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2022 World Ocean Week to wrap up string of fruitful meetings and forums

(China Daily) Updated:2022-11-17

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James George, deputy resident representative of the United Nations Development Programme in China, addresses the opening ceremony of the 2022 World Ocean Week in Xiamen via video link. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The main activities of the 2022 World Ocean Week in Xiamen concluded on Wednesday in the coastal city in East China's Fujian province, with organizers having staged 40 events including forums, exhibitions and ocean culture carnivals.

Representatives of 16 international organizations and nearly 800 companies have participated in the activities to discuss approaches to advancing high-quality ocean development.

Those included the 2022 China Seafood Summit which opened on Wednesday, and the fifth International Diving Salvage and Marine Engineering Equipment Exhibition, which is to kick off on Friday. They are expected to help Xiamen's marine industry attract investors' attention, officials said.

Li Junhua, United Nations undersecretary-general for economic and social affairs, praised the host city's achievements in coastal pollution control at the ocean week's opening ceremony and the Xiamen International Ocean Forum.

"Ocean sits at the nexus of addressing the triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss … Ocean also holds the key to bringing sustainability and prosperity together," he said.

"Offshore renewable energy, green shipping, marine aquaculture and other sustainable blue economy sectors offer immense opportunities for economic growth and employment, while making net-zero carbon and resilient economies possible.

"In this connection, I wish to commend Xiamen for its achievement in transforming polluted waterfront into a model for ecological and economic success, through cycles of integrated coastal management," Li said.

Athill Dean Jonas, minister of social transformation, human resource development and the blue economy of Antigua and Barbuda, said the World Ocean Week in Xiamen is a platform for connecting global ocean policies, technologies, decision-making and actions.

It provides a great venue for international cooperation and dialogue for governments of coastal cities, marine scientists, international organizations, intergovernmental organizations, and maritime businesses and institutions from across the globe, he noted.

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Experts share insights into high-quality development of emerging marine sectors during the week. [Photo provided to China Daily]

One of the key activities of this year's ocean week, the Xiamen Summit on the Innovative Development of Emerging Marine Industries, was held on Nov 9.

With the theme of "New Blue Engine Driving the High-Quality Development of Emerging Marine Industries", the summit was graced by the presence of nearly 200 officials, prominent experts and business leaders in the marine sector.

They shared the latest research results and practices in the innovative development of emerging marine industries, exchanged views on the development and transformation of the aquacultural seed industry, the exploration of marine life resources, research on marine equipment, smart ocean and innovation in marine science and technology.

The forum is the first of its kind in the history of the World Ocean Week in Xiamen, and represents an innovation and upgrade of the event, said an official with the Xiamen bureau of ocean development, one of the organizers of the forum.

The event is set to accelerate and upgrade the development of emerging marine industries, support the formation of industrial chains and ecosystems in the field of marine science and technology and help turn Xiamen into a world leader in marine sci-tech industries, said the official.

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Contestants in the Xiamen leg of the National Family Sailing Race during the week. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Pan Delu, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a researcher with the Second Institute of Oceanography at the Ministry of Natural Resources, said at the forum that the setting of the carbon peaking and carbon neutrality goals translates into great prospects for the "blue carbon "assessment industry.

Blue carbon refers to the carbon captured and stored by the world's oceanic and coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, salt marshes and seagrass beds.

Gui Jianfang, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a researcher at the academy's Institute of Hydrobiology, shed light on the aquacultural seed industry. He analyzed the opportunities and challenges facing the "blue granary" in the process of its transformation and upgrading.

"With the continuous advancement of gene technology, precision breeding is now capable of cultivating 'perfect fish' featuring quality meat, high yields, few diseases and speedy reproduction," Gui said, adding this will help ensure sustainable production of aquatic food and protect aquatic habitats and biodiversity.

To introduce Xiamen's ocean culture to a wider audience, the second Chinese Ocean Culture Forum in Xiamen took place on Saturday as part of ocean week.

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An array of yachts on display at the China (Xiamen) International Boat Show during the World Ocean Week. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The forum explored the core values and rich content of Chinese ocean culture by looking back at the history of China's ocean civilization, Zeng Dongsheng, director of the Xiamen bureau of ocean development, said in his opening address at the forum. The bureau organized the forum in collaboration with Xiamen University.

"We will start from telling the maritime culture stories from southern Fujian and Xiamen, and strive to create a platform for facilitating exchanges in the ocean culture sphere and for displaying achievements in the area as well," Zeng noted.

The ocean week also featured an ocean-themed carnival, which presented activities including a sailing race, an ocean science day, a kite festival and performances of Gezai Opera, a popular art form in southern Fujian and Taiwan.

The forum also witnessed the release of the 2022 edition of the Blue Paper on Maritime Culture: Report on the Development of China's Maritime Culture. The blue paper series is prepared by institutions including maritime colleges, research institutes and museums across the country.

As the fourth edition of the series, the 2022 blue paper presents a comprehensive summary of the developments in the ocean culture industry, maritime archaeology and the protection of maritime cultural heritage that have taken place since the start of the year.

To date, the annual World Ocean Week in Xiamen has been held 17 times. The past 16 sessions have altogether welcomed more than 2 million participants, including officials and experts from nearly 130 countries and regions and close to 20 important international organizations.

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