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Virtual summit for healthy, resilient ocean

Geneva – A healthy and resilient ocean can help tackle climate change while providing sustainable food sources and jobs around the world. Half of the world”s GDP is dependent on nature, according to the World Economic Forum, and more than three billion people rely on the ocean for their livelihoods.

As countries begin to manage the economic and social impact of COVID-19, the ocean can be part of the solution. To fast-track the innovations necessary for a healthy ocean, the Friends of Ocean Action, with the World Economic Forum, will convene the first Virtual Ocean Dialogues.

From June 1 to 5, heads of state and government, leaders from business, members of civil society and scientific communities will gather at a virtual summit to share innovation and solutions.

It will give participants the opportunity to share and scale projects worldwide, accelerating their benefits. The event will be open to the public.

“We need an all-hands-on-deck approach to achieve action for a healthy ocean, and with the Virtual Ocean Dialogues we are creating the opportunity to involve more people than ever before. No matter where you live and work in the world you can participate in these dialogues — all you need is an interest in the future of two-thirds of our planet,” said Kristian Teleki, Director of Friends of Ocean Action, World Economic Forum.

Boosting ocean protection, tackling marine pollution, financing a sustainable blue economy and prioritizing data and science to feed billions will feature across the programme.

The dialogues have been designed for communities around the world to connect and exchange ideas.

During the event, finalists will be announced from the UpLink Ocean Solutions Sprint — a competition to unearth great ideas to solve the critical challenges of illegal fishing and plastic pollution.

UpLink is a digital platform to crowdsource innovations to accelerate delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is an open platform designed to engage anyone who wants to contribute to the global public good.

“The global community needs ideas and leadership to maintain action for a healthy ocean. I am delighted to support the Virtual Ocean Dialogues and invite anyone with a concern for the ocean to participate in these critical discussions. All of our lives depend on a thriving ocean, and on fast-tracking solutions to rebuild a resilient global community. The health of our ocean underpins the oxygen we breathe, provides food and job security for billions, and is our greatest ally in tackling climate change. We must prioritize the ocean, and that is what this event aims to achieve,” said Isabella Lovin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Environment and Climate for Sweden, and Co-Chair of Friends of Ocean Action.

“The UN Ocean Conference has been postponed, but will be held in Lisbon as soon as conditions allow. To fill the gap in the calendar left by this postponement, the World Economic Forum and the Friends of Ocean Action have organised the Virtual Ocean Dialogues on 1-5 June. I have big expectations as to the quality and outcomes of these high-level, expert dialogues, and in the build-up to the UN Ocean Conference will ensure their findings are made available to all,” said Peter Thomson, UN Secretary-General”s Special Envoy for the Ocean, and Co-Chair of Friends of Ocean Action.

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