Oceans act as life support systems for our planet. Our fresh water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the oxygen in the air we breathe, are all ultimately provided and regulated by the sea. Oceans are the world’s largest ecosystem, home to a vast array of incredibly diverse plants and animals. Unfortunately our oceans are at risk from multiple threats, including climate change, marine debris and over-exploitation from fishing and tourism.
This event consisted of presentations from ocean and Pacific experts interspersed with short videos outlining the actions that various countries are taking to protect the oceans, followed by audience Q&A.
• Coral reefs and climate change – Dr Jennie Mallela, Research School of Biology, Australian National University
• The Fate of Pacific Islands: Facing Sea Level Rise and Climate Change with Resilience – Prof Elisabeth Holland, Director of the Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development, University of the South Pacific
• Polar POD: a 3-year circumnavigation to explore biodiversity and oceanography of the Southern Ocean – Prof David Antoine, Head of the Remote Sensing and Satellite Research Group, Curtin University
• Olivier Poivre d’Avor, Ambassador for the Oceans and the Poles, France
• Official Launch of UN Ocean Decade with Anja Karliczek, Federal Minister of Education and Research, Germany Orazio Guanciale, Special Envoy for Pacific Islands and coordinator for Antarctica, Italy
• Short statement covering COP26, the Global Oceans Alliance, the 30by30 pledge, and the UK’s Blue Planet Fund , delivered by Rachel Holmes, Head of the Political and Public Diplomacy Team, British High Commission
Moderator: Prof Andy Hogg, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University
This event was hosted by the Embassies of France, Italy, and Germany respectively, the UK High Commission and the ANU Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions.
To celebrate World Oceans’ Day, watch the conference to learn and discuss the challenges to the health of our oceans and marine resources and what can be done to protect them.