News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – This week, Deputy Premier and Minister of Home Affairs, Walter Roban, participated in the 11th Annual World Ocean Summit and Expo held in Lisbon, Portugal, from March 11th to 13th, 2024.

Throughout the three-day event, Minister Roban spoke on three panels and attended workshops with experts on Marine Protected Areas and managing ocean pollution. He also held numerous conversations and bilateral meetings with policymakers, private sector representatives, and thought leaders, including Sylvia Earle, Fabien Cousteau, and representatives from Greece, the Azores, and Prince Edward Island. Accompanying the Minister was the Brussels Office representative, Ms Aliyyah Ahad.

Minister Roban’s first panel discussed how to drive ocean-centred solutions for small island developing states. He spoke alongside Susanna Debeauville-Scott (Organisation of East Caribbean States), Roxanne Graham (WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute), Tricia Lovell (WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute), and Martin Koehring (Forum for the Future), with opening remarks by Mitsuyuki Unno (The Nippon Foundation). 

The second panel debated increasing capacity for restoration and economic development in small island developing states, with co-panellists Ilana Seid (Palau), Masanori Kobayashi (Sasakawa Peace Foundation), and Oliver Morton (The Economist).

The Minister also discussed wave energy in Bermuda alongside Marcelle Askew from Seabased. They shared Bermuda’s experience with its renewable energy regulatory sandbox and how this will lead to the region’s first utility-scale wave power plant.

Also, as part of its video interview series of thought leaders in the sustainable blue economy, Deutsche Bank’s Wealth Management interviewed the Minister.

As the island celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Hamilton Declaration, which created the pioneering Sargasso Sea Commission, Minister Roban invited other small island states, international organisations, and industry leaders to come to Bermuda and see what we are doing in the areas of environmental protection, energy transition, ocean stewardship and sustainability.

Minister Roban explained, “The opportunity for the Large Ocean States is to change the financial architecture and develop blended products and financial approaches that will allow us to take care of ourselves. We don’t want to come begging. That isn’t the modus operandi of any Large Ocean State. We want to be sustainable, prosperous, and able to care for our people and their needs, just like everyone else.”

Related press release from Seabased, which is available HERE.