Background and brief description of the Project:
The Liberia Ocean Conference was funded by Sida through the Embassy of Sweden in Monrovia, Liberia and implemented by NIRAS Sweden.
The Swedish embassy in Monrovia was procuring NIRAS to assist in the organization of the regional conference on Ocean in West Africa. It was an assignment to assist the Embassy of Sweden, Government of Liberia represented by the Liberian maritime Authority (LiMA), the Liberian Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority of Liberia and Conservation International Liberia who were co-hosting the Conference that was held in March 18-21, 2019 in Monrovia as a follow up to the United Nations Ocean Conference on SDG 14 held in New York in June 2017 and to celebrate the African Union´s “Africa Day of Oceans and Seas – Encouraging Solutions to Marine Environmental Degradation and Sustainable Resource Management”.
NIRAS supported design and implementation of the planned conference and worked closely with the conference task force composed of representatives from three Liberian authorities´/-agencies´, Conservation International Liberia and the Embassy of Sweden to create a final theme and a program that fits the priorities of both the Swedish and the Liberian stakeholders.
Overall Goal of the Project:
The purpose of the regional Oceans Conference was to create awareness of ocean related issues and to find solutions that the region can move forward with and that the conference result as a resolution with a plan for how Liberia and the region (West Africa) can move forward with SDG 14 and also other SDGs as for example SDG 1 and 5.
The conference had two goals, to follow up the Ocean Conference in New York 2017.
The conference also drove implementation and enabled the government and other stakeholders to take responsibility for the ocean outside their coast and achieve SDG 14. The conference result is a resolution with a plan for how Liberia and the region can move forward with SDG 14.
Johan Rockström, founder of Stockholm Resilience Centre:
”Music can be so much more than entertainment. It is also a strategic pathway to inspire more public support for conservation in a way that science alone cannot accomplish.”
Jessica Donovan – Conservation International Country Director, Liberia:
“This is such great news regarding the videos. I think that bringing music into our work has been a huge step in the right direction! “
Nathaniel T. Blama, Director General, Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia:
“This is outstanding, I am looking forward to blowing this out. We will definitely use it for awareness.”
Swedish Ambassador Ingrid Wetterqvist:
“Anders! Tack för allt denna vecka. Succé är bara förnamnet, nu ska vi jobba för att detta tas vidare. Meningsfullt och kul!”
Anders Paulsson, soprano saxophonist and cross-cultural bridge building musician:
”50.000 views of our BLUE OCEAN Music video on Facebook in just one week!
Music for environmental protection is the future. In my travels worldwide I have met so many artists, poets and popular bands that are enthusiastic and ready to support conservation. Let ́s harness this power to inspire more people to support our Sustainable Development Goals.”
Bethanie Carney Almroth, associate professor, University of Gothenburg:
This was absolutely amazing! As a research scientist and avid communicator, I often find myself preaching to the choir. But this music is energizing and can really reach new audiences and include whole new groups in society!
Fredrik Moberg, Director of Albaeco:
“This!!! One of the most important outcomes of the conference. A catchy song with important messages to the general public in West Africa and beyond. Composed and performed by Anders Paulsson and some of Liberia’s leading hip hop artists. So happy about this collaboration and the way music can help to raise awareness about the oceans.”