Jun 6, 2024
Second edition of the Blue Economy Summit
Science and economics united for ocean conservation

The second edition of the Blue Economy Summit, an international conference organised by One Ocean Foundation, was held on June 4 in the Aula Magna of Bocconi University.

The Foundation has again brought together some of the world's leading experts from the scientific, institutional, business and financial sectors to discuss the current state of the ocean and the increasingly urgent need to mobilise more financial resources to protect and restore the Blue Natural Capital.  The goal is to promote partnerships to stimulate innovative collaborations and strategies, producing concrete solutions to safeguard the health of the ocean and marine ecosystems.

This year, the Blue Economy Summit focused on issues such as the importance of developing a solid Blue Capital Market, biodiversity loss, and new socioeconomic opportunities within the blue economy.

"Recognizing the urgency and complexity of this issue, which requires a multi-disciplinary approach, our Foundation for the second consecutive year has decided to engage in the organisation of an international conference that brings together industries, scientists and institutions, to promote impactful actions that lead to concrete results to ensure the well-being of marine ecosystems. The economic and environmental importance of the ocean is becoming increasingly evident, and the Blue Economy Summit is the beginning of a new path that brings together science and economics to safeguard our ocean for future generations,” said Riccardo Bonadeo, President of One Ocean Foundation.

The Summit, moderated by the TV presenter Camila Raznovich and the journalist Mariangela Pira, featured distinguished Italian private sector professionals such as Barbara Cimmino, Andrea Illy, Daniela Picco, Mirella Amalia Vitale, Filippo Bettini, Elisa Zambito Marsala, Mario Ferraro and Mario Zanetti. A high-profile discussion that offered a valuable perspective on the interaction between business and ocean sustainability, how the Blue Economy can effectively drive sustainable economic growth, and the central role that industries, including our country, can play in protecting and conserving marine ecosystems.

There were also numerous international guests such as Kilaparti Ramakrishna, one of the leading experts on global environmental policies and climate change who discussed the issue of ocean pollution together with Stefano Ottolini, General Manager of Padania Acque and Claudio Ferro of AFRY. In addition, Ralph Chami, co-founder of Blue Green Future, Carlos Duarte, Professor at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, Sylvie Goulard, Co-chair of the International Advisory Panel on Biodiversity Credits, and Torsten Thiele, Founder of Global Ocean Trust, discussed the urgent need to create a reliable market for Blue Natural Capital, based on scientific criteria and verifiable data that meet market standards.

In the second part of the day, the main focus shifted to the need to protect marine biodiversity and the importance of nature-based solutions. Mere Takoko, a descendant of New Zealand's tribal peoples and the main author of the initiative that recently became operational to grant legal personality to cetaceans and other marine animals, believes this can be a key tool to further strengthen legal protection for the ocean, while Vincent Doumeizel, Senior Advisor for Ocean at the United Nations Global Compact, talked about the extraordinary importance of seaweeds and the great opportunity of their cultivation at the industrial level in the ocean-related economy. Giulio Magni, Operations Director of One Ocean Foundation, presented the “Blue Forest” strategic marine forest protection project and the new Ocean Foresting campaign. This was followed by a talk by Minna Epps, IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Ocean Program Manager with over 20 years of experience in marine conservation, on the importance of channelling funds and research to SDG14.

Finally, yesterday's event provided an opportunity to present the new report of the Ocean Disclosure Initiative project, that One Ocean Foundation has been running since 2019 with the support of McKinsey & Company and SDA Bocconi's Sustainability Lab with Prof. Stefano Pogutz, and the Ocean X-Plore report produced in collaboration with Intesa Sanpaolo, which offer interesting insights into innovative solutions that may soon offer effective new tools for ocean protection and restoration.

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