Richard Branson – There’s nothing I enjoy more than new discoveries and supporting things that matter a great deal to me. The launch of Ocean Summit did both.
Our wonderful co-hosts Susi Mai and Jeremy McKane brought together a great group on Necker Island, including former President of Kiribati, Anote Tong. Kiribati is in the middle of the equator in the mid-Pacific Ocean. Its predicament resonates with what everyone here in the British Virgin Islands, and in many other places around the world, knows only too well – how fragile we are. President Tong is in the eye of sea level rise.
My friend José María Figueres, former President of Costa Rica, co-founder of Ocean Unite and Chairman of Rocky Mountain Institute-Carbon War Room, dropped by too. His message at Ocean Summit was short and powerful: “We are the first generation to feel the effects of climate change. And the last who can do something about it.”
Being climate smart is vital. Today, just under three per cent of the ocean has been protected. But to really ensure a vibrant and healthy ocean, we must accelerate the protection of large areas. Ocean Unite’s goal is to protect at least 30 per cent of the ocean by 2030. A great deal has to be done. But as Dr Sylvia Earle, my fellow Ocean Elder and a voice for ocean conservation since the 1950s, said: “There’s no reason we can’t do that, now that we know what we know.”
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