A high-level Summit featuring heads of state, ministers and ocean advocates will be held in the Seychelles on Monday 21st March to help drive new and improved policies to tackle some of the most urgent issues facing our blue planet.
The Summit is organised by The Ocean Race, the world’s toughest test of a team in sport and an industry leader in sustainability, and 11th Hour Racing, an international organisation that mobilises sailing, maritime and coastal communities with an innovative approach to inspire solutions for the ocean. Held in collaboration with the Danny Faure Foundation and hosted by the Republic of the Seychelles, The Ocean Race Summit Seychelles will address the lack of governance and protection for our seas, the impact of climate change and examine whether the ocean should be given rights.
The Summit will feature leading voices from the Seychelles alongside global perspectives, with experts from government, science, industry, NGOs and sailing. The confirmed speakers include:
Wavel Ramkalawan, President of the Republic of the Seychelles, who will reveal what the country is doing to protect the ocean and his views on ocean rights.
The Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, who will speak on the importance of women in ocean conservation and provide reflections on ocean rights.
Danny Faure, Former President of Seychelles and Founder Danny Faure Foundation, who will share his experience of a nation leading the way in ocean action and the importance of creating an equitable world for people and planet.
The Honourable Abraão Vicente, Minister of the Sea, Republic of Cabo Verde, who will share the country’s ambitious blue economy plans, support for ocean rights and efforts to combat plastic pollution.
Rt Hon Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary General, who will talk about how commonwealth countries are leading the way in ocean protection, the importance of collaboration and the vital role of female leaders in this space.
Ambassador Peter Thomson, United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, who will speak on the urgent commitments that are needed to ensure the protection and restoration of the ocean. Ambassador Thomson will also bring Nature’s Baton, the symbol of Relay4Nature, to the Summit to highlight the inseparable connectivity of the issues affecting the planet and the collaborative solutions that are needed.
Abby Ehler, offshore sailor, Founder & Director of the Magenta Project, who will share learnings from the sailing world that can be applied to ocean conservation and discuss her work to create opportunities and pathways for women in sailing.
Kristina Gjerde, Advisory Board member at Schmidt Ocean Institute & Senior High Seas Advisor to IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Programme, who will talk about Schmidt Ocean Institute’s exciting exploration work and how giving the ocean a voice could help to fuel its protection.
The Summit will celebrate female leadership and its important role in ocean conservation. It is being held in the Seychelles to reflect the vital role that island nations at the forefront of the climate crisis can play in driving awareness and action. The Ocean Race hosts Summits in different locations around the world to ensure that the most effective local solutions and innovations from across the globe are unearthed.
The event is part of a series of 12 Summits, which has been developed in collaboration with 11th Hour Racing, a Premier Partner of The Ocean Race and Founding Partner of the Racing with Purpose sustainability programme. The series explores the idea of giving the ocean rights in order to create a collective global effort to protect the seas. The concept can only be realised if ocean rights are embraced at a global scale, which is why The Ocean Race is working to gather support and momentum with key decision-makers and ocean advocates. Through collaborative action The Ocean Race is building towards an ambitious goal of driving a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights.
Richard Brisius, Race Chairman of The Ocean Race said: “We believe that sport provides the platform and reach to make a positive impact on the planet. Through our Summits we are bringing together a diverse range of leaders, experts and ocean advocates, who all share a common goal to protect the ocean. This provides a unique opportunity to develop and drive ocean rights.
“We are delighted to be working with the Seychelles. As a country that is feeling the negative impact of the decline of our natural world it represents the plight of island nations across the planet. At the same time, the Seychelles are making great strides to protect the world’s largest habitat: our ocean.”
The Ocean Race Summit Seychelles, which will be hosted by renowned television presenter and science communicator Danni Washington, will focus on solutions and showcase inspiring examples of how the country has sought to address the threats to the marine world.
Danny Faure, Former President of Seychelles and Founder Danny Faure Foundation said: "We are running out of time to ensure that the right mechanisms are implemented to secure the health of the beating blue heart of our planet - the ocean. Without a healthy ocean, our existence will be challenged. The protection and conservation of the ocean is imperative for humanity’s fight for survival. The Danny Faure Foundation is privileged to partner with The Ocean Race and the Government of Seychelles to push for a much needed ocean rights declaration to secure a more equitable, sustainable and healthier planet for generations to come."
Ulysse Nardin, the pioneering Swiss watch manufacturer that has strong links to the maritime world is the ‘Time to Act Partner’ of The Ocean Race Summits. The series started as a stand-alone event during the 2014-15 edition of the Race and has become one of the most important elements of The Ocean Race’s sustainability programme. The frequency of the Summits, which support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG14), has increased to reflect that there is no time to waste in tackling the threats to our blue planet.
Pictured: Wavel Ramkalawan, President of the Republic of Seychelles