Former US Secretary of State and presidential candidate John Kerry, will address Ireland’s blue economy conference 2019.

Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO Marine Institute, at OOW Summit 2018

Described as a ‘determined environmentalist’ John Kerry  will share his insights on climate change and the actions required ‘to sustainably and effectively manage our oceans to ensure a health of our planet’.

Our Ocean Wealth 2019′ will welcome over 30 representatives from  world-wide island states to Cork over June 9-10, including senior political representatives from island nations in the Pacific, Caribbean and the Indian Ocean, along with over 500 national and international delegates.

Discussions will centre on practical ways that island states can cooperate through partnership to address threats, manage ocean resources and build sustainable blue economies.

Among the delegates will be the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, Peter Thompson. Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said he was “particularly interested” to welcome representatives from island nations to this year’s event.

“I look forward to important and fruitful discussions on the balance required to manage our collective blue economies while safeguarding our most precious natural resources.”

Shared natural resources of global seas and oceans “transcend national boundaries”, remarked Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine.

“We must continue to ensure they are sustainably managed, developed and protected, for the benefit of this and future generations.”

Marine Institute chief executive Peter Heffernan said OOW 2019 will attract engineering, technology, energy and food sectors and provide “enormous opportunities for collaboration and innovation in business”.

The summit is sponsored for a third time by PwC whose Partner Declan McDonald said that managing ocean economies in a sustainable manner was a key theme of this year’s event.

“Responsible investment aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is of increasing significance to the global investment community and will be an important enabler to continue developing our marine resources.”

The Summit is an output of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, the Government’s integrated plan for Ireland’s marine sector, which aims to double the value of the marine economy’s contribution to GDP by 2030.

SeaFest, Ireland’s largest maritime festival, takes place at the Port of Cork from June 7.