Mário Ruivo Memorial Lecture

Mário Ruivo Memorial Lecture

The Mário Ruivo Memorial Lecture is an initiative endorsed by UN Ocean Decade and promoted by IOC-UNESCO, EurOcean and the Portuguese Government, which intends to stimulate and recognise early career ocean researchers, seriously contributing to United Nations’ 2030 Agenda – Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 14 and to the objectives of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

This initiative is a homage to Professor Mário Ruivo’s long-life commitment to ocean science and the sustainability of the ocean, and his significant contributions to the work of IOC, most notably ocean knowledge, governance, capacity development, literacy, and international cooperation.

A distinguished early career ocean researcher will do this tribute during the IOC-UNESCO Assembly in 2023.

The early career ocean professional will be chosen through a public application process.

Professor Mário Ruivo (1927 – 2017) 

An expert in Biological Oceanography, Mário Ruivo was one of the pioneers of marine biology in Portugal.

Following an active research career in Portugal, Mário Ruivo became the director of the Division of Aquatic Resources and the Environment at the FAO, in Rome (1961-74). Back to his country in 1974, he held high political positions (Secretary of State for Fisheries, Minister for Foreign Affairs – 1974/75), and led the Delegation of Portugal to the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (1974-79). In all these functions, he became internationally recognised for his key contribution to ocean governance and management.

Mário Ruivo was the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) from 1980 to 1989, and later on the delegate of Portugal to the IOC. His achievements at the IOC reinforced his prestige at the international level.

His role as scientific adviser of the Expo’98, “The Ocean: Our Future”, held in Lisbon, and coordinator of the Independent World Commission on the Oceans (IWCO), and as president of the National Council for the Environment and Sustainable Development (1997-2017) are testimony to his lifelong, exceptional commitment to the causes of the Ocean and sustainable development and of his integrated vision, which profoundly marked the global ocean science and governance.

With a deep ethical sense, Mário Ruivo had his eyes set on future generations, and with them, he established an unbreakable pact of responsibility, which gave him almost inhuman strength to persist and to fight for his ideals, without ever giving up. With the aim of promoting marine science and technology and ocean literacy, he was a crucial element in the creation of the EurOcean Foundation and of its scientific network, of which he was its founder and President.

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