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Opportunities and Risks for the Ocean Economy: Ensuring Sustainable Use of the World Ocean’s Natural Riches
9 April 2019
12:00—13:30
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Climate change is a key issue for the Arctic

The impact of climate on the Arctic is a serious scientific question that the whole world and experts are now facing. It is important to share opinions on what opportunities and what risks these climate changes can offer — Alexander Sergeev, President, Russian Academy of Sciences.

The Arctic region is the key when we talk about climate change. Now we know that global warming in the Arctic is gaining momentum and accelerating. That is why we need to rely on research data and monitor these changes — Antonio Navarra, President, Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change (CMCC).

Research on ice dynamics, methane emissions, and state of permafrost define risks as well as opportunities for the economy. The Arctic is becoming an independent player on the global weather and climate scene — Alexander Sergeev, President, Russian Academy of Sciences.

It is necessary to find a balance between exploitation and protection of living marine resources

We are all dependent on the oceans, our welfare and future prosperity depends on the health of the seas. We must find a good balance between exploitation and protection of living marine resources. The oceans provide us with jobs, food, energy, and opportunities. If managed wisely, the oceans will help us fight poverty, build prosperity and create a healthy blue economy — Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway.

Solution of world ocean problems requires expanding international cooperation

We need international cooperation to research and solve the problems of the world ocean. It is similar to the space where issues cannot be addressed by one country. Our own space, the world ocean, is not fully explored yet — Sergey Gorkov, General Director, Chairman of the management Board of Rosgeologia».

Based on joint scientific efforts, Norway and Russia have managed to improve fishery resources in the Barents Sea. Today we enjoy the most abundant cod stock in the world. Since 2006 we adopted and integrated management plans that provide framework for value creation. Integrated ocean management must be based in the knowledge about the status and trends of marine ecosystem — Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway.

Commercial development of the Arctic is inevitable

People have learned to work on the shelf. We have pretty good indicators for oil and gas deposits in various world regions, including the Arctic shelf, including those for reserve increment. <…> It is not yet clear which technologies would justify it and ensure its efficiency from the economical point of view. We are facing many opportunities, issues and challenges for Arctic development, especially technology-wise — Sergey Gorkov, General Director, Chairman of the management Board of Rosgeologia».

ISSUES
Climate change and environmental pollution

Oceans are under threat from several directions: effects of climate change, marine litter and pollution, loss of habitats and biodiversity, and overfishing. We need to reduce threats that undermine the potential of the oceans. <…> The Panel for Sustainable Ocean Economy is studying science-based proposals on how ocean issues can be resolved. We must cooperate closely with ocean experts from a wide range of scientific disciplines, and with actors from the private sector and civil society. We attend to creation of new relationship between the ocean and the economy — Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway.

Life cycle of the Arctic ice is changing dramatically. Observations for last two decades have shown that every decade the amount of ice that comes to its melting point decreases by 15–17%. <…> It is a very serious question of ice conveyor breakdown — Alexander Sergeev, President, Russian Academy of Sciences.

Insufficient information on the causes of climate change

Methane release as a consequence and an accelerator of the greenhouse effect rather than of industrial operations is becoming a more important factor. This issue is very serious – how methane emissions influence weather and climate in general. Have we neglected a process that is defined by nature with no regard to our industry, that can lead to serious or even catastrophic consequences? — Alexander Sergeev, President, Russian Academy of Sciences.

Negative impact of warming of the Arctic economy

There are tasks and risks for the economy that have to do with the warming and define the process both on the Arctic shelf and on the continent. <…> Because of the permafrost change, the soil is changing, and the buildings and constructions based on permafrost are impacted. This change is also a risk, for economy as well — Alexander Sergeev, President, Russian Academy of Sciences.

SOLUTIONS
Attracting public attention to the problems of climate and environmental protection

We need to understand what climate change is and how it impacts the ecosystem as a whole, and to develop a unified concept of the importance of the world ocean. If we take care of the ocean, the ocean will take care of us — Roy Angelvik, State Secretary for the Minister of Trade, Industry, and Fisheries of the Kingdom of Norway.

Unfortunately, 99% of people do not think about what is going to happen to our planet in 10–20–30 years. Today science more than ever needs the support of famous people in different countries. That is why it is important to engage famous people in order to share the concerns of scientists regarding what is happening on the planet. <…> It is time to unite around this crucial environmental challenge so that our children and grandchildren could deal with it — Vyacheslav Fetisov, First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Physical Culture, Sport, Tourism, and Youth Affairs, The State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation; Patron for Polar Regions, United Nations Environment Programme.

Solutions for marine ecological problems must be implemented on a personal level, a person’s daily contribution to environment and its safety. Today our efforts do not match the damage that we are causing — Riccardo Valentini, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Professor, University of Tuscia.

Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions

To meet these environmental challenges, first, we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a matter of urgency. Second, we must limit the pollution created by increasing maritime activities. Third, we must continue to develop and apply adaptive management strategies — Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS