Thrilling moments for Seaweed at UNOC in Lisbon

Jul 19, 2022 | Conference

What a week for our Seaweed Revolution! We took advantage of United Nation’s Ocean Conference to actively raise awareness on the potential for seaweed to support SDG14, starting with our very own Annual meeting and Seaweed Day on June 29th at Forum Picoas. Above is a selection of photographs by Ricardo Ruella.

Our Annual Meeting was the opportunity to share our key perspectives, with a welcome introduction by Vincent Doumeizel and a message from our founding partners by Tim Slingsby as representative of Lloyd’s Register Foundation and of the Coalition’s Steering Committee. Our Senior Advisor Nichola Dyer then looked back on the achievements of the SSC and Dr. Philippe Potin, Senior Scientist at CNRS and Scientific Coordinator of the Coalition presented our Spring 2022 Grantees cohortInsights on how to measure safety from the Safe Seaweed by Design project were then given by Dr. Sander van den Burg, before a look forward to the future of the Coalition by Nichola Dyer. Seaweed can count on strong advocates within the UN System to help us grow this industry, said Erik Giercksky, Head of the Action Platform for Ocean at United Nations Global Compact in his final remarks. Meeting ended with the presentation of the provisional results of our member survey (to which you can still participate).

After a wrap-up from the Annual Meeting by Dr. Philippe Potin and Erik Giercksky, our Seaweed Day opened with insights from the portuguese seaweed sector by João Navalho (president of PROALGA/Portuguese Association of Algae Farmers). A first panel then discussed Seaweed & Food, with perspectives from Conor Spacey (Culinary Director, FoodSpace), Grace Ramirez (Chef/Host/Recipe Developer & Tester, FoodTV) and Paul Newnham (SDG2 Advocacy Hub), followed by a discussion with Gabriella D’Cruz (Global Youth Champion and Founder of the Good Ocean), Lisa Boulton (ESG Program manager and seaweed leader at Nestlé) and Dr. Philippe Potin (Senior Scientist at CNRS and Scientific Coordinator of the Safe Seaweed Coalition). The second panel discussed Seaweed & Sustainability through an African Lens, with framing remarks by Nancy Iraba (co-founder and CEO of Healthy Seaweed Company in Tanzania) followed by a discussion with Dr. Flower Msuya (Senior Researcher at University of Dar es Salaam), Francis Okalo (Program Manager-Coastal and Oceans Resilience (COR), IUCN), Bernice McLean (Head of Blue Economy, African Union Development Agency) and Caroline Hooft-Slootweg (Co-founder, Kelp Blue). Ambassador Stefan Jon Hafstein (Special Envoy for the Ocean, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Iceland) then presented the Aquatic Blue Food Coalition. After a presentation of the EU4Algae initiative by Adrien Vincent (Ocean Lead at Systemiq and Programme Director of Seaweed for Europe), a third panel tackled Seaweed & the Environment, with opening remarks by Dr. Carlos Drews (Executive Vice President of Ocean Wise) followed by a discussion with Andrea Paz Lacavex (MS Coastal Science and Policy fellow at the University of California), Tiago de Zoeten (Conservation Biologist at Mossy Earth) and Dr. Philippe Potin. Next, Helena Abreu (Co-founder and managing director of our hosting partners from ALGAplus) provided a perspective on IMTA, followed by a global conversation about Seaweed & Sustainability with Runa Ray (Fashion Environmentalist at Mojo Design Studios), Jorunn Skjermo (Senior Research Scientist at SINTEF Ocean), Briana Warner (CEO at Atlantic Sea Farms), Camilla Dore (Product Developer at B’ ZEOS) and Franck Hennequart (Director Research & Innovation at Algaia). 

The day ended with a final conversation between Valerie Hickey (Global Director, Environment, Natural Resources, and Blue Economy at the World Bank) and Árni Matthias Mathiesen (Senior Advisor at Iceland Ocean Cluster, Aquatic Blue Food Coalition), paving the way to our official side-event at UNOC organized in partnership with the Australian Seaweed Institute and Lloyd’s Register Foundation: Seaweed: A Revolution to Achieve Goal 14 and More