Blancpain Ocean Commitment – The Ocean Is Everyone’s Business
TAKING THE FIGHT AGAINST MARINE PLASTICS TO THE NEXT LEVEL
by Rainer Sigel
AT THE RECENT WORLD OCEAN SUMMIT 2017 IN BALI, A WIDE RANGE OF LUMINARIES CONVENED TO LAUNCH MARINE POLLUTION INITIATIVES AND TO LOOK AT WAYS TO REDUCE HUMAN-INDUCED DEGRADATION OF THE WORLD’S OCEANS. The idea behind the convention was to find a transition from the conventional marine economy to a “blue” and sustainable one, resulting in an economic investment opportunity.
The Summit was organised by The Economist, sponsored by iconic Swiss master watchmaker Blancpain, and gathered global leaders from government, industry and civil society. Their overarching goal, “to bring a critical eye to the vital issue of how to finance a sustainable ocean economy”, was discussed and interpreted by over 400 individuals from nearly 60 countries — including Jusuf Kalla, Indonesia’s Vice-President, the event’s keynote speaker.
Other notable attendants were Karmenu Vella, the European Union’s commissioner for environment, maritime affairs and fisheries; Erik Solheim, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme; Michael Eckhart, Citigroup’s managing director and head of environmental finance and sustainability; Boyan Slat, founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup; and Adrian Grenier, filmmaker, entrepreneur and social advocate.
Naoko Ishii, CEO and chairperson of the Global Environment Facility, said: “We cannot secure our oceans’ future without the active involvement of the private sector, and it’s critical that new business opportunities and financing address major threats like over-fishing and pollution in a sustainable manner.”
On the opening day, Ocean Unite launched a new initiative — The Ocean is Everybody’s Business — and called upon the public, businesses and governments to make the Ocean their business and ensure its ‘voice’ is heard. The same day, UN Environment launched a new global campaign to eliminate major sources of marine litter: microplastics in cosmetics and the excessive, wasteful usage of single-use plastic by the year 2022.
THE GOAL IS “TO BRING A CRITICAL EYE TO THE VITAL ISSUE OF HOW TO FINANCE A SUSTAINABLE OCEAN ECONOMY”
BLANCPAIN OCEAN COMMITMENT
Driven by its pioneer spirit since its foundation in 1735, Blancpain’s historical connection with diving goes back to 1953, with the development of the first modern diving watch, the Fifty Fathoms. For more than 60 years now, Blancpain has contributed to raise awareness through ocean exploration. The watchmaker believes that people can only respect and protect what they love, and can only love what they know.
To serve this mission, Blancpain backs major scientific expeditions such as National Geographic Society’s Pristine Seas and Laurent Ballesta’s Project Gombessa. Each year, Blancpain releases Edition Fifty Fathoms, a publication dedicated to the underwater world and distinguished by the quality of its photographs in an effort to increase people’s knowledge of and concern about the ocean.