As the World Ocean Council (WOC) gets ready to host SOS 2013, a conference to secure the future of the Caribbean Sea, the Washington, DC-based Institute for Caribbean Studies (ICS) this week issued a call for private sector leadership as preparations move into high gear for the WOC’s Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS), April 22-24 in Washington, D.C.

Last year, the Washington-based Institute for Caribbean Studies launched the Sustainable Caribbean Sea Futures Initiative to develop an inter-sectoral, international leadership alliance to secure a living future for the Caribbean Sea. The issue takes on new momentum as ICS engages with the (WOC) to mobilize Caribbean participation, especially by the private sector which stands to gain immense benefits from the successful outcomes of the venture.

“SOS 2013 is an unparalleled, world-class gathering of the diverse ocean business community,” says ICS President Dr. Claire Nelson. “It sets the agenda for ensuring responsible industry operations.”

The SOS 2013 program is a unique, global, multi-industry ocean leadership event, with an opening, “Ocean Executive Forum” plenary panel of industry CEOs and VPs from a range of sectors, Dr. Nelson eplained.

U.S. Navy oceanographer, Admiral Jonathan W. White will deliver the keynote address at the Washington conference, entitled: The “Global Ocean Commission – Industry Forum” — the only business-led input to the former U.S. presidents and cabinet members chairing this new international ocean policy body.

The Global Ocean Commission brings together international leaders in an independent body to analyze the main challenges and threats to the high seas, recommend solutions for addressing them, and, in 2014, provide recommendations to the U.N. and other institutions and processes that can implement change.

The cross-cutting challenges affecting future ocean use will be addressed in SOS sessions on:

Smart Ocean/Smart Industries: Scaling Up Data Collecting by Industry, Arctic Challenges and Opportunities for Responsible Industries, Ocean Policy and Ocean Industries in International Waters, Marine Spatial Planning, Sound and the Marine Environment, BioFouling and Invasive Species, Climate Change and Sea Level Rise: Port and Coastal Infrastructure Adaptation, Financing Innovation and Technology for Ocean Sustainability.

Preceding the main SOS conference, the business community will convene for the agenda-setting, “Oceans 2050 Workshop” on April 22. “This event will identify the drivers, trends, and scenarios affecting the future of ocean industries and determine critical pathways for its success and sustainability,” ICS explains.

“Given the dire straits facing the Caribbean Sea, the window of opportunity to ensure a living sea is closing,” Dr. Nelson said. “The Sustainable Caribbean Sea Futures Initiative includes as a key priority, the goal of ensuring a multi-industry coalition to advance responsible use of the Caribbean Sea.

“We envision bringing together tourism, yachting, fishing, cruise-shipping, ocean data management, oil/gas, mining — everyone to engage private sector leaders in securing a sustainable future for our Caribbean Sea. Partnering with like-minded organizations like the WOC, will allow ICS to realize this agenda,” Dr. Nelson added.

Caribbean participants at SOS 2013 can also expect a Special Caucus organized by Dr. Nelson, to begin talks on an agenda for a proposed Business Leaders Forum for a Sustainable Caribbean Sea being planned for the Fall of 2013, as well as to develop private sector representation to the Caribbean Sea Commission and the UN 2015 Ocean Summit.

The Sustainable Caribbean Sea Futures Initiative is a partnership with The Futures Forum, and the Development Foresight Institute based in Jamaica.

To register for SOS 2013, please visit www.oceancouncil.org.

To find out how you can get involved in the Business Leaders Forum for a Sustainable Caribbean Sea, please contact: [email protected]

About the Sustainable Ocean Summit

The Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS) is the only international ocean business community gathering dedicated to industry leadership and collaboration in developing solutions to ocean sustainability challenges. The theme of SOS 2013 is “Oceans 2050” – The Ocean Business Community and Sustainable Seas”. The event brings together a wide range of ocean industries, including: shipping, oil and gas, fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, renewable energy (wind, wave, tidal), mining, ports, dredging, cables, pipelines, the maritime legal, financial and insurance communities, and others.

About the World Ocean Council

The World Ocean Council (WOC) is the only international, cross-sectoral alliance for private sector leadership and collaboration in “Corporate Ocean Responsibility”. Companies and associations worldwide are distinguishing themselves as leaders in ocean sustainability and stewardship by joining the WOC. Members to date include over 60 leadership organizations from a wide range of ocean industries: oil and gas, shipping, seafood, fisheries, aquaculture, mining, renewable energy, ocean technology, maritime law, marine environmental services and other areas.

About Institute of Caribbean Studies

The Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) is a non-partisan, non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization established in 1993 dedicated to education, advocacy and action on issues that impact on Caribbean Americans. The purpose of ICS is to provide a forum for the public and private sector, the non-government organization community, scholars and others interested in promoting a dialogue and to assist in the execution of actions that result from that dialogue. ICS, honored as White House Champion of Change is the leading advocacy organization and think-do tank in the Caribbean Diaspora in the US.

Sustainable Caribbean Sea Futures

The Sustainable Caribbean Sea Futures Initiative is a partnership with The Futures Forum, and the Development Foresight Institute based in Jamaica.


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