A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, congress, exhibitions, business, social and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, and helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5000 people working in Russia and abroad. In addition, it works in close cooperation with 160 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 75 countries worldwide.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian (t.me/Roscongress), English (t.me/RoscongressDirect), and Spanish (t.me/RoscongressEsp). Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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New Approaches to Governance, Research and Protection of the World Ocean
6 June 2019
Accessing the World Ocean’s resources is essential for economic development

The world is inexorably moving towards the World Ocean – we are depending more and more on it. <...> Crucially, it is where a great many of the planet’s mineral resources are concentrated – minerals which are becoming ever more interesting to humanity. An enormous amount of biological resources is concentrated there too, which could help solve all food problems worldwide — Andrey Adrianov, Vice-President, Russian Academy of Sciences.

The annual value generated by the ocean, the so-called blue economy, is of the order of USD 3 trillion per year. This is more than the GDP of Russia. The global ocean economy is developing at sustainable directions and is doing so faster and more reliably than its land-based counterpart — Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, UNESCO.

Fisheries are expanding into deeper waters and further offshore, we have heard about aquaculture today, the tremendous growth there and the importance to the future of protein and food supplies. The continued importance of offshore oil and gas as a major source of hydrocarbons into the coming decades. But at the same time of course, there is tremendous growth in offshore renewable energies. <…> Ninety-eight per cent of Internet traffic, international traffic, is by a submarine cable. <…> And there are entirely new industries, such as seabed mining — Paul Holthus, Founding President, Chief Executive Officer, World Ocean Council .

A couple of notions regarding the blue economy: in 10 years, 100 million jobs brought the blue economy concept to prominence, whereas 50–20% of the fish we eat is actually coming from the Arctic area. <…> The ocean, including the Arctic Ocean, is the fundamental provider for the decades to come and for the future population — Tero Vauraste, Chairman, Arctic Economic Council; President, Mariadi Oy.

When speaking of the economy of the World Ocean, we are proceeding from the fact that water will be a key resource in the 21st century. Note that a bottle of water costs more in Moscow than a litre of petrol. <...> Note also the production of aquaculture, which is currently providing work to 12% of the population. By 2013, commercial fishing will increase to 209 million tonnes. <...> The ocean will also be a key transport artery. More than 80% of all international freight is currently transported via sea — Alexey Rakhmanov, United Shipbuilding Corporation President .

Marine culture is a strategically important sector – it is crucial throughout the world — Sergey Emdin, Chief Executive Officer, Tele2 .

The planet’s ecosystem depends on the World Ocean

One third of carbon emissions have been absorbed by the ocean since the beginning of the industrial era. <…> Roughly 93% of excess heat has ended up in the ocean since the industrial era. Otherwise the temperature on the surface of the planet would have been much higher — Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, UNESCO.

We depend on the ocean in terms of food, in terms of security, in terms of energy. And I do not mean only the extraction of oil and gas, but very much also the future energy of wind and tidal energy, which is totally unexplored as of yet — Rene Berkvens, Chief Executive Officer, Damen Shipyards Group NV.

Funding for research on the World Ocean is insufficient

The science that supports this huge economic domain remains poorly funded. The cost or running the global ocean observing system per annum is of the order of USD 1 billion. That is 3,000 times less than the value generated by the using ocean space and resources. And the IOC [Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, – Ed.] is able to spend on the coordination of global ocean observations only USD 300,000 per year — Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, UNESCO.

National rivalry for the World Ocean’s resources

The entire World Ocean is covered by a set of intergovernmental agreements which regulate fishing in separate regions. And the potential for conflict naturally exists. As mineral resources on land became ever-more scarce, a great many countries set their sights on the World Ocean. <...> We can already see aspects of competitiveness. It is crucial that Russia does not lag behind in this regard — Andrey Adrianov, Vice-President, Russian Academy of Sciences.

It is abundantly clear that the approach to the ocean cannot be the same as the land. It is an ecosystem, which either lives in a state of development as commonly understood, or deterioration — Alexey Rakhmanov, United Shipbuilding Corporation President .

Pollution in the World Ocean

We have in attendance my friends from the Caribbean – Grenada, and Antigua and Barbuda. It is one of the most ostensibly picture-perfect parts of the world, and yet when viewed from above, it is a frightful image – rubbish, rubbish, rubbish, rubbish, rubbish everywhere — Sergey Brilev, Russia TV Channel Anchor and Deputy Director and President of the Bering Bellingshausen Institute for the Americas.

It is not only the plastic that we see floating around, but it is the plastic that gets actually into the food chain and through the food chain also into our bodies. It is very unhealthy for us human beings — Rene Berkvens, Chief Executive Officer, Damen Shipyards Group NV.

Transitioning to eco-friendly fuel

Over the past few years, the focus of the International Maritime Organization has shifted towards controlling marine fuel and tackling marine fuel pollution. <...> One promising area is the use of LNG fuel or gas-engine fuel, which is becoming more popular throughout the world as the LNG market grows. It is an area which is developing apace in Russia, and according to analysts, will probably account for 20% of the market by 2035. What is hindering this? We need to solve a set of challenges in order to facilitate a widespread transition to this new type of fuel — Yury Tsvetkov, Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation; Head, The Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport.

Exchanging technology between nations

We must not try to move forward alone. We need to consolidate our efforts, we need new technology, we need to share this technology — Andrey Adrianov, Vice-President, Russian Academy of Sciences.

Expanding research on the World Ocean

The approach is as follows: make breakthroughs in areas where science is still weak – in mapping of the ocean, in observations, in data information, in knowledge of ecosystems. <…> Engagement of the private sector and all nations is key for making ocean science on the right rail to serve humanity — Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, UNESCO.

No more than 10% of the World Ocean has been studied. Our understanding of space is far greater than that of the sea. No one country alone is able to adequately study the World Ocean, nor tackle its ecological problems — Alexey Rakhmanov, United Shipbuilding Corporation President .

Our role is very simple – we have to supply the tools for the scientists to do their work in the oceans. That means capable ships, capable platforms that can help the researchers do the research that needs to be done to better understand the oceans and to make sure that in the future we safely explore this vast part of our planet — Rene Berkvens, Chief Executive Officer, Damen Shipyards Group NV.

Increasing funding for research

Funding among the global maritime powers to study the ocean amounts to no more than 4% of total investment in research and development. Sadly, Russia is no exception. In 1990, the USSR had 375 research vessels. By number, it was the largest fleet in the world, amounting to a third of the global total. However, over the past 30 years, virtually nothing has been done to add to the fleet or modernize it. We are glad that this year has seen the start of design and construction work for research vessels, both for the fishing industry, and for studying the ocean — Alexey Rakhmanov, United Shipbuilding Corporation President .

Developing the Northern Sea Route

We view the development of the Northern Sea Route as a key objective. It possesses unique production, economic, transport, and natural features. It is an advanced special economic zone, with huge production and resource potential in its coastal regions and on the Arctic shelf — Alexey Rakhmanov, United Shipbuilding Corporation President .

Developing aquaculture

Fifty per cent of all fish and aquaculture consumed by the planet’s population is not caught, but cultivated in hatcheries. <...> If we look at international experience, we can see the widespread use of sensors and various modern AI instruments etc. Unfortunately, we do not currently have these in Russia. We therefore have very low production levels and very high levels of product loss. <...> International estimates unanimously claim that digitalized and correctly managed hatcheries are 20–30% more economically efficient — Sergey Emdin, Chief Executive Officer, Tele2 .

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS