Some useful conclusions from the side event we organized for the International Conference “Our Ocean 2024”

The International Conference “Our Ocean 2024,” which was recently held in Athens, provided a great opportunity for a fruitful discussion on today’s challenges and the required practices and policies for our seas. For this reason, we chose to organize a side event in collaboration with the German UN Ocean Decade Committee, focusing on an issue that is more critical than ever: the role of companies in achieving goals for the protection of the marine environment.

Several distinguished experts participated in the panel and shared their views on the next steps the market should take. Since most of the practices that companies have adopted so far are deemed -with few exceptions- fragmented, participants agreed that the new company policies should incorporate the conclusions drawn as well as follow the trends that have emerged. Aegean Rebreath’s main point was that practices that do not involve local communities and authorities cannot guarantee the sustainability of any intervention. In this context, we highlighted the case of the Blue Municipalities Network and its cooperation with many private firms aiming at developing holistic projects and changing mindset at the local level. Furthermore, we spotlighted the need for companies to incorporate sustainable processes into their production pipeline and change their packaging materials, while we suggested the introduction of policies that would reward sustainable practices while discouraging polluting ones. The views of the other panelists were also very interesting since they discussed the current sustainability trends and the crucial role that the market can play in promoting sustainability.

During the conference, we also had the chance to hold a brief discussion on our work with the universally respected Sylvia Earle! To sum up, we are pleased to say that the side event was very successful since it resulted in concrete outcomes, and this could not have happened without the substantial contribution of:

  • Ms. Tassoula Eptakili, journalist at Kathimerini
  • Dr. Alexis Katechakis, Member of the Board, German UN Ocean Decade Committee
  • Ms. Xenia zu Hohenlohe, Head of Strategy, Chief Engagement & Strategy Officer at The Sustainable Markets Initiative,
  • Mr. Stefanos Dianellos, Head of Corporate Affairs at BAT,
  • Mr. George Sarelakos, President and Managing Director of Aegean Rebreath

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