Home » MENA Oceans Summit to Spotlight Multi-Stakeholder Ocean Conservation

MENA Oceans Summit to Spotlight Multi-Stakeholder Ocean Conservation

by Madaline Dunn

Goumbook, a social enterprise promoting sustainability and climate action across the MENA region, is hosting its second Annual MENA Oceans Summit at Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi in the lead-up to UNOC 2025.

The event, of which ESG Mena is a proud media partner, will host a diverse range of stakeholders to discuss ocean health under four key pillars:

  • Blue Economy,
  • Blue Governance,
  • Blue Science and
  • Blue Collective.

The Summit will be held on June 10, 2024, under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.

HE Dr Mohammed AlHammadi, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Biodiversity and Marine Life Sector, who will be conducting the opening address, said that marine ecosystems are “integral “to the social, cultural, and environmental tapestry of the UAE and play a “vital role” in the nation’s economic development.

“The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment is committed to driving action to tackle climate change and preserve ocean health. We are working to boost the regulatory, legislative, and financial frameworks to foster sustainable marine ecosystems and driving the nation’s blue economy,” said HE Dr AlHammadi.

HE Dr AlHammadi called the MENA Oceans Summit a “key platform” for forging dialogue and facilitating collaboration among sectors, stakeholders, and policymakers.

“Sharing regional perspectives, experiences and best practices will contribute to discussions at the UN Ocean Conference next year and help forge meaningful action on a global level,” he added.

Organisers shared that the MENA Oceans Summit’s “pivotal goals,” aimed at reshaping engagement with ocean health on a global stage, include forging cross-border collaboration for targeted solutions, breaking down barriers and building bridges across geopolitical boundaries and sectoral silos.

Tatiana Antonelli Abella, Founder of Goumbook and Chair of MENA Oceans Summit, commented: “As a society, we must recognise our profound dependence on nature, which generously provides the resources essential for our survival, well-being, and prosperity. At the heart of this interconnected web lies the ocean—the cradle of life.

Adding: “Collaborating with nature and safeguarding our oceans is not just an option; it’s an imperative for the benefit of future generations. Responsible stewardship and collective action are urgent. Without a thriving ocean, humanity’s existence, health, and prosperity would be imperilled. As stewards of this precious resource, it is our duty to protect and preserve it. The ocean’s paramount importance underscores our shared responsibility in ensuring its health.”

Organisers underlined the importance of unifying and amplifying the voices of diverse stakeholder groups across the region. Further, it was explained that by fostering a “strong, collective regional presence,” the initiative aims to significantly enhance the region’s influence and participation in international efforts dedicated to ocean conservation, in order to ensure that its insights and needs are adequately represented in the global dialogue on ocean health.

Indeed, the Summit will host industry deep dives and roundtable strategic discussions with key stakeholders across industry value chains to identify challenges, innovations and opportunities that could turn the tide for the sector’s impact on ocean ecosystems.

A key outcome of last year’s MENA Oceans Summit was the establishment of the MENA Oceans Initiative. Dedicated to amplifying and aligning the priorities of MENA stakeholders on a global scale during discussions at, for example, the forthcoming 2025 UN Ocean Conference and COP29, it comprises four pillars:

  • The Summit,
  • The Network,
  • Education and
  • Science.

This Summit marks the beginning of the next phase in which the MENA Oceans Network will be activated.

The Network itself is designed to accomplish the following objectives:

1.) Elevate awareness about the region’s unique marine environments and the particular challenges encountered in the MENA.

2.) Cultivate partnerships that generate synergies and support the progression of innovative solutions.

3.) Strengthen the region’s collective voice and extend its influence, with the aim of disseminating solutions that hold potential benefits for the global community.

Learn more about the event here.

*Image Credit: Christophe Chellapermal

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