The One Ocean Conference
The ocean covers more than 70% of the surface of our planet, regulates major environmental balances, provides essential resources, enables trade and connects countries and human communities. It is now seriously threatened by many pressures, such as the effects of climate changethe pollution or the overexploitation of marine resources. However, the place of the oceans in the international political agenda is currently not commensurate with its role in climatic, environmental and social balances, nor with the importance of the threats that weigh on marine life.
Echoing the One Ocean Summitan international event organized by France on February 20, 2022, as part of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union and with the support of the United Nations, the Consulate General of France is organizing the One Ocean Conferencea high-level conference in partnership with theHong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).
The One Ocean conference will focus on tangible actions and solutions on two major ocean health challenges: Marine Life Preservation and the Blue Finance.
- Preserving our Oceans: What can we do to protect marine life?
Plastic pollution, proliferation of invasive species, habitat degradation, modification of ecosystem functions… many problems threaten the marine environment. Speakers will explain how we can preserve a healthy and sustainable ocean.
- The Blue Finance Challenge: How can finance have a positive impact on ocean health?
Blue finance is an emerging area of climate finance that is attracting growing interest from investors, financial institutions and issuers around the world. This panel will examine how the financial sector can guide ocean industries towards sustainable development.
Academics, business and civil society representatives will be brought together to share their views, experiences and best practices on these two issues.
HKUST and France: a Common Commitment to the Environment
Our common goal is to put the climate and the environment at the center of the local political agenda, by bringing together political, institutional, business and NGO actors. As a global player, France has taken a leading role in the fight against climate change since 2015. At the same time, as a global university hub, HKUST has intensified its policy of supporting sustainable development in Hong Kong and beyond, through the creation of the Institute of the Environment and the implementation of ambitious initiatives on its campus.
HKUST and France have a strong relationship of cooperation, which has further blossomed over the years with the creation in 2018 of the HKUST x France Sustainable Innovation Hub to promote scientific communication and cooperation. This conference is an opportunity to celebrate their long-standing collaboration by renewing their memorandum of understanding. Through this memorandum of understanding, HKUST and France reaffirm their desire to strengthen and expand collaboration on sustainable development with the extension of the HKUST x France Sustainable Innovation Hub. Following the discussions of the panelists, a ceremony will be organized for the signing of the memorandum of understanding.
The Conference Program
|4:00 p.m.||Introductory Speech
||Panel 1: Preserving our Oceans: What can we do to protect marine life?
Moderator: Teacher. Davis BookhartAdjunct Assistant Professor in the Division of Environment and Sustainable Development at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
||Panel 2: The Blue Finance Challenge: How can finance have a positive impact on ocean health?
Moderator: Veronique Lafon-VinaisAssociate Professor of Business Education in the Department of Finance at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
|6:00 p.m.||End of the conference|
The One Ocean Summit: What Commitments for the Ocean?
Representatives of more than 100 countries, from all sea basins and representing more than half of the world’s exclusive economic zones, affirmed their determination to preserve the oceans by contributing to “Brest commitments for the oceans”, alongside the Secretary General of the United Nations, the Director General of UNESCO and the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). These strong commitments were made during the One Ocean Summitwhich was held in Brest from February 9 to 11, 2022, and which brought together 41 States, representatives of civil society and businesses, in a highlight of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union which is committed to the climate and a proactive European policy in favor of the oceans.
Conscious that the place of the oceans in the international political agenda today is not commensurate with its role in the climatic, environmental and social balances nor with the degree of threats weighing on marine life, the leaders present in Brest are committed to working together quickly and concretely to put an end to the degradation of the oceans.
They chose to act for preserve biodiversity, stop the overexploitation of marine resources, fight against pollution and mitigate climate change.
More information on the Brest Commitments: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/politique-etrangere-de-la-france/climat-et-environnement/actualites-et-evenements/2022/article/ one-ocean-summit-for-a-more-sustainable-ocean-9-11-02-22