1st Ocean Risk Summit

Reducing Risk from a Changing Ocean

8-10 May 2018 | Southampton, Bermuda

Highlights for Tuesday, 8 May 2018

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L-R: Karen Sack, Ocean Unite; John Rankin, Governor of Bermuda; José María Figueres, Former President of Costa Rica and Founder of Ocean Unite; Sean Moran, Bermuda Business Development Agency; and Chip Cunliffe, XL Catlin

On Tuesday, participants to the Ocean Risk Summit met informally to exchange initial views and ideas on the Summit’s themes, and to network.

Two publications, supported by XL Catlin, were launched in a press conference in the afternoon. ‘Ocean connections,’ co-authored by Dan Laffoley and John Baxter, under the aegis of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), provides an introduction to rising risks from a warming, changing ocean. ‘Ocean Risk and the Insurance Industry,’ written by Falk Niehörster and Richard Murnane, assesses how the global insurance sector now needs to equip itself for far-reaching impacts caused by ocean change.

In the press conference, facilitated by Chip Cunliffe, Director, Sustainable Development, XL Catlin, José María Figueres, Former President of Costa Rica and Founder of Ocean Unite, stressed that life above the surface of the ocean depends on the quality of the life beneath it, noting that “the ocean is the kidney of the planet,” purifying it and facilitating life. Charles Cooper, Chief Executive, Reinsurance, XL Catlin, emphasized the private sector’s responsibility to help towards building resilience and developing solutions, while providing a clear understanding of what ocean risk entails.

Carl Gustaf Lundin, Director, Global Marine and Polar Programme, IUCN, underscored the invaluable, stabilizing role of the ocean, including excess heat absorption, and highlighted the publication of 12 IUCN briefing notes, addressing the effects of ocean warming on: the weather; seabirds; marine phytoplankton and harmful algal blooms; the contributions of fisheries and aquaculture to global food security; human health; sea levels and the consequences for ecosystems and society; mangrove species and ecosystems; plankton; pelagic tunas; coral reefs; Antarctic ecosystems and species; and the protection of coasts by habitat-forming species.

Falk Niehörster, Director, Climate Risk Innovations, discussed: the ocean and its role in the climate system and the blue economy; impacts of ocean warming and associated changes in marine ecosystems; modelling ocean risk; and providing solutions, including via the multilateral environmental agreements and other partnerships, and the insurance sector.

In the evening, participants attended a cocktail reception. During the reception, John Rankin, Governor of Bermuda, elaborated on national efforts to tackle ocean-related challenges, including the establishment of no-fishing zones to protect marine mammals, efforts with the Sargasso Sea Initiative to protect endemic species, and the UK Blue Belt Programme on Overseas Territories. José María Figueres, underscored that Bermuda is the best place to start the discussions on ocean risk, noting that the island is an insurance center surrounded by a vast ocean. Sean Moran, Bermuda Business Development Agency, emphasized that the ocean is an integral part of the Bermudan world, and stressed that ingenuity and innovative thinking are key elements for bringing together a wide range of stakeholders to develop solutions for sustainable ocean management.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web updates and a summary report from the 1st Ocean Risk Summit. The summary report is now available in HTML and PDF.

Samantha Burgess, WWF; Louise Heaps, WWF; Kristian Teleki, World Resources Institute (WRI); and Pauli Merriman, WWF

Lucy Woodall, University of Oxford/Nekton; Torsten Thiele, Founder, Global Ocean Trust/Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Potsdam; and Timothy Bouley, World Bank

John Rankin, Governor of Bermuda, welcoming participants during the cocktail reception

Participants gather during the cocktail reception.

Sean Moran, Bermuda Business Development Agency

Participants during the cocktail reception

Joan Yang, the Pew Charitable Trusts and Emily Landis, the Nature Conservancy

Louise Heaps, WWF and Kristian Teleki, WRI

Samantha Burgess, WWF and Steve Adler, Ocean Data Alliance

Vivienne Moniz, XL Catlin; John Vereker, XL Catlin; Judy Vereker, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences; and Page Grundmuller, XL Catlin.

Daily Web HighlightsAbout | 8 May | 9 May | 10 May