Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden Discusses the Ocean with Experts at WMU
On 11 October, WMU was honoured to welcome HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden who was welcomed by WMU President, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry.
As one of the eminent UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocates, the Crown Princess was at WMU to discuss, in particular, UN SDG 14 focused on conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. At the Ocean Conference at UN Headquarters in New York in June, the Crown Princess addressed the Stockholm Resilience Centre event on Engaging the Private Sector in UN SDG 14 stating, “Do what you can, do it wisely, and most importantly, do it now. A healthy ocean is not a luxury item. It is a necessity for survival. And taking care of the ocean means taking care of ourselves.”
The meeting at WMU began with a presentation by President Doumbia-Henry about WMU’s efforts in regard to Goal 14. Since its founding, WMU has contributed to sustainable use of the ocean by focusing on the implementation and enforcement of IMO instruments to reduce accidents and ship-source pollution. Building on this strong foundation, ocean-related matters have been incorporated across all degree programmes and in 2016 a new specialization in Ocean Sustainability, Governance & Management (OSGM) received its first intake of students. Further, in June of 2017 at the UN Ocean Conference, WMU registered a commitment that aims to contribute to the implementation of Goal 14 by training a new generation of maritime leaders through the delivery of specialist, post-graduate educational programmes in Ocean Sustainability, Governance and Management, as well as in Maritime Energy Management, amongst others. In July of 2017, WMU and The Nippon Foundation announced the operationalization of the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute that will open in 2018 and is a concrete response to Goal 14.
Presentations followed by four esteemed faculty members, Professor Olof Lindén, Professor Larry Hildebrand, Professor Ronán Long, and Associate Professor Michael Manuel. Topics included actions to improve management and governance of the high seas, pollution issues in the open ocean, education and research related to ocean management and governance, and marine spatial planning as a tool for improved coastal and ocean management including the challenges involved with illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU-fishing). Following a lively discussion with the experts assembled, the Crown Princess met briefly with several MSc students in the OSGM specialization.
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