Potential of blue economy highlighted at World Ocean Week
A picturesque view of Xiamen, East China's Fujian province. CHINA DAILY
A series of marine-themed activities have been unveiled at the ongoing World Ocean Week from Nov 18-24 in Xiamen, East China's Fujian province, which have enriched the annual event's content on ocean-related issues.
The 2021 Blue Carbon International Forum held on Friday was one of the activities to address the significance of low-carbon development.
According to the organizer, this is the first time for the World Ocean Week event to introduce the concept of "blue carbon"－a process or mechanism of using marine organisms and their activities to absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and then store it in the ocean.
Nowadays, the concept has been seen as one of key strategies in dealing with climate change. The activity aims to share the latest progress in blue carbon research and to propel the evolution of management methods in the field.
Some 10 experts at the event shared their experiences in coastal zone blue carbon ecosystem management and explored some potential ecosystems working under the mechanism in the ocean.
The Island Research Center of the Ministry of Natural Resources worked together with the China Ocean Development Foundation and held another supplementary activity at the World Ocean Week－the 2021 International Forum on Island Ecological Protection.
A total of 12 foreign experts from Grenada, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark and some domestic universities and research institutes shared their expertise on topics such as island ecological protection, how to cope with climate change, recover from the woes of natural disasters and realize the sustainable development of islands.
Moreover, they delivered speeches on the protection of the Pacific Ocean, COVID-19 prevention strategies, different-sized island ecological construction methods, island protection and restoration, seawater desalination as well as marine space planning and other technologies.
The forum, taking place both online and offline, was attended by around 400 delegates and its live broadcast received nearly 6,000 views.
Chen Danhong, deputy director of the International Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources, said at the event that China and island countries and regions share common concerns in addressing climate change, combating marine pollution, protecting biodiversity and developing the blue economy partnership.
They should work together in promoting practical cooperation by rolling out cooperating policies and planning, Chen said.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Marine Sustainable Development Center. To deliver the objectives of the organization and restate its goal, the sixth APEC Blue Economic Forum was held along with the World Ocean Week.
Representatives from 13 APEC economies, including Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand and the United States as well as some international organization members, participated in the event online.
During the forum, the China Ocean Development Research Association released an index revealing the marine economic development in China over the last year, showing that it has maintained its overall stability.
The APEC Marine Sustainable Development Center proposed an initiative at the event in a bid to further promote the blue economy and call for deeper cooperation among the APEC members.
Shen Jun, an official from the Ministry of Natural Resources, said that since all APEC members share one common ocean, they hold a deep consensus on exploring, protecting and utilizing it. China is poised for more effective action to promote the blue economy and looks forward to mutually beneficial cooperation with the other APEC members.
On Friday, the Forum of the 2021 China Aquatic Products Conference, another supplementary activity at the ocean week, kicked off online and was participated in by more than 20,000 representatives.
Prestigious academicians and experts from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, research institutes and business leaders from internet enterprises were invited to make in-depth analysis on the trade and trend of aquatic products at home and abroad.
They also shared their knowledge on making macroeconomic policies, developments under the dual-circulation pattern, current issues on the aquatic processing industry and the aquatic product consumption and market.
A roundtable meeting of "The Ocean Super Year-Global Progress on Ocean Health in 2021" was held online on Thursday.
More than 50 representatives from around the globe attended the meeting which reviewed the progress on oceans in many global conferences, such as United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021 and the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Peter Thomson, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean, attended the event online and stressed the significance of the sustainable development of the marine economy.
Disorderly development will face a certain dead end. Therefore, people must make changes and hold fast to the principles of sustainability, recyclability and fairness when dealing with ocean-related issues, Thomson said.
"Adhering to the goal of sustainable development, Xiamen World Ocean week will continue to stand as an international platform to promote cooperation among international partners and boost marine scientific and technological progress," Thomson added.
Since 2005, the Xiamen World Ocean Week has been attended by around 1,000 officials and expert representatives from 127 countries and regions in total. To date, the event and its supplementary activities were joined by more than 2 million visitors.