Ocean Summit: How to Develop Future Solutions to Improve the Health of our Seas

The last Ocean Summit of the 2017-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, in The Hague, helped develop a roadmap for future solutions to improve the health of our seas.

A range of announcements, during the two-day event, set a course for a healthier future for our oceans and the Volvo Ocean Race Sustainability Programme revealed its post-race plans.

Announcements at last Ocean Summit included: 

• World Sailing launched the World Sailing Trust, a new global charity, chaired by Dee Caffari, that will promote the health of oceans and grow participation of the sport to protect its future, reinforcing the legacy of the race.
• Alongside the Province of Zuid Hollande, the city of The Hague signed up to the UN Environment #CleanSeas campaign and set out a plan to make all plastic products recyclable.
• World Ocean Council, an ocean industry leadership alliance, revealed the formation of a cross-sectoral business coalition to address land-based sources of marine pollution with a focus on microplastic.

As this edition of the race draws to a close, it was announced that the Sustainability Programme remains fully committed to the continued development of this global sporting event with sustainability, focusing on ocean health, as a central pillar to its mission.

World Sailing launched the World Sailing Trust, a new global charity, chaired by Dee Caffari, that will promote the health of oceans and grow participation of the sport to protect its future and reinforce the legacy of the race

Anne-Cecile Turner, Volvo Ocean Race Sustainability Programme Leader, said: “The programme will use the Volvo Ocean Race as a catalyst for change to preserve ocean health. The objective will be to lead, inspire and engage through an even stronger innovative programme, combining sailing and sustainability innovation platforms designed to create real and tangible impact for ocean preservation, globally and locally.

Ocean Summit
The Hague stopover. Ocean Summit. June 2018. Photo Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race

Ocean Summit, the future

To build upon the programme’s significant sustainability achievements so far and to deliver global impact, it will take the sustainability practices to the next level during the 2021/22 event. Meanwhile, in the run up to the next edition, the programme will continue to organise a range of international Ocean Summits, further expand the Education Programme and continue to pioneer a Scientific Programme focussing on ocean plastic for a sustainable future.

In order to meet these objectives, it will continue to collaborate with a range of innovative partners, including 11th Hour Racing and UN Environment, to help deliver a lasting legacy and drive real change for a healthy planet.

Jeremy Pochman, 11th Hour Racing Co-Founder and Strategic Director, said: “The impact of our partnership with the Volvo Ocean Race has been truly remarkable, and we are honoured and inspired by this journey. It’s been really rewarding to see our partnership with the race and the other sustainability partners grow stronger throughout each of the stopovers.”

Now that the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race is drawing to a close, it’s time to review and reflect on our achievements, and to build upon the legacy we have created. We are thrilled to continue this collaboration and to further our support for the Sustainability Programme. Protecting and restoring the health of our oceans is one race that none of us can afford to lose.


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