OCEANS DAY has dawned in Copenhagen where more than 300 ocean experts, climate summit delegates, government ministers, and friends of the ocean gathered together at the European Environment Agency to hear Prince Albert II of Monaco open an event designed to force attention upon the inextricable link between climate and ocean.
Prince Albert II called the oceans "reservoirs of life and hope...the arena of new fears and challenges." He enumerated the risks of ocean warming, sea level rise, threats to biodiversity, and acidification, as well as the larger risk of "neglecting to meet these challenges." he described his personal witness of the effect of these conditions in the polar regions, particularly the Arctic.
He cited Monaco's contribution to the conservation of the Mediterranean, as headquarters to several international ocean research and management organizations and to the Oceanographic Museum founded 100 years ago by his grandfather, Prince Albert I, himself an oceanographer and expedition leader.
In conclusion, he invoked the ocean as "a last utopia," that, while time was short, was still possible to save through a "worldwide social link" between citizens on behalf of the sustainable ocean.
The OCEANS DAY agenda will continue with presentations on Impacts on Small Island Developing States, Tropical Environment, Polar Changes, Fishers and Aquaculture, and Marine Biodiversity.
Additional panels in the afternoon will focus on Ocean Acidification, The Coral Triangle, Mitigation and Adaptation Responses, National and Regional Responses, Mobilizing the Public and Private Sectors, and Strategies for Moving Forward an Ocean Agenda after COP-15.
To find additional information and interviews with many of the presenters and to comment on issues and response to Ocean Climate interaction, visit www.oceanclimate.org.