World Oceans Day | Mário Ruivo Memorial Lecture Announces ECOP Winner

World Oceans Day | Mário Ruivo Memorial Lecture Announces ECOP Winner

The Mário Ruivo Memorial Lecture, an initiative led jointly by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO), EurOcean Foundation, and Portugal, is proud to announce the winner of its inaugural edition. Among 24 outstanding applications, the esteemed Early Career Ocean Professional (ECOP) selected is Aaron Eger, Program Director of the Kelp Forest Alliance.

The Mário Ruivo Memorial Lecture aims to provide a platform for emerging talents in the field of ocean science and projects that contribute to the sustainable management of the ocean. This initiative pays tribute to the late Professor Mário Ruivo, former Executive Secretary of the IOC/UNESCO and a passionate advocate for ocean science and its role in achieving sustainability.

As the winner of the lecture, Aaron Eger will present his groundbreaking project to 150 Member States during the 32nd Session of the IOC/UNESCO Assembly, taking place in Paris as part of Ocean Science Day on the 22nd of June 2023. His project, “The Kelp Forest Alliance,” addresses the urgent need to preserve our marine forests. Kelp forests cover a third of the world’s coastlines and support hundreds of millions of people, but they are disappearing.

In anticipation of this event, Aaron Eger shared his thoughts: “The Kelp Forest Alliance was created as a grassroots vision of what we want the world to achieve for our marine forests. The Mário Ruivo Memorial Lecture provides the opportunity to take it to a global stage and challenge the world to restore and preserve kelp forests. Only by connecting the people in wetsuits with the highest levels of governance can we save these ecosystems, and we are exceptionally grateful for this opportunity.”

Endorsed as an official contribution to the Ocean Decade, which is being coordinated by IOC/UNESCO, the Mário Ruivo Memorial Lecture aims to recognize and stimulate ECOPs who are making significant contributions to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, particularly Sustainable Development Goal 14, “Life below water,” and the vision and mission of the Ocean Decade.

Launched on November 17th, 2022, the Mário Ruivo Memorial Lecture is a prestigious platform for early career ocean professionals to showcase their research and projects. By promoting the exchange of knowledge and ideas, the lecture series serves as a catalyst for advancing ocean science and sustainable development worldwide. The Mário Ruivo Memorial Lecture will be livestreamed on the 22nd of June, at 12h (CET), here.

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