the Summit buzzed with engagement and enthusiasm. Discussions revolved around critical topics such as financing innovations for meeting SDG14 targets, leveraging scientific data for comprehensive ocean insights, and developing nature-based solutions combatting climate change and biodiversity loss.

Sessions at the Summit delved into various essential themes:

- Financing Innovation: Exploring mechanisms to fund innovative solutions necessary for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 14 targets.

- Data Utilization: Discussing the conversion of scientific data into actionable insights to drive informed decision-making for ocean conservation.

- Green Corridors: Highlighting how establishing "green corridors" could accelerate the reduction of shipping's climate impact.

- Nature-Based Solutions: Examining the development of blue nature-based solutions to address global climate and biodiversity challenges.

- Marine Protected Areas: Advocating for the establishment of Marine Protected Areas as a strategy to combat climate change and biodiversity loss.

- Energy Crisis Alleviation: Exploring the potential of the ocean to alleviate the global energy crisis through sustainable means.

- Technology in Fishing: Recognizing the crucial role of technology in accelerating sustainable fishing practices.

- Plastic Consumption Reduction: Addressing strategies to stem the growth of plastic consumption and halt ocean pollution.

One highlight was the emphasis on funding mechanisms for innovation, aligning closely with Ocean Community's mission. Recognizing the need for more financial support to achieve SDG 14 targets, there was a shared commitment to enable early-stage solutions often overlooked by traditional investors. However, barriers to ocean investments persist, including unclear ownership rights and a lack of regulatory frameworks. Moreover, while most ocean projects focus on infrastructure, many fail due to insufficient stakeholder support. This underscores the importance of transparent stakeholder management and smaller-scale projects emphasizing sustainable solutions.

Looking ahead, there's a growing recognition of the ocean's vast potential and the urgency to act. The blue economy, estimated at US$2.5 trillion annually, holds promise not only for economic growth but also in addressing global crises like climate change and pollution. Open innovation is seen as vital in unlocking this potential, but meaningful change requires concrete actions and systemic shifts.

As we prepare for the return of the World Ocean Summit to Lisbon on March 11-13, 2024, the call to action is clear: we must translate dialogue into tangible initiatives and action to ensure a sustainable future for our oceans and the communities reliant upon them. We will be back shortly to tell you if our call to action was met.


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