The high-profile event on Tuesday 8 March in Hong Kong is the latest in a series of worldwide lectures. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

'Global Conversation' takes key issue of protecting oceans to Hong Kong

The latest research on the importance of marine biodiversity to global issues will be shared by leading experts from the University of Exeter at a special event in Hong Kong.

In ‘Why marine biodiversity matters to Hong Kong and the world’ internationally-acclaimed ecologists, Professor Brendan Godley, Chair in Conservation Science, and Professor Stuart Bearhop, Chair in Animal Ecology, will present their research into the importance of protecting our oceans.

The high-profile event on Tuesday 8 March in Hong Kong is the latest in a series of worldwide lectures organised by the University of Exeter, called Global Conversation, which showcase some of the latest developments in world-leading research.

The Exeter experts will highlight the importance of building resilience to environmental change, the positive impacts of conservation, and how education plays an essential role in the ‘Globally Informed Citizen’ becoming aware of the wider world and their own role within it.

Speaking ahead of the event, Professor Stuart Bearhop said, “Oceans are a critical part of the life support system of our planet - they provide jobs, feed the world’s growing population and sustain the air we breathe – but they are in trouble. Threats include unsustainable fishing practices, invasive species, climate change and we are only just beginning to fathom the possible effects of the plastic pollution that reaches the sea.”

Professor Brendan Godley added, “There are, however, a growing number of success stories such as the recovery of many whale and turtle species. “Further positive steps are being made to enhance resilience in the form of improved fishing practices, marine protected areas and the development of marine renewable energy. All of these offer opportunities for dividends for biodiversity, business and coastal people.”

Dr Christine Loh, Undersecretary for the Environment, Hong Kong Government will introduce the event where Exeter faculty will be joined by marine biodiversity experts from The University of Hong Kong Professor Kenny Leung and Assistant Professor David Baker to answer audience questions during a Q&A session. Follow the live Twitter feed from @UoEGlobalConvo on Tuesday 8 March from 18.00 Hong Kong time /10.00 UK time - tweet your questions using #UoEGlobalConvo

Introduced a year ago in Hong Kong, the Global Conversation series explores how the University of Exeter, working in collaboration with its partners across the world, is having an impact on many of the shared global challenges we face. Events in the series focus on common issues and problems, from Tackling Dementia to Water Security, and encourage conversation between experts in their fields, guests and a wider public audience.

Launching Global Conversation, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Professor Sir Steve Smith said: “We want to share our thinking and our world-leading research, to open up discussion and debate around these issues. By stimulating conversation between our academics and other leading experts in their fields, we can make a positive contribution to our collective global understanding of issues which affect us all.”

For more information regarding these, and other lectures in the Global Conversation series, please visit the Global Conversation webpage at www.exeter.ac.uk/globalconversation

Date: 4 March 2016

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