New Technologies and Innovations for Ocean Conservation
On June 7, 2021, the Permanent Mission of Portugal to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of Dominique Republic to the United Nations, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) organized a virtual event to highlight some examples of innovative initiatives making use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to protect oceans.
“Life and Livelihoods” is the theme of World Oceans Day 2021. In order to protect marine life and sustainably manage the ocean, it is imperative to highlight the catalytic role of sciences and technologies. This year’s theme is especially relevant to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) which has a vision of the ‘science we need for the ocean we want’. The Ocean Decade, proclaimed by the General Assembly Resolution A/RES/72/73, has Ocean Literacy as one of its priority areas of action. Ocean Literacy is reflected in increasing levels of individual and institutional understanding of our influence on the ocean and the ocean’s influence on us. Ocean Literacy facilitates actors around the world to develop and implement innovative activities to incite behavior change and facilitate a paradigm shift in humanity’s relationship with the ocean.
H.E. Mr. José A. Blanco Conde, Permanent Representative of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations, emphasized that humans must learn to co-exist with nature rather than dominate nature. H.E. Mr. Francisco Duarte Lopes, Permanent Representative of Portugal to the United Nations, highlighted that science has been key in developing the collective understanding of the ocean and its critical importance of our shared future.
Dr. Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), said that “What we hope to see in the future is a sustainably managed ocean based on integrated plans, in turn, based on the good science, and this science has observation and telecommunication at its core.” Ms. Joanne Wilson, International Telecommunication Union, calls national authorities to protect radio frequencies for earth observation from harmful interferences. Professor Peter Haugan explains that communication and information technology is crucial to provide universal access to data for a sustainable ocean. Ms. Stephanie Avalos, Ichthion Limited, shared innovative ways to clean the ocean. Ms. Alexia Barrier, Vendee Globe Race Skipper, recalled her sailing experiences that help collect data in hard-to-reach areas. Ms. Tatiana Lawrence, Iridium, talked about the global satellite network for tracking sea levels and salinity, as well as sustainable fishing.