1st Ocean Risk Summit

Reducing Risk from a Changing Ocean

8-10 May 2018 | Southampton, Bermuda

Highlights for Wednesday, 9 May 2018

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Participants listening to the panel discussions on ocean volatility

On Wednesday, participants of the Ocean Risk Summit met throughout the day to hear opening remarks, keynote speakers, and presentations on ocean risk, describing and analyzing the changing ocean, and addressing ocean volatility. Two ‘deep-dive’ sessions took place in the afternoon, where panelists addressed in round-table discussions the topics of weather and climate, and health and security.

José María Figueres, Former President of Costa Rica and Founder of Ocean Unite, welcomed the risk management sector to the extended family of ocean partners, explaining that the ocean-related complex threats require a multi-sectoral response. The Hon. C. Walton Brown, Minister of Home Affairs, Bermuda, welcomed the wide array of stakeholders represented at the Summit, and encouraged participants to commit to creating lasting change.

H. E. Peter Thomson, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean, emphasized that the ocean is the source of life on the planet, elaborating on its decline by the accumulating effects of a wide range of human impacts. Mike McGavick, CEO, XL Group, stressed that “the risks are moving ashore with ferocity,” estimating that US$320 billion were lost last year due to natural disasters, and urging action to reverse ocean degradation.

Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan underscored the need to “reverse the damage we have inflicted on the vital oceanic system,” stressing that the next decade will be crucial for securing a sustainable future.

Highlights of the day also included:

  • Announcement of a new initiative by the Stimson Center, with support from XL Catlin and other partners, which will examine illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, climate change, and urban migration in coastal geographies, focusing first on Southeast Asia and the Caribbean
  • HM Queen Noor’s presentation, portraying the linkages among ecosystem destruction, human health, political instability, and conflict, stressing that ocean health is a matter of national and global security, and should be dealt with as a building block to stability and peace
  • Mike McGavick’s quote that “risk modelling is the gateway to prevention and resilience”
  • Dr. the Hon. Kedrick Pickering, Deputy Premier, British Virgin Islands, providing a personal account of the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma
  • Rowan Douglas, Willis Towers Watson, describing how capital became sensitive to risk, after Hurricane Andrew hit the East Coast of the US in 1992, bringing the insurance industry “down on its knees for the first time in 300 years”
  • Participants also addressed key topics, including: climate change, using examples of recent catastrophic hurricanes in the Caribbean region; discussion of various methodologies that can be used to link impacts of climate change and ocean degradation on human health, and challenges to security; and the world of insurance and reinsurance, and its role on sustainable ocean management

In the evening, participants continued to network and exchange ideas informally during a beach barbecue.

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.

Carl Gustaf Lundin, IUCN

H. E. Peter Thomson, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean

Mike McGavick, CEO, XL Group

Craig McLean, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US

Chip Cunliffe, XL Catlin

Participants listen to morning presentations.

Bill Curry, President and CEO, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences

Rowan Douglas, Willis Towers Watson

L-R: Leonard Jones, Moody’s Investors Service; John Huff, Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers; Kathy Baughman McLeod, Bank of America; Concepcion Aisa, the World Bank Treasury; and Charles Goddard, Economic Intelligence Unit

HM Queen Noor of Jordan

José María Figueres, Former President of Costa Rica and Founder of Ocean Unite

Dr. the Hon Kedrick Pickering, Deputy Premier, British Virgin Islands

Participants networking

Kerry Emanuel,  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

L-R: Dr. the Hon Kedrick Pickering, Deputy Premier, British Virgin Islands; Maryam Golnaraghi, The Geneva Association; Kerry Emanuel,  Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Robert Muir-Wood, Risk Management Solutions; and Karen Sack, Ocean Unite

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