The Ocean Visions Summit “Towards a Global Ecosystem for Ocean Solutions” took place online from 18 to 21 May 2021. Over 4 days, the summit brought together a diverse community of researchers, innovators, decision-makers, funders, and citizens from all over the world working to find solutions for the unprecedented challenges and threats our oceans are facing. From ocean-based solutions and climate and equitable coastal strategies for resilience and adaptation, to developing marine circular economies and transforming ocean research into sustainable businesses, the Ocean Visions Summit brought over 2,300 participants together from 80 different countries.
Early Career Ocean Professionals discussion on Ocean Plastic Solutions
During the summit, GEO Blue Planet teamed up with the Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs) to host a breakaway ECOPs discussion on ocean plastic solutions with UNEP on 19 May. During the session, Heidi Savelli and Marta Ottogalli from UNEP presented the Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) platform – an open-source, multi-stakeholder information and data tool that compiles different resources, connects stakeholders and integrates data on marine litter to inform decision-making. GEO Blue Planet’s Working Group on Marine Debris is currently collaborating with GPML on the development of the platform by providing a white paper on Monitoring Marine Litter and Informing Action.
Chaired by Audrey Hasson, the GEO Blue Planet EU coordinator, the session also facilitated a brainstorming session on addressing current challenges on marine litter such as a lack of coordination and need for co-development of solutions. ECOPs participants shared a strong interest in the GPML digital platform, which presents opportunities to learn about data origins, best practices and measurement standards as well as available training and collaboration support in addressing marine litter.
Panel discussion during session “Healthy Ocean Healthy People”
Audrey Hasson also participated on May 20 in the panel discussion on Ocean Plastic Solutions during the “Healthy Ocean Healthy People” Session together with Erik van Sebille (Utrecth University), Sigi Gruber (former European Commission official), Richmond Kennedy Quarcoo (Plastic Punch Ghana), and the session moderator Delphine Lobelle (Utrecht University).
During this session, the issues raised during the ECOPs discussion were put forward. Audrey Hasson strongly encouraged participants to engage with ECOPs who demonstrated their eagerness to be part of the solutions but lack networking opportunity and information on how to collaborate with local governments and higher-level structures. Setting up a transgenerational group was suggested to foster synergies between actors and to enhance impacts.
For more information and to access recordings of main scientific sessions, visit the event website by clicking here.