Uniting and activating powerful voices for ocean conservation

Seen from the Lighthouse

What's happening now?


Next week, the EU will play host to the Our Ocean conference in Malta. Click for the agenda and a list of side events. The cynic, (and yes there are quite a few of us around…) might ask what’s the point of yet another large Ocean shindig, so soon after the UN’s Ocean Conference in June? Since the 1st of the Our Ocean conferences was hosted by the US in 2014 (happier days), these meetings have stimulated over 250 bold commitments on Ocean protection, including more than €8.2 billion (US$ 9.2 billion) and 9.9 million km2 of new MPAs. These conferences have kept governments on their toes, and they’re also shining the spotlight on states to ensure they deliver on their promises. This year, we look forward to this trajectory continuing and perhaps adding some business voices into the mix because the Ocean is everybody's business.

If you’re not at the conference, don’t worry – you can still keep your ear to the ground by listening to interviews with influential leaders and your favourite Ocean champions on the global 24-hour internet radio station oneocean.fm, which will be broadcasting from the meeting on the 5th and 6th October. In between a flow of music from DJs, producers and artists around the world, it will broadcast on the hour, every hour, short, informative packages looking at some of the issues facing the Ocean, as well as inspiring solutions. You can also watch the live webcast and follow #OurOcean, plus there’s a twitter toolkit if you want to get active on your socials.

Things heating up for Antarctic MPA negotiationsAnchor

With just over 2 weeks to go until the next meeting of CCAMLR, the body responsible for protecting the Antarctic marine area, the pressure is mounting on Australia and the EU (specifically France) to deliver a 2nd large-scale Southern Ocean MPA. Several countries would also like to see the proposal for an East Antarctic MPA dealt with this year. The proposal has been around since 2011, so you'd think the time would be ripe for action. If nothing else, this would then set the stage for the next Antarctic MPA proposal from the EU (Germany) for the protection of the amazing Weddell Sea to be the focus of next year’s meeting. A positive decision this year will require Russia and China to follow the course they set last year by supporting the designation of the Ross Sea. All eyes will be on side discussions at Our Ocean, as well as in Paris, Brussels, Moscow, Canberra and Beijing over the next few weeks.

Paving the way for support of further Antarctic MPAs, the Argentinian Embassy in Moscow organised an event recently with high-level officials from Argentina, China and Russia (including Ocean Unite Network member Russian congressman Slava Fetisov) to discuss Argentina and Chile’s initiative to create a MPA in the Western Antarctic Peninsula. The event showcased inspiring images by photographer and conservationist Paul Nicklen as well as a documentary about Antarctica created by National Geographic Pristine Seas and Sea Legacy. The Ambassadors and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation agreed to continue negotiations and discussions during the next CCAMLR meeting.

Ocean Awards 2018, young entrepreneurs needed, global youth video competitionAnchor

Another reminder – if you’ve not already done so – to submit your entries to the 2018 Ocean Awards to recognize outstanding work in the field of Ocean protection. There are 5 different categories – local hero, science, innovation, visionary, and public awareness. Hurry, hurry and honour your favourite Ocean advocates now!

WANTED: Young entrepreneurs (aged 18–25) to lead a new business dedicated to Ocean conservation. If selected you'll get US$ 40k in funding, resources and mentoring. Interested? Then click here to find out more. Applications are open until 12th October 2017.

Vote for the best Global Youth Video (organised by TVE and the UNFCCC) on climate change and the Ocean. The organizers have shortlisted 20 films that showcase inspiring stories of positive actions. They are now online and open for viewing and the deadline for voting is the 6th October. The maker of the top film in each category will be invited to attend the COP23 climate talks in Bonn as a youth reporter

Call for Proposals: "Making Marine Science Matter"Anchor

The 5th International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC5), themed "Making Marine Science Matter," will be held from 24 June – 28 June 2018 in Kuching, Malaysia. OceansOnline, a full add-on day to IMCC5, will be held on the 29th June looking at "Making Marine Science Matter Through Communication and Online Resources." The Call for Proposals for both IMCC5 and OceansOnline is currently open and the deadline is the end of 15 October 2017Decisions will be made by 15 December 2017. The selection process is highly competitive, but we encourage everyone with original or inspiring ideas to submit proposals!

For detailed submission guidelines and more information, please visit: http://conbio.org/mini-sites/imcc5/registration/call-for-proposals/. Have questions or need help then email info@imcc5.com for specific queries, and please forward the to anyone who may be interested! For all the latest IMCC5 updates follow our social media accounts and the #IMCC5 hashtag.