WMU Contributes to IOI Blue Economy in the New Normal Webinar
On 27 November, the International Ocean Institute (IOI) hosted a webinar entitled “The Blue Economy in the new Normal: Capacity Development beyond COVID-19 – Challenges and Opportunities”. Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of the World Maritime University (WMU), was the opening speaker on the topic of Blue Economy Challenges and Opportunities from the perspective of WMU.
Dr Doumbia-Henry outlined that the challenges in maritime and ocean affairs include human-induced climate change, the deterioration of ocean health from anthropogenic carbon emissions and excess heat, as well as the over-exploitation of marine living resources. She proposed that the solutions lie in education and building capacity, coupled with collaborative action to raise awareness and deliver the engagement of all parties involved in the sustainable management of our oceans.
“I firmly believe that Ocean Literacy is the key to unlocking human potential to ensure greater awareness of the inseparable relationship humans have with the oceans,” she said, adding “Blue EconomicDevelopment must be people-centred and must improve the lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable and marginalized in society.”
Dr. Doumbia-Henry noted that key opportunities that bind WMU’s initiatives together are investment in young researchers to build capacity for the future, prioritization of research, the application of cutting-edge technological innovations and the building of collaborative and transformative partnerships. “Whether applied to blue growth, enhancing ocean governance, addressing the climate-ocean nexus or addressing human health at sea, these themes are critical to moving forward to the post COVID-19 world,” she said.
The webinar topic on capacity building goes to the core of WMU’s mission which is to be the world centre of excellence in postgraduate maritime and oceans education, professional training and research, while building global capacity and promoting sustainable development.