blue climate summit

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Wednesday 27th of April 2022
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The Blue Climate Summit will bring together world-renowned change agents to advance ocean-related solutions to combat the climate catastrophe.

Tetiaroa, French Polynesia - Blue Climate Initiative announced that its inaugural Blue Climate Summit for accelerating ocean-related solutions to climate change will take place in French Polynesia on May 14-20, 2022. This high profile, global event will galvanize task forces, launch major announcements, present impact investment opportunities, and provide Pacific Islanders an international forum to spearhead action on ocean and climate issues.

The program will focus on accelerating collaborative projects that target six missions:

  • Climate change mitigation,
  • Ocean protection,
  • CO2 removal,
  • Healthy blue communities,
  • Sustainable tourism, and
  • Improved ocean understanding.

 

The Summit will be co-convened by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, President Edouard Fritch of French Polynesia, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Nainoa Thompson, Richard Bailey, Marc Benioff, Laura Turner Seydel, and Dr. Andrew Forrest Over 200 scientists, innovators, policymakers, business and financial experts, community leaders, and environmental and youth activists will be brought together to work on ocean and climate strategies. The event is an endorsed action of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Co-hosts and sponsors include the Government of French Polynesia, Atitia Center, Fare Natura, Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l’Environnement (CRIOBE), University of California Gump Research Station, Tetiaroa Society, The Brando, Pacific Beachcomber, Ponant, Air Tahiti Nui, Forsythia Foundation, and others to be announced.

The Summit will commence at the Presidential Palace on Sunday, May 15, with a welcome address from President Fritch followed by remarks from other dignitaries and the presentation of $1 million to winners of Blue Climate Initiative’s Ocean Innovation Prize. On Wednesday, May 18, Tahiti's voyaging canoe Fa’afaite will join the legendary Hokulea at the UNESCO World Heritage site Taputapuatea for a convening of the Pwo navigators, including Nainoa Thompson, and the launch of an initiative about the protection of the ocean.

Marae Taputapuatea

Taputapuatea marae, an ancient marae on the island of Raiatea, French Polynesia.
Photo: Michel-georges bernard, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Summit will conclude on Friday, May 20, with a community welcome at the Arue town hall, an exhibition of Tahiti environmental organizations and school programs on the Papeete waterfront, and a public benefit concert at Place To’ata. The concert will bring together international and local artists to raise public awareness and inspire action for ocean and climate. Program highlights can be found here.

BCI will fully double offset the event’s footprint by investing in a carbon sequestration project in the tropical IndoPacific and an emissions reduction project in French Polynesia.

The Summit is a program of the Blue Climate Initiative, which was born in French Polynesia and is now a flagship program of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Other major Blue Climate Initiative programs over the past year including a $1 million Ocean Innovation Prize with 236 applicants from over 80 countries, a global Community Awards program celebrating community action on climate change, and publication of the book Transformational Opportunities for People, Ocean & Planet prepared with the assistance of over 60 of the world’s top experts on ocean and climate issues.

Monsieur Edouard Fritch, President of French Polynesia:

'o te miti nei ra te marae mo'a roa
'e te hanahana o teie nei ao
(ē) vāhi hāhano, (ē) vāhi ra'a
(ē) fa'atupura'a manava hirahira

The Ocean is the Marae, the ultimate sanctuary,
Splendor of the world
Symbol of mystery, symbol of respect
for it awakens the consciousness of space.

 

In the Polynesian tradition, the ocean is not an obstacle. It is a path, a road, a space where one lives, where one fishes and where one travels.

Historically, global economic development has been based on the exploitation of resources, often to the detriment of natural cycles and ecosystems. Today, as the climate crisis looms, our challenge for the future is to establish a robust balance between human development and the preservation of Nature.

For this, French Polynesia is carving an innovative path, avoiding the pitfalls leading to the irreversible degradation of its two pillars: "moana" (the ocean) and "fenua" (the land). These pillars constitute the framework of our Common Heritage, bringing together all spaces, resources and natural environments, sites and landscapes, air, water and soil quality, animal and plant species, ecosystems and the services they provide, diversity, and the biological balance which they both thrive from and contribute to.

Why is it important to organize the Blue Climate Summit in French Polynesia? Because there is Tainui atea, the largest managed marine area in the world; a sanctuary of 5 million km² that protects all species of marine mammals, all species of sharks, all species of sea turtles and all species of Mobula and in which fishing is certified environmentally friendly; because there is the Biosphere Reserve of the Fakarava Municipality which, with its 19,000 km² is the largest biosphere reserve in the French network; and because, above all, the people of the largest ocean continent carry a message to offer to the World.

On the occasion of the Blue Climate Summit, I invite the world to come to French Polynesia, to Listen to us, and above all, to Hear us.

Stan Rowland, Blue Climate Initiative CEO:

There has never been a more important or urgent time for the world to come together to address ocean protection and climate change. With tipping points rapidly approaching, we can’t afford to wait.

The Blue Climate Summit is focused on action, not talk. Rather than talking about problems, we are focusing on solutions.

There is no better place to hold an ocean summit than in the heart of the Pacific: French Polynesia. Pacific islanders have had some of the smallest impact on climate change but are among those who will suffer the most. It’s time to listen to what they have to say, and for all of us to work together on the greatest environmental challenge humankind has faced: climate change.

Hinano Murphy, Cultural Director of Tetiaroa Society:

The Blue Climate Initiative is like a va'a, a polynesia canoe, that rides the winds and currents of modernity. She tours the planet carrying a strong message from the people of Te Moana Nui a Hiva De ce fare Pora. First of all, I would like to pay tribute to the resilience of all the peoples of the Pacific, to recognize the strength they carry within, their ancestral wisdom and the finally recognized intelligence of our Pacific navigators.

Over the course of their journeys, our sailors have been able to weave in their sails and ropes all this knowledge that today constitutes this strong and deep bond that unites us to our Gods, our ancestors and our sacred spaces MOANA-FENUA-REVA.

Like our pacific cousins from Te Moana nui to HIVA, we have unwillingly contributed to the prestige of the great nations that govern us. We will not rewrite the past but instead confront it to help heal the future. We must all together and now find solutions to restore and guarantee the health of our blue planet.

E mo i te ana e va
E mo i te ana i va i
Te Moana nui a Hiiva
Ia tu- ā
ia ma te moana i uri na
Ia vai a te ora a Tama.

About Blue Climate Initiative

Blue Climate Initiative, sponsored by the nonprofit organization Tetiaroa Society, accelerates ocean-based solutions to climate change. It enables innovation, research, and collaboration while protecting our oceans and unlocking solutions on urgent challenges like renewable energy, sustainable food supplies, improved human health, flourishing biodiversity, stewardship of the ocean’s resources, and vibrant ocean economies.

  Contact Julie Mai
Program Officer, Communications
julie@blueclimateinitiative.org