The first EU Algae Awareness Summit will be held from 5 to 7 October 2023 at the Maison de l’Océan* in Paris. This unprecedented event in Europe, co-organized by the European Commission, the French Government and the Global Seaweed Coalition (UN Global Compact) with the support of the Oceanographic Institute, Prince Albert I of Monaco Foundation, is a promising milestone for the algae sector.
A safely upscaled, responsible and restorative seaweed industry can play an important global role in food security, climate change mitigation and marine ecosystem support, while contributing to job creation and economic growth. “Raising policymaker awareness regarding the benefits and opportunities associated with seaweed in national economies and local biodiversity is at the core of our policy action pillar” said Vincent Doumeizel, co-founder of the Global Seaweed Coalition. Lack of awareness regarding these benefits, limited acceptance of seaweed products within the EU as well as lack of cooperation have been identified as major bottlenecks to the growth of the seaweed industry. “The Global Seaweed Coalition is proud to be joining forces with partnering organizations to bring the seaweed sector to this high-level collaborative conversation”, he said.
These include the Oceanographic Institute of Monaco, founded by Prince Albert I, who already mentioned the benefits of marine plants and the need to cultivate them over 100 years ago. The algae industry has now been identified as an essential component of the developing global blue economy. It is supported by the Oceanographic Institute and HSH Prince Albert II, who said: “Algae are one of the fundamental elements of the blue economy, which we know is one of the keys to creating a responsible development paradigm, meeting human aspirations and Nature’s demands”.
By hosting this event, which is open to the general public on Saturday 7 October, the Principality of Monaco is encouraging dialogue on the search for practical solutions in the development of algae production and recovery, and encouraging the private sector to play a fundamental role in the sustainable development of this industry.
As part of this dynamic, the Summit will help to foster the expansion and development of the algae industry in EU member states, and beyond. In addition to insights into the latest developments in the algae sector worldwide and in Europe, this three-day event will feature an exhibition that will be thoughtfully organized around seaweed and microalgae’s multifaceted applications in food, feed, cosmetics, bio-packaging, biostimulants, textile art and design. The whole event will be broadcasted.
While participation on the 5th and 6th of October will be strictly by invitation only, the Maison de l’Océan will be open to the public on the 7th of October. With inspiring talks, chef presentations, tasting sessions and interactive workshops, this final day will enable visitors to discover the incredible potential of micro and macroalgae cultivation for the economy, the climate and our ocean.
Global Seaweed Coalition
The Global Seaweed Coalition (GSC) is a global partnership established to support the safety and sustainability of the seaweed industry as it scales up, and to unite a fragmented market through a unified vision and goals. The 2020 Seaweed Manifesto, a collaborative effort of the three founding partners – Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LR Foundation), the Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform of United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact), and the French National Research Centre (French acronym CNRS) – laid the groundwork to establish the Coalition. It was formally launched as the Safe Seaweed Coalition at an online event hosted by the Financial Times on March 17, 2021.
Founded in 1906 by Prince Albert I, the Oceanographic Institute is a foundation officially recognised as serving the public interest. It brings together scientific, political, economic and public stakeholders to promote the sustainable use of the Ocean and the conservation of marine ecosystems. As a vehicle for numerous projects on the national and international scene (symposia, exhibitions, educational programmes, etc.), it pursues its mission of environmental outreach using its two sites, the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco and the Maison de l’Océan in Paris.
*A facility of the Oceanographic Institute, Prince Albert I of Monaco Foundation