Working group details

Marine education for young people - creating reef champions

Bernd Brauer

New Beginnings, Gold Coast, Australia. Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden


In 2020 our charitable organisation expanded the eco component of our youth programs into Marine Conservation bye developing a 3-level program comprising theoretical content on climate change and its impacts, as well as a variety of practical involvements. The program aims to introduce young people into marine conservation at an early age, and create a desire to remain involved by volunteering or formal studies. We have had involved people highly qualified in the field, and developed partnerships with organisations such as Sea World, Coral Watch, Reef Check Australia and Tangaroa Blue. In 2021, a number of students completed all elements for the program (Levels 1 - 3), receiving a certificate of completion, with the program receiving high acclaim from all concerned - students, parents, teachers and principals. A second group of students is currently participating the program.

Seavoices: Resonating gender equity in the ocean decade

Caroline Fassina1, Lana Almeida2

1Secretary of Environment, Santos, Brazil. 2Federal University of São Paulo, Santos, Brazil


The SEAVOICES working group will invite all the women from summit to join a conversation round about the challenges they face to implement Oceand Decade actions. The planned WG activites will be facilitated mainly through participatory methods and collective conceptual mapping. By working with women to discuss shared perceptions and challenges related to gender, this WG will deepen the understanding of such cross-cut ODS 5, from the perspective of those who experience them. That is, SEAVOICES will promote a space for experience exchange, to foster local-based solutions after-summit. We believe that, to overcome shared challenges, a summit can act to connect different women working for the same Ocean. Gender conflicts affect women in all socioeconomic sectors, albeit differently. Thus, although focused on women in the summit audience, this WG can benefit any workplace in the long run, since eliciting gender conversations benefit all the women when going back to their livelihoods.

Reimagining education: Building sustainable universities

Tanvi Verma1, Rashmi Aggarwal1, Sandhir Sharma1, Akhilesh Ojha2, Nedra Bahri Ammari3

1Chitkara University, Punjab, Rajpura, India. 2Truman State University, Kirksville, USA. 3IHEC of Carthage, Tunisia Rue Victor Hugo 2016, Tunisia, Tunisia


Education plays a critical role in empowering citizens in acquiring the skills necessary to live responsibly, modify consumption patterns, find solutions, reform society, and shape a green economy. Universities could be engines of societal transformation by accomplishing Sustainable Development Goals, educating global citizens, and imparting knowledge and innovation to society. The proposal explicates what it means for a university to be sustainable and lays out a plan for becoming one. The framework shows how sustainability can be achieved in each of a university's major areas: environment & climate, teaching & research, people & society, and administration & governance.

Developing an environmental sports field management academy and engaging managers to environmentally certify sports field facilities

Susan Haddock, Donald Rainey

University of Florida, Gainesville, United States Minor Outlying Islands


Florida faces significant current and future challenges in watershed management and coastal resource protection, and managed sports fields are facing enormous challenges including increased activity and play demand, oscillating weather conditions, pest and disease pressures, budget constraints, and pressure from governmental entities and public concern about addressing nonpoint source pollution. This program provides a model for a sports field management certification program and an environmental facility certification promoting environmental stewardship. The certification provides managers and support staff with education and training that protects their organization’s investment, reduces maintenance costs, encourages quality playing surfaces, heightens self-confidence and professionalism, emphasizes cultural practices and environmental stewardship, and improves public perception. The program also promotes and provides assistance with and attester documentation for the Sports Field Management Association international Environmental Facility Certification. The academy encourages existing and/or creative collaborative inputs to further this and advanced sports field environmental certifications via symposia or working group format.

Surface modelling of nature futures

TianXiang YUE

Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China


To overcome the weaknesses of current modelling platforms and the challenges of existing scenarios approaches, we propose a surface modelling platform for nature futures (SMP). For the SMP, the most important terms include nature, nature’s contribution to people, drivers of change and scenarios. Nature refers to the natural world with an emphasis on the diversity of living organisms and their interactions among themselves and with their environment, including biodiversity, ecosystems, ecosystem structure and functioning, the evolutionary process, the biosphere, living natural resources (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005; Díaz et al., 2015). Nature’s contribution to people can be defined as all the contributions, both positive and negative, of living nature to people’s quality of life (Díaz et al., 2018). Drivers of change refer to all the external factors that cause change in nature, anthropogenic assets, nature’s contribution to people and a good quality of life, including institutions and governance systems and other indirect drivers, and direct drivers (both natural and anthropogenic) (IPBES, 2016). A surface refers to a raster expression of a region or one of its eco-environmental properties.

Combining health and biodiversity conservation - how to increase public awareness on conservation

Yurong Yu

Imperial College London, London, UK


This working group aims to initiate a discussion about how to create a more impactful outcome when combining conservation research with human health with multidisciplinary researchers. It will start from how to combine the two topics and find out what is a better way to deliver the knowledge to GPs (or other practical roles), through whom the sometime intimidating biodiversity knowledge can be passed onto a broader spectrum of audience. Furthermore, this group also aims to discuss how to measure the potential outcomes. The discussion will be an open semi-structured focus group, with the participants selected by a pre-filled online form, to make sure enough representation from multiple backgrounds. The discussion will also be facilitated by a PhD student (Yurong Yu), who has a background of conservation science and economics.

Satellite-based radar model for illegal discharges at the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Ecoregion according to MARPOL73_78 Annex I

Ana Halabi-Echeverry1, Juan Aldana-Bernal2, Fabian Ramirez-Cabrales3, Nelson Obregon-Neira3

1NextPort vCoE INC, Sydney, Australia. 2National University of Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia. 3NextPort vCoE INC, Bogotá, Colombia


The lack of data is a key cause of concern for the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Ecoregion. A uniform and complete set of data on current polluters become essential to assess different port management and governance scenarios. Marine Corridor (CMAR) of the Eastern Tropical Pacific between Colombia, USA, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Panama is a regional ocean conservation effort covering more than 500,000 sq km and one of the most productive and diverse areas of the ocean. Port States are urged to run strategies on CMAR according to MARPOL Annex I, demonstrating a willingness to operate and compete internationally. Satellite-based radars (SAR) can be used to detect illegal discharges from ships according to MARPOL prescriptions. This situation deserves researchers' interest in transferring capacities of data intelligence and risk scenario analyses to tackle pollution and marine spills for CMAR planning, therefore, producing a publishable product synthetising the discussion.

Lessons from the field: Closing the biodiversity conservation gap

Silvie Daniels

Hasselt University, Hasselt, Belgium


Closing the biodiversity and conservation financing gap requires local conservation efforts to upscale to the landscape level to attract additional investment, thereby multiplying the positive social, environmental and economic benefits for society. In this working group we invite leaders from the field and academics to think about best practices for upscaling conservation investment. This working group will bring together different voices from the field to (i) analyse the economic architecture needed to scale proven Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) and attract additional investment, (ii) identify existing business models for biodiversity financing, (iii) assess their scalability and transferability to other regions under differing geographic and socio-economic contexts, (iv) assess the heterogeneity in preferences and values that may arise from differences in socio-economic contexts and geographic regions, (v) identify the most cost-effective solutions for creating environmental and social returns, (vi) identify reliable, science-based and proven impact metrics for blended finance on landscape levels and finally (vii) strategically target the governance and financial architecture of multiple assets on a landscape scale to provide insights for a common framework to mitigate risk and bridge the financing gap.

A working group to improve the communication of risks from marine pollution and its impacts on environmental and human health to diverse stakeholders

Catherine Pirkle1, Amanda Boyd2, Robert Richmond1, Tetine Sentell1, David Delaney3, Jennifer Lynch4,5, Alexander Mawyer1, Chris Furgal6

1University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Honolulu, USA. 2Washington State University, Pullman, USA. 3Delaney Aquatic Consulting, Honolulu, USA. 4Hawaii Pacific University, Honolulu, USA. 5National Institute of Standards and Technology, Honolulu, USA. 6Trent University, Peterborough, Canada


Pollution, from a variety of contaminants, including plastics, poses a significant health threat to marine ecosystems and those who depend on them. Communicating associated health risks is challenging and hampered by disciplinary silos. We propose an interdisciplinary, multinational working group composed of participants from academia, government and key stakeholder communities with the mutual goals of 1) improving broader understanding of and communication on marine pollution and 2) building better risk assessment and communication tools targeting diverse audiences. Co-organizers listed on this proposal come from diverse disciplinary backgrounds; share a commitment to improving communication about the risks of marine pollution to ecosystems, wildlife and humans; are solutions-oriented and committed to working together to publish an innovative paper on novel, interdisciplinary communication approaches. This working group’s 4 hour collaborative session will be open to all EcoSummit attendees, upon request, up to 20 participants.  


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