The vital role of the ocean, climate change, and actions to safeguard it for future generations were the focus of conversations between The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Marine Institute during the royal couple's first official visit to Ireland.
Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute, Ireland's state agency for marine research, technology development and innovation, along with All-Ireland Ocean Youth Ambassador, Eimear Manning, met with The Duke and Duchess at Howth, North County Dublin, today (Wednesday 4th March).
During a coastal walk of Howth Head, Dr Connolly spoke with Their Royal Highnesses on several subjects that are central to the work of the Marine Institute including the importance of the oceans to coastal communities and climate adaptation. The Marine Institute, through the BlueFish Project, is working with coastal communities in Ireland and Wales on the importance of the ocean to their livelihoods and the impacts of a changing climate.
Other topics of conversation included Ireland's role in exploring and mapping the seabed, international collaboration on ocean research, and the Marine Institute's role in empowering Ireland and its people to safeguard and harness our ocean wealth.
Eimear Manning is one of 23 All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors who are supported by the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance (AORA). She is also an environmental education specialist delivering programmes for a variety of environmental and youth-focused charities and Non-Governmental Organisations.
She spoke with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge about ways to engage with communities, schools and businesses to introduce behavioural change initiatives and programmes for the marine environment. Working with All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors across the globe, she strives to promote sustainable development and stewardship of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Marine Institute's work aligns with The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and its aim to unite people to tackle some of today's biggest challenges.
In January 2020, Prince William launched the Earthshot Prize, an ambitious set of challenges to inspire a decade of action to repair the planet. These challenges will seek answers to the biggest issues currently facing the planet, including climate and energy, nature and biodiversity, oceans, air pollution and fresh water.
2020 signals a 'super year' for the environment with crucial summits including the COP26 Climate Change Conference in the UK and the Convention on Biodiversity in China and the UN Ocean Conference. This year, European Maritime Day takes place in Cork City, Ireland, with a two-day event (14-15 May) during which Europe's maritime community meet to discuss and forge joint action on maritime affairs and sustainable blue growth.
Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute said, "I was delighted to meet with Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, to talk about shared interests in protecting our oceans and adapting to a changing climate."
"Our oceans are fundamental to life on earth. They unite us – yet they face a multitude of challenges. Our focus in the Marine Institute is to further our understanding of our changing ocean. Our enhanced knowledge and services help us to observe these patterns of change and identify the steps to safeguard our marine ecosystems for future generations."
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Photography Credit: Julien Behal Photography https://www.julienbehal.com/index
Notes to Editor:
Howth was chosen for the coastal walk during the Royal couple's visit due to its history and strategic importance. Howth is a picturesque village clustered around a busy sailing and fishing port just nine miles from the centre of Dublin. With so much relatively unspoilt upland, cliff, coastal and beach territory still to be found so near to the capital city, increasingly stringent planning regulations have been enacted, and extensive tracts of Howth are now under special conservation measures.
The Marine Institute is the state agency responsible for marine research, technology development and innovation in Ireland. It provides government, public agencies and the maritime industry with a range of scientific, advisory and economic development services that inform policy-making, regulation and the sustainable management and growth of Ireland's marine resources. It is headquartered in Oranmore, Co Galway. www.marine.ie.
All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors
All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors are dedicated individuals from around the world who promote sustainable development and stewardship of the Atlantic Ocean. Supported by the Marine Institute led Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, the Ambassadors help to engage decision makers, reach out to local communities and work with media to conserve and protect the Atlantic Ocean for future generations. https://www.atlanticresource.org/aora/site-area/youth-ambassadors/youth-ambassador-programme
The BlueFish Project is an Ireland Wales Territorial Co-operation Operation for the Irish and Celtic Sea, focusing on cross border collaboration, climate change and community engagement. Led by Bangor University, the project brings together Aberystwyth and Swansea Universities in Wales, the Marine Institute, Bord Iascaigh Mhara and University College Cork in Ireland. BlueFish will develop knowledge and understanding of the marine resources of the Irish Sea and Celtic Seas by addressing knowledge gaps regarding the effects on and potential vulnerability of selected commercial fish and shellfish from predicted climate change and the impacts on coastal communities. www.bluefishproject.com
The Earthshot Prize is a prestigious environment prize that aims to "generate new ways of thinking, as well as new technologies, systems, policies and solutions." It aims to provide at least 50 solutions to the world's greatest problems by 2030. www.earthshotprize.org.