Empowering People and Nature: Supporting Resilient Solutions for Our Ocean

Smithsonian Institution

Tuesday, December 5th, 2023
11:30 - 12:30

This event will bring together a diverse group of experts, practitioners, policymakers, and community representatives from the global tropics to develop actionable strategies to center equity in ocean governance, reconnect people and the ocean, redefine ocean literacy, and decolonize ocean research. Coastal communities, grappling with the intensifying impacts of climate change such as sea-level rise and severe weather events, are disproportionately vulnerable. However, despite these challenges, many of these communities have emerged as pioneers, implementing localized solutions that enhance their resilience and contribute significantly to the global fight against climate change. The event spotlights some of these efforts, emphasizing the essential synergy between rigorous, long-term data and community leadership as drivers for lasting change. The event will also illuminate the pivotal importance of interdisciplinary collaborations and a comprehensive, all-of-society approach to tackling the urgent global climate crisis. Panellists will discuss how to advance ocean-climate solutions that are rooted in inclusivity, equity, and local knowledge, laying the foundation for a more equitable and climate-resilient future for people and nature.


  • Opening Remarks: U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry
  • Bosco Juma, Director of Kenya Big Ship
  • Coral Pasisi, Director of Climate Change and Sustainability at The Pacific Community
  • Rumana Peerzadi Hossain, WorldFish / CGIAR
  • Josheena Naggea, Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions
  • Alfredo Giron, Head of Ocean Action Agenda, World Economic Forum
  • Closing remarks: Dr. Ellen Stofan, Undersecretary for Science and Research, Smithsonian Institution
  • Dr. Ana Spalding, Director of Adrienne Arsht Community-Based Resilience Solutions Initiative, Smithsonian Institution