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The Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection and UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission convene the Second Foundations Dialogue to mobilise the philanthropic community in support of the Ocean Decade

IOC-UNESCO, 01.06.2022

Rabat, Morocco – 1 June 2022: The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) and the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection, chaired by Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa, Patron of the Ocean Decade Alliance, today announced the opening of the Second Foundations Dialogue Meeting that brings together global leaders from more than 20 philanthropic foundations and international experts on resource mobilisation. As a founder member of the Ocean Decade Alliance, the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection is hosting at its flagship Hassan II International Environmental Training Center near Rabat this meeting focused on galvanizing support for the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (the Ocean Decade).

From 1 June to 3 June, stakeholders from Africa, Europe, North America, Oceania and South America will discuss the role of philanthropic foundations in the co-design and uptake of the transformative ocean science needed to address the 10 Ocean Decade Challenges and contribute to the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Second Foundations Dialogue Meeting also serves as a critical planning milestone in the lead-up to the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal from 27 June to 1 July.

“To achieve the ambitions of the Ocean Decade will require not only a revolution in ocean science but also a revolution in how we fund and utilise ocean science. Already, the philanthropic community is playing a critical role in convening diverse partners, exploring emerging areas, and catalysing funding for transformational science that, I believe, will lead to groundbreaking solutions that help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the IOC-UNESCO. “By bringing this group of leaders from around the world together at the Second Foundations Dialogue Meeting, we can further enhance the collective impact of the philanthropic community to co-design and co-deliver solutions that enable us to manage the ocean sustainably.”

The meeting will begin with a High-Level Session that includes the participation of:

  • Kenza Khallafi, Partnerships Officer, Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection
  • Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary, IOC-UNESCO (virtual)
  • Margaret Leinen, Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and UN Ocean Decade Advisory Board Member
  • Wendy Schmidt, Co-Founder of the Schmidt Ocean Institute and Patron of the Ocean Decade Alliance (virtual)
  • Charlotte Hudson, Project Director, Lenfest Ocean Program, Pew Charitable Trusts and Ocean Decade Advisory Board Member
  • Ahmed El Hassani, College of Sciences and Technology of the Environment, Earth and Sea, Hassan II Academy of Sciences and Technology
  • Vítor Manuel Castanheira Marcelino, Counsellor at the Embassy of the Republic of Portugal to Morocco

“Following the first edition in Copenhagen, the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection was committed to ensuring that this Dialogue would not be a one-off event but rather an ongoing and periodic opportunity, for foundations and philanthropic organizations engaged in ocean action, to meet, take stock of how far we have come and how far we still have to go, and inspire rapid collaboration and action in line with the framework of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. As we now turn to the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, we are pleased to have delivered on our commitment and look forward to meaningful outcomes,” complemented the Mohammed VI Foundation.

The Second Foundations Dialogue builds on the achievements of the First Foundations Dialogue Meeting, held in Copenhagen, Denmark in February 2020 and hosted by THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS which helped to deepen working relationships across the global philanthropic community in support of ocean science.

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About the IOC-UNESCO:

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) promotes international cooperation in marine sciences to improve management of the ocean, coasts and marine resources. The IOC enables its 150 Member States to work together by coordinating programmes in capacity development, ocean observations and services, ocean science and tsunami warning. The work of the IOC contributes to the mission of UNESCO to promote the advancement of science and its applications to develop knowledge and capacity, key to economic and social progress, the basis of peace and sustainable development.

About the Ocean Decade:

Proclaimed in 2017 by the United Nations General Assembly, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021 – 2020) (‘the Ocean Decade’) seeks to stimulate ocean science and knowledge generation to reverse the decline of the state of the ocean system and catalyse new opportunities for sustainable development of this massive marine ecosystem. The vision of the Ocean Decade is ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’. The Ocean Decade provides a convening framework for scientists and stakeholders from diverse sectors to develop the scientific knowledge and the partnerships needed to accelerate and harness advances in ocean science to achieve a better understanding of the ocean system, and deliver science-based solutions to achieve the 2030 Agenda. The UN General Assembly mandated UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) to coordinate the preparations and implementation of the Decade.

About the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection:

The Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection, chaired by Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa and true to its core mission of awareness raising and education, has been working for the past 20 years to mobilise all stakeholders to get more involved in the protection of the environment and sustainable development. The Hassan II International Environmental Center is the academic branch of the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection and was inaugurated by Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa in June 2019.