Wavel Ramkalawan, President of the Republic of the Seychelles, at The Ocean Race Summit Seychelles, 21 March 2021 © Freelens Productions
The survival of this planet depends on each one of us pulling together exactly as the participants in The Ocean Race do. It is teamwork that will ensure the survival of our planet.
The President praised female leaders in conservation and youth, who are striving to protect the seas. He also spoke about how the country is leading the way in taking action: “The Seychelles is punching above its weight. Small as we are, we are protecting 30% of our ocean. We are committed to protecting the ocean, but we cannot do it alone. We ask the world to join us in saving our ocean and saving our planet.”
Our relationship with the marine environment can no longer be extractive or parasitic. We must work hard, just as hard for our oceans, as they work for us. Our small island developing nations cannot do it alone. It is go time, and this is the decade of action, collective action, immediate action, individual action and ultimately global action, we must reverse the tide and yes we must do it now
On the other hand, The Ocean Summit emphasized theOcean race plays a crucial role as "an international organisation that mobilises sailing, maritime and coastal communities with an innovative approach to inspire solutions for the ocean". Held in collaboration with the Danny Faure Foundation and hosted by the Republic of the Seychelles.
The Summit sought to address the lack of governance and protection for our seas, the impact of climate change on the ocean and examine whether the ocean should be given rights.
As a sailor you get this special bond with the ocean. In sport we like fair play and fair rules, but there is no fair play for the ocean. We need sharper governance and management, which we can create through a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights - a rule book that allows the ocean to thrive. If this is enabled we will see a paradigm shift for ocean conservation.”
“We are delighted to be in the Seychelles, a country of ocean guardians that is leading the way in protecting our blue planet.
The Summit featured leading voices from the Seychelles alongside global perspectives, with experts from government, science, industry, NGOs and sailing, it also gave a platform to youth voices.
The event is part of a series of 12 Summits, which has been developed in collaboration with 11th Hour Racing, a Premier Partner of The Ocean Race and Founding Partner of the Racing with Purpose sustainability programme. The series explores the idea of giving the ocean rights in order to create a collective global effort to protect the seas. The concept can only be realised if ocean rights are embraced at a global scale, which is why The Ocean Race is working to gather support and momentum with key decision-makers and ocean advocates. Through collaborative action The Ocean Race is building towards an ambitious goal of driving a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights.
If I take away one word from this Summit, it is ‘opportunity’. What we're accomplishing with the summits is to connect athletes, science, policymakers, governments, media and NGOs together in this effort to create a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights.