Blue Water Heroes Awards honours ‘eco-heroes’
The Blue Water Heroes Awards will be a highlight of the inaugural Blue Water EduFest at Singapore’s ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove from November 3-6.
Fabien Cousteau, founder of Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center
The inaugural Blue Water Heroes Awards will be held on the evening of November 4, following the two-day Ocean Collective Summit that kicks off the first Blue Water EduFest at ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove from November 3-6.
Fabien Cousteau, the world-renowned oceanographic explorer and environmental advocate, will deliver the keynote speech at the Ocean Collective Summit on the Thursday morning and will be among VIP guests at the Blue Water Heroes Awards on the Friday night, when entertainment will include jazz vocalist Joanna Dong and 10-year-old piano prodigy Mikkel Lee.
Melati Wijsen, founder of Bye Bye Plastic Bags and Youthtopia
Blue Water Heroes Awards finalists include Indonesia’s Melati Wijsen, who founded Bye Bye Plastic Bags with younger sister Isabel when at school and has since been named in Forbes Indonesia’s Most Inspiring Women, TIME’s 25 Most Influential Teens, CNN Young Wonders and Forbes 30 Under 30.
Wijsen has also founded the people movement One Island One Voice and the social enterprise Mountain Mamas, launched Youthtopia in 2019, spoke at the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos and premiered her film Bigger Than Us at the 74th Cannes Film Festival last year.
Growing up in the world’s largest archipelago, I know the importance of marine conservation first hand. Our oceans are the source of life and a strong foundation to create an economy for millions,” she said.
“We must protect our oceans and work towards the goal of having 30 per cent of it protected by 2030. I hope Indonesia can be a leading example for these Marine Protected Areas. I believe Blue Water EduFest can serve as a platform to help further marine conservation by bringing diverse solutions and people together, showing that there is not only a single way to protect our oceans.”
Samantha Thian, founder and CEO of Seastainable
Singapore’s Samantha Thian, founder and CEO of Seastainable, is another finalist. Seastainable is a social enterprise that supports marine conservation in Southeast Asia. With community outreach at the core of her mission, Thian strives to build awareness on coastal conservation through beach clean-ups, educational workshops and events.
“Personally, I think the ocean plays a pivotal part of our lives, as the ocean provides so much of our livelihood. I truly believe protecting our coasts and marine environment will be a key pillar in tackling climate change,” Thian said.
“I hope to see greater unity among ASEAN nations in driving protective policies against illegal fishing and waste disposal in our environment, and hope different communities can collaborate even further to drive scalable impact. Blue Water EduFest is an amazing platform for like-minded, passionate people to get together to share and collaborate, united through our love of the ocean.”
The Bluewater EduFest starts with the Ocean Collective Summit on November 3 and 4, and includes a networking cocktail event at the end of the first day.
Arthur Tay, Chairman and CEO of SUTL Group
Day one starts with addresses by Arthur Tay, Chairman and CEO of SUTL Group (owner of ONE°15 Marina), Desmond Lee, Singapore’s Minister for National Development and Minister-in-Charge of Social Services, and Jay Wade, Chairman and President of The International Seakeepers Society.
Fabien Cousteau, founder of Proteus Ocean Group and the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center, and Carol Phua, Global Coral Reef Initiative Leader, WWF Oceans Practice, then present keynote lectures before coming together for a ‘fireside chat’.
Afternoon speakers include Singaporean trio Dr Karenne Tun (Director of the Coastal and Marine and Terrestrial Branches, National Biodiversity Centre, NParks), Hazri Hassan (Divisional Director, International Policy Division, Ministry of Sustainability and Environment) and Dr Steven Fong (Programme Chair, Diploma in Marine Science and Aquaculture, Republic Polytechnic), as well as Anna Marsden, Managing Director of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove
Day two morning speakers include Harlin Singh (Global Head of Sustainable Investing, Citi Global Wealth), Alen Lim (Global Sales Director, Archwey), Elaine Kwee (Co-Founder, Sea Communities) and Tan Bee Lay (Chief Sustainability Officer, SDAX).
In the afternoon, Matthew Edward Loh (Chief Sustainability Officer, VE Capital and Company), Erica Kerner (Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, SailGP) and Sovann Giang (Senior Director, RSM Singapore) are the speakers, before the event closes with remarks from Fabien Cousteau and Julian Chang, President of SeaKeepers Asia.
Weekend events include a Conservation Night on November 5 featuring conservation projects by WWF-Singapore, and a Marina Clean Up on November 6, with over 100 volunteers participating in a land and underwater clean-up.