Cork Hosts Summit
on Climate Change

By Maggie Holland, Assistant Editor
August / September 2019

With the theme “shared voices from small island nations,” the 2019 SeaFest and Our Ocean Wealth Summit in Cork, 7-9 of June, focused on the importance of protecting the world’s oceans from the impacts of climate change and ensuring a sustainable long-term future for the marine economy as a whole.

“As a small island, Ireland understands the threats climate change poses to our friends in the Pacific, Caribbean, Atlantic, and Indian oceans. It threatens their very existence,” said the Tánaiste and minister for foreign affairs and trade Simon Coveney, T.D., who led Ireland’s participation in the summit, along with minister for agriculture, food, and the marine Michael Creed, T.D.

A wide range of international experts participated in the summit, including former U.S. secretary of state John Kerry, president of Seychelles H.E. Danny Faure, the U.N. Secretary-General’s special envoy for the ocean Peter Thompson, foreign minister of Malta H.E. Carmelo Abela, vice president of the European parliament Mairead McGuinness, MEP, as well as U.N. permanent representatives from various other countries including Jamaica, Vanuata, Antigua and Barbuda, the Marshall Islands, and Palau.

Children enjoying one of the many exhibits.

Children enjoying one of the many exhibits.

Minister Creed said, “The already present threat posed by climate change is the key challenge of our time and we need to plan for the sustainable future of our marine sector in the context of global ocean challenges.”

Minister Creed also announced the publication of the annual progress report on Ireland’s Integrated Marine Plan – Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, which contains inputs from across state departments and agencies, providing a wealth of information.

The event coincided with the Cork Harbor Festival – June 1-9, which featured over 70 different events on land and water, including the Ocean to City – An Rás Mór (“the big race”) taking place on opening day. ♦

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