Marine biologist, disseminator and pioneer activist in defense of the planet’s seas and oceans
29th of July 2021 – This morning the Marine Forum Promoter Team presented the Third Edition that will take place at the Jesus Cultural Center on October 7th, 8th and 15th. The presentation at Destino Pacha was attended by Aniol Esteban, director of the Marilles Foundation; Cres Huerta, Pacha Foundation; Kate Benyon-Tinker, head of IbizaPreservation; Marcos Marí, vice president of the Alonso Marí group; and Marc Rahola, founder and CEO of OD Group.
An edition that expands and introduces new topics without forgetting the ones at the basis of the creation of this forum such as the elimination of single-use plastics, uncontrolled waste and marine biodiversity. “From the Promoting Team it was understood that we had to introduce new topics that are of interest for the future of our sea and our islands. That is why talking about the blue economy or the Next Generation funds which promote sustainability as a cross-cutting axis of the post-Covid recovery was a necessity ”.
In this new edition, the Marine Forum has a broader Balearic perspective, a vision that arises from the conviction that although it works from a local or regional perspective, the scope is global, it is the Mediterranean and the entire marine environment that represents the 71% of the Earth’s surface and containing 90% of the biosphere.
This year, the inaugural conference will be given by Sylvia Earle, 2018 Princess of Asturias Award for Concord, marine biologist, National Geographic disseminator, and pioneer in activism for the defense of the sea and oceans. The “lady of the deep”, as she is known, will offer an inspiring presentation in which she will discuss her years as a marine explorer and will focus on her work in the field of expanding marine protected areas and cataloging others, called “Hope Spots”, which urgently need protection. This project is carried out by Mission Blue, a global initiative, created by her, and which brings together more than 200 organizations, both public and private.
“We are really proud to be able to count on a person like Sylvia for the start of the third edition who has carried out more than 100 expeditions around the world and accumulates more than 7,000 hours of diving in research work. We believe that it is the kind of inspiring presentation that can bring to the forum public a passion for the conservation of the seas and oceans ”.
This inauguration will also have the participation of Antoni Riera, technical director of the Impulsa Foundation and professor of applied economics at the University of the Balearic Islands, who will expose the need to carry out a comprehensive tourist transformation that leads the islands towards a circular tourism system that reposition the Balearic Islands as a destination committed to sustainability.
Structure of 2021 edition
A panel dedicated to young people will follow the first speeches. At the request of the educational centers, the second edition of the Future Forum will be held in May 2022, but the Promoting Team has wanted to maintain the presence of students from the islands. For this reason, the panel called Future Forum will focus, on the one hand, on organizations that work for the protection of the seas and oceans, both internationally and regionally. On the other hand, a presentation on the archaeological treasures hidden in the sea is introduced from the conviction that “conserving the natural environment is also conserving the historical and artistic heritage of our islands.”
Another new perspective that is included in this third edition is the creation of alliances between scientific work and society, the so-called “citizen science”, in which citizens collect fundamental field data for the work carried out by scientists. “We want all roles and levels to be present in the Forum. We are convinced that a new possibility of collaboration in caring for the environment in general and the marine in particular will open up for many of those attending this panel ”.
Blue economic recovery
The Marine Forum Promoting Team is clear that “in our islands the sea has to be at the center of economic recovery. We must work on a strategy to support sustainable growth for the different economic sectors related to the marine environment. The protection of the sea, the creation of employment, tourism and economic activity are not antagonistic terms ”.
For this, the Marine Forum will have three panels focused on talking about these issues. One, which will have specialists in the field and will have sustainable projects that are successful examples of how the sea can be protected and simultaneously be a profitable economic activity. There will be another one dedicated to fishing in which, from a broad perspective, the problems of this activity will be discussed, such as illegal fishing; and good practices in the sector, such as product certifications and the use of this type of fish by restaurateurs. And a third, in which the role of the European Funds in the conservation of the Balearic Sea will be discussed, from a double perspective, from the administrations that manage them and from the specialists who can help to obtain these funds.
In addition, on October 15th, a workshop will be held to work on the opportunities of European aid in terms of sustainability of Next Generation funds from a more practical perspective. Aimed at business associations, entrepreneurs, administration technicians and civil society, the workshop will have a consultant specialized in European funds who has worked in local, regional, national and European administrations, and who has advised companies that have applied to different lines of subsidy.
Good environmental practices
In this edition there will also be a panel in which good practices in the matter of biodiversity conservation, in spillages and in the use of single-use plastics are collected. This panel includes actions from certain sectors, such as the working group created by marines and ports within the framework of the Marine Forum, to publicize sustainable practices in the management of spills and waste.