Blue Water EduFest hails heroes
The Blue Water Heroes Awards at ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove was a highlight of the second Blue Water EduFest, again featuring The Ocean Collective Summit.
Tom Peacock-Nazil, Oh Chu Xian and Anna Oposa all collected prizes at this year’s Blue Water Heroes awards, a Friday evening highlight of the second Blue Water EduFest at Singapore’s ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove.
Launched last year as part of the first Blue Water EduFest, the Blue Water Heroes Awards celebrate and recognise individuals who have made substantial contributions to marine conservation. This year, 10 finalists were named, with Peacock-Nazil, Oh and Oposa finishing first, second and third respectively.
Arthur Tay, Chairman & CEO of SUTL Group, with Tom Peacock-Nazil of Seven Clean Seas
Peacock-Nazil is the founder of Seven Clean Seas, which has undertaken impactful beach-cleaning operations spanning Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and even Brazil and the UK, rallying over 3,800 volunteers and reclaiming more than 50,000kg of plastic waste.
“We in the impact space, the minority, cannot possibly hope to fix some of the world’s greatest issues on our own. Without support, guidance, help and investment from traditional industries and governments alike, we will not succeed,” Peacock-Nazil said on stage.
Janet Shum, Sustainable Investing Specialist at Citi Global Wealth Investments – Asia Pacific, with Magorium founder Oh Chu Xian
“If we continue to chase positive environmental impact on our own, then the impact will be limited. But if we do it together, then real change and real impact can and will be realised.”
Oh is the founder of Magorium, a Singapore-based organisation founded in 2019 that’s currently reshaping road construction by converting contaminated and unsorted plastic waste, excluding harmful PVC, into NEWBitumen, a sustainable alternative to traditional bitumen.
Kuok Meng Xiong, CEO of K3 Ventures, with Anna Oposa of Save Philippine Seas
Oposa is Executive Director and Chief Mermaid of Save Philippine Seas. Her work is focused on shark conservation, waste management, circular economy practices and environmental education. She played a pivotal role in establishing the first Philippine shark sanctuary and securing national protection for critically endangered thresher sharks.
THE OCEAN COLLECTIVE SUMMIT
The Blue Water Heroes Awards was preceded by the two-day Ocean Collective Summit initiated by The International Seakeepers Society. The opening day kicked off with a keynote lecture by Fabien Cousteau, Founder of the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Centre and Proteus Ocean Group, who spoke about ‘Combining Technology and Sustainability to Protect Our Ocean’.
Cousteau introduced Mission 31, where he led a team in the Aquarius undersea marine laboratory, with highlights including engaging over 100,000 students live from the bottom of the sea. He also introduced Proteus, which he described as the ‘International Space Station of the ocean’.
Fabien Cousteau delivered the opening keynote lecture
Jeremy McKane, CEO of OCN.ai, presented ‘Unlocking Our Ocean’s Potential – Innovative Solutions To Conservation’, explaining that just five per cent of the ocean floor has been explored, despite the discovery of 5,000 new species in a single year.
McKane explained the blue carbon concept, introduced ‘ecosystem service value’ – sharing a valuation of global seagrass at US$3 trillion over the next 27 years – and talked about OCN.ai’s solution, Blue Sense, which has introduced a pilot programme in the British Virgin Islands.
Jamie McMichael-Phillips outlined the Seabed 2030 Project, a collaboration between The Nippon Foundation and GEBCO that aims to create a comprehensive map of the world’s seabed.
Rena Lee and Stephen Beng chatted about ‘Implications of The High Sea Treaty’
A fireside chat about ‘Implications of The High Sea Treaty’ was hosted by Rena Lee, Ambassador for International Law, and Stephen Beng, Head ESG Strategy, Phillip Capital Management.
Dr Winston Chow, Associate Professor of Urban Climate and Lee Kong Chian Research Fellow, SMU’s College of Integrative Studies, presented ‘Effective Coastal City and Settlement Adaption to Manage Climate Change Risk’.
Zoe Ong, Senior Assistant Director, Coastal Protection Department, PUB, The National Water Agency Singapore, then spoke about ‘Development of Innovative Coastal Protection and Flood Management Solutions’.
Dr Winston Chow underscored the urgent threat of climate change
The day concluded with ‘Innovators Series’ presentations by the three winners in last year’s Blue Water Heroes Awards. Melati Wijsen, founder of Bye Bye Plastic Bags and Youthtopia, gave a video presentation about ‘Innovative Youngsters’.
Dr Louisa Ponnampalam, co-founder of the MareCet Research Organisation, and Thanda Ko Gyi, founder of Myanmar Ocean Project, then spoke on stage about ‘Innovative Journeys’ and ‘Innovative Collaborations’ respectively.
DAYS TWO AND THREE
The second day started with Ying Qin, Global Thematic Analyst for Citi Global Insights, speaking about ‘Unlocking A Sustainable Future With Ocean Innovation And Finance’.
Ying Qin, Global Thematic Analyst for Citi Global Insights
This was followed by a panel discussion, ‘Blue Carbon: Challenges and Opportunities’, moderated by Kong Man Jing and featuring Dr Siti Maryam Yaakub, Senior Director of Blue Carbon Institute; Dr Jani Tanzil, Facility Director at St John’s Island National Marine Laboratory; and George Foulsham, Director of DHI.
Three successive lectures then discussed ‘Tackling Plastic Pollution’. Wendy Wong, Programme Head, Diploma in Applied Science (Environmental Services and Management) at Republic Polytechnic, presented ‘Implications Of The Plastic Treaty’.
Antoine Repiton-Préneuf, Business Development Manager, Asia Pacific for The Searial Cleaners, discussed ‘Microplastic Mitigation: The Searial Cleaners’ Eco-Friendly Solutions In Asia’ before Benjamin Chay, founder of Green Earth Sustainability Bridge, outlined ‘Recycling And Circular Economy Solutions’.
Dr Jani Tanzil and Kong Man Jing were part of a panel discussing blue carbon
‘Harmonising Nature And Purpose’ was the theme of the final three presentations. Micca Ferrero, founder of Dutch shipyard Icon Yachts, talked about ‘Purpose-Driven Yachting And Ocean Conservation’.
Enayetullah Khan spoke about ‘Institutional Conservation For The Sundarbans’, explaining the Bay of Bengal’s unique ecosystem including the world’s largest mangrove forest, while also announcing the launch of the Bangladesh chapter of The Ocean Collective Summit.
Cesar Jung-Harada, Associate Professor of Design Singapore Institute of Technology, concluded with ‘Imagining Our Future Ocean’, emphasising the importance of combining art and science to address pressing environmental issues and engage communities.
ONE15 Clean Up
After the Blue Water Heroes Awards on the Friday evening, the three-day Blue Water EduFest concluded on the Saturday morning with the ONE°15 Clean Up, with volunteers collecting 176 items totalling 385kg from the marina and removing 77kg of trash from the beach.