At a scale never seen before in history, the Our Ocean Conference united a global ocean community devoted to preserving the oceans. Today we face the challenge of delivering the various commitments made. On the 21st of November of 2017, the Committee of the Regions (CoR) hosted a follow up event to the Our Ocean conference, ‘Ocean meets Regions’, focusing on the regional stakeholders in Europe who will play a central role in this shared endeavour.
At the CoR Our Ocean event, Commissioner Karmenu Vella underlined the essential need to work closely with partners, especially with the regions: “Currently, there is the opportunity to bring together regions; pinpoint new synergies needed to create new collaborations; connect with stakeholders, civil society and governments.” The Commissioner also announced that a ´Blue Platform for technologies´ will be launched soon. This platform will channel private and public money to blue economy projects that promise both economic profit and environmental gains, but that are generally too small or too risky to rely on the financial markets alone.
The CoR event also reunited panellists from the European Investment bank, Statoil, Ocean Energy Europe, CoR rapporteurs and DG MARE to consider what the regions can commit in order to preserve and create sustainable jobs, contributing all together to tourism and to blue growth as a whole, whilst protecting our marine environment.
Under the topic ‘marine knowledge and research’, Heitze Siemers, Head of Unit Maritime Innovation, Marine Knowledge and Investments at DG MARE, stressed the crucial role of EMODnet in collecting marine data. Highlighting the recent EMODnet Open Sea Lab hackathon, he said that it provided a concrete example of the power of marine open data which is currently already available for a wide range of stakeholders/users. EMODnet provides a global exemplar of how to capitalise on marine data to support the blue economy, ensure effective environmental management and protection, advance scientific research and contribute to societal needs, based on its core principle of ‘collecting data once and using it many times for many purposes.’
For more information, you can find all the presentations and the programme of the conference here.