King, Crown Prince attend Regional Ocean Summit’s main session at Dead Sea

16 May 2024 (The Jordan Times)- His Majesty King Abdullah and HRH Crown Prince Hussein on Wednesday attended the main strategy session of the Regional Ocean Summit, held at the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre at the Dead Sea. 

Jordan is hosting the first regional edition of the World Ocean Summit, organised by the Economist Impact, in cooperation with the Aqaba Marine Park (AMP) initiative, the government, and the Jordan Tourism Board. 

The summit brings together over 200 participants from around the world, including politicians, officials, businesspeople, investors, experts, and academics, to exchange expertise on means of finding balance between protecting the ocean and fostering sustainable economic growth. 

Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh said at the session that green growth is key to Jordan’s Economic Modernisation Vision, noting that topics discussed in the summit highlight Jordan as a distinguished destination for future businesses, due to its talented youth, strategic location, robust infrastructure and commitment to sustainability. 

Khasawneh added that the AMP will become a hub for scientific research cooperation to preserve oceans and marine life in Aqaba and the world, by providing innovative solutions to mitigate climate change impact on coral reefs and biodiversity. 

For his part, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean Peter Thomson warned in a recorded message of the dangers of the continuation of rising temperatures, which negatively affects marine life in oceans and humanity at large, ultimately making the planet uninhabitable. 

He commended Jordan’s efforts, under His Majesty’s leadership, to launch the AMP, an embodiment of the Kingdom’s commitment to working towards achieving one of the key sustainable development goals to protect marine life and oceans. 

Due to the Gulf of Aqaba’s strategic location, the AMP includes over 200 species of coral reefs, according to Thomson, who noted that 25 per cent of biodiversity in oceans depends on coral reefs, which underscores the need for their preservation. 

In another recorded message, Prince Albert II of Monaco said Jordan has been a model in the region and the world for its contributions to environmental preservation, noting that the AMP is an example of Jordan’s commitment to the sustainable management of resources, despite regional challenges. 

Prince Albert added that crises and conflicts around the world may make some believe that protecting nature is not a priority, while in fact environmental degradation only exacerbates adversity, stressing the need to preserve resources for future generations, by creating protected areas like the AMP. 

In a panel discussion held during the session, Ray Dalio, co-founder of OceanX, spoke about the King’s efforts in bringing to light issues related to oceans and biodiversity protection. 

Both Thomson and Prince Albert II expressed best wishes to His Majesty on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee. 

The three-day summit, which kicked off on Tuesday, addresses timely and pressing topics, including climate change mitigation, marine conservation, blue economy initiatives and ground-breaking advancements in ocean-related technologies. 

Director of the Office of His Majesty Jafar Hassan, and a number of ministers and officials attended the session.