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On 5 and 6 October 2017, the European Union hosted the 4th edition of the international Our Ocean conference in Malta. Our Ocean 2017 brought together world leaders, generated commitments, and showcased ocean initiatives around the globe. The conference resulted in an unprecedented engagement across policymakers, NGOs, foundations, research organizations and businesses. In total, Our Ocean 2017 generated:
• 437 tangible and measurable commitments;
• EUR 7.2 billion in financial pledges;
• 2.5 million square kilometres of additional Marine Protected Areas.
EuroGOOS had a strong presence at the conference exhibition, with a dedicated ocean observing showcase displayed on an interactive white board and an Ocean Talk on the exhibition pitch stage. A picture gallery can be found at the bottom of this article. In the EuroGOOS Ocean Talk, Erik Buch, EuroGOOS Chair, explained what constitutes the ocean observing and why it is a critical research and technology area underpinning any decision making in the ocean domain. The EuroGOOS Ocean Talk featured the end-to-end marine observations and data value chain and explained the drivers for observations for maritime and policy users. In partnership with the global community and in particular the Global Ocean Observing System coordinated by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, EuroGOOS continues to strive towards sustained European ocean observing capacity and services.
Moreover, EuroGOOS launched, as part of its Ocean Talk, its first ocean literacy publication. The EuroGOOS child book, The Ocean Is My Home, was presented by Dina Eparkhina, EuroGOOS Policy and Communications Officer. Subtitled, For Children, Parents and Our Ocean, this book, published on the occasion of the conference, explains the ocean’s ecosystem and economic role and the need to collect knowledge about it. Readers will have a glimpse of ocean observing technologies and find out what each of us can do for the ocean regardless whether we live close to it or far away. The book was very well received, disseminated during the EuroGOOS Ocean Talk, and also handed to several high-level conference presenters, among others Vladimir Ryabinin, IOC Executive Secretary, and Peter Thomson, the UN Special Envoy for the Ocean.
Next Our Ocean conferences will take place in Bali, Indonesia, in 2018, followed by Norway in 2019, and Palau in 2020.
Link to the Our Ocean plenary video recording
Link to the exhibition hall Ocean Talks video recording
Download the EuroGOOS press release for the launch of the ocean literacy child book
Download the EuroGOOS ocean literacy child book, The Ocean is my Home
Download the new EuroGOOS general brochure