World Ocean Summit Focuses on Governance and Sustainability

world-ocean-summit26 February 2014: The second World Ocean Summit, hosted by The Economist in partnership with National Geographic, brought together over 250 leaders from business, government, academia, international institutions, and NGOs to address growing concerns about the unsustainable impact of humans on the world's oceans.

The Summit, which took place in San Francisco, US, on 24-26 February 2014,was meant to feature oceans more prominently in global environmental, climate change and sustainability agendas.

The three-day conference started with leaders from government and the private sector setting the scene for the following two days of discussions. Panel discussions and case studies then explored macro-level issues relating to sustainability and governance. These discussions focused on: refining the challenge - what are the barriers, why is progress slow, what are the factors inhibiting greater action; and building a solution - where to start, what we have learned from past initiatives, including on aquaculture sustainable development, on tackling overfishing, and on ocean governance.

According to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), topics addressed included the proposed International Polar Partnership Initiative and advancing the science on harmful algal blooms.

Summit speakers included: Prince Albert II, Principality of Monaco; Rachel Kyte, World Bank Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change; and Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP). [GEF Press Release] [UNESCO Press Release] [Ocean Summit Website] [UNESCO IOC Press Release]