Rising Sea Levels and Ocean Acidification as Most Pressing Issues

Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and Scripps Oceanography Announce Plans for Retreat to Address Rising Sea Levels and Ocean Acidification Issues.


The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego will host an important retreat in October 2014 to address two of the most pressing issues impacting our planet—rising sea levels and ocean acidification, which are both linked to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and their impact on the climate. The retreat will take place at The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California.

The retreat is convened by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco Margaret Leinen, director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences at UC San Diego, and Geoffrey Cowan, president of The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, USC University Professor and director of the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy.

The small, select group of retreat participants will include leading policymakers, scientists, engineers, and other public figures. In the Sunnylands tradition, identities of retreat participants will not be released in advance.

“For thousands of years, humanity has considered the sea as an infinite source of wealth, which was easy to exploit with no concern about its renewal. We now know that these vast expanses are not infinite. And above all, we know that our activities will have repercussions on them. Preservation of the environment cannot be accomplished against humans, on the contrary: it can only work by establishing a sustainable model, capable of reconciling the legitimate goals of population development and the impassable requirements of nature,” said HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. “By preserving the environment, and in particular the oceans which cover more than 70% of the world’s surface, it is simply a question of making sure that future generations live on a planet which is not hostile towards them.”

“The Annenbergs created Sunnylands to foster international agreement on critical challenges facing our nation and world,” said Geoffrey Cowan. “While other important meetings have addressed mitigating emissions of greenhouse gases, there is also an urgent need to encourage the development of adaptation strategies. The October retreat will enable a gathering of top minds to provide leadership for adaptation strategies, with a special focus on the Pacific.”

“Sea-level rise is a key climate change impact that is already demanding adaptation at the local, regional, and global scale. Sea-level rise is flooding streets in low-lying communities, resulting in enhanced erosion of shoreline cliffs threatening infrastructure, and inundating critical shoreline habitats, and causing severe damage during storms. Geographic regions and governments are struggling to build capacity to address this global high-level challenge,” said Margaret Leinen. “This retreat will bring together key individuals who can accelerate global efforts to respond to this crisis.”

Press Release, June 05, 2014

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