The ocean is critical to sustaining life on earth and supporting the global economy, yet it is changing at an unprecedented rate. Ocean warming, rising sea levels, acidification, marine pollution and habitat destruction are all creating uncertainty and risk, posing a major threat to the societies and economies that rely on the resources and services it provides.
Next week the first ever Ocean Risk Summit will be held in Bermuda and will showcase the latest research on the complex and often interrelated changes taking place in the ocean. The summit, scheduled for May 8th through 10th, will cover issues from threats to global food security and human health, to the impacts of hurricanes on communities, ecosystems, businesses, migration and national security. It will also provide expert data and analysis to help businesses and governments identify their potential exposure to these and other ocean risks and work on how to mitigate them.
The summit comes in the midst of rising concern from governments and businesses across the globe about the threats related to changes in the oceans. In 2016 the United Nations explicitly recognized insurance as a key vehicle to enable the risk sharing and transfer solutions that are required for greater global climate resilience.
XL Catlin’s CEO Mike McGavick said: “Ocean risk is an evolving and unpredictable field. We believe the insurance industry should take the lead in stimulating global, constructive debate and help identify solutions to this major global challenge. That is why as part of our Ocean Risk Initiative we are proud to host, along with our sponsoring partners, the first Ocean Risk Summit in Bermuda.”
The Ocean Risk Summit will focus on how governments and the business sector should respond to the risks of existing and projected changes in the ocean that until recently have been poorly understood. Sponsored by XL Catlin, in partnership with organizations including Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Ocean Unite, the summit aims to deepen understanding of ocean risk.
José María Figueres, Founder of Ocean Unite, said: “The ocean’s value to all life on earth and its potential to drive sustainable economic growth and employment are being jeopardized. This summit will bring together a group of leading experts to look at how we can build resilience; resilience in the ocean from the threats that it faces and resilience in societies so that the negative impacts of ocean change are minimized.”