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Time to Blur the Ocean’s Borders: the Potential for International Integration Projects

28 May 2021
Время стирать границы в океане: на пути к международным интеграционным проектам

As part of the Joining Forces to Advance Development track of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum's business programme, a session entitled ‘Time to Blur the Ocean’s Borders: the Potential for International Integration Projects’ will be held. The participants will consider the prospects of maritime trade, global shipbuilding, and the use of maritime technologies to form infrastructure systems, including those in inaccessible regions such as the Arctic.

The discussion will bring together Pascal Lamy, President, Paris Peace Forum, Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, UNESCO, Philippe Cousteau Jr., Scientist, Journalist, Alexey Rakhmanov, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, United Shipbuilding Corporation, Alexander Pinsky, General Director, Maritime High Tech Association, MARINET, and Roman Trotsenko, Founder, Chairman of the Board of Directors, AEON Corporation. The session will be moderated by Ivan Timofeev, Programme Director, Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club; Programme Director, Russian International Affairs Council.

The recent disruption to maritime routes underscored just how much global trade depends on uninterrupted shipping operations. Indeed, it will be crucial for major logistics projects such as the Northern Sea Route and International North–South Transport Corridor. Leading maritime nations are taking steps to develop offshore projects and build trade fleets and tankers.

In order to effectively capitalize on the world ocean’s resources, it will be essential to make a number of breakthroughs in development technologies, ship construction, and equipment manufacturing. More than 80% of global trade by volume is carried by sea, including a third of the world’s extracted hydrocarbons, and almost 20% of the total volume of consumed bioresources. In the coming years, thousands of cutting-edge nuclear-powered vessels will be transporting freight and people both reliably and economically. The total area of aquaculture sites could exceed that of farmland, and serve as a universal source of food and bio-feedstock. However, microplastic pollution is a major issue.

"Past, present and future well-being of humanity is inseparable from the world's oceans. The development of its resources and the marine economy can be sustainable only if the health of marine ecosystems is maintained. The solution is in integrated ocean management on the basis of close international cooperation and advanced development of marine science,” emphasized Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, UNESCO.

“The global transport system, drinking water supply, or aquafarming are impossible without the world ocean today. Innovative science-driven projects that target combining efforts in ocean research and preserving its biodiversity are capable of making borders that are now closed more permeable,” said Alexei Rakhmanov, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of the United Shipbuilding Corporation.

During the meeting the experts will discuss a range of topics, such as: will people live in the ocean, and how will a future “water world” look? What engineering and environmental solutions are Russian shipbuilders prepared to offer in order to capitalize on resources and develop maritime transport corridors? Are international collaboration projects on protecting oceans feasible, and what specific innovations are already being applied?