Indian Ocean: Ecology, Economy, Epidemic
The world today is grappling with the ill effects of a global pandemic. While nations are losing citizens and dealing with health challenges, economic challenges are no less devastating. It takes years for countries to rebuild themselves in the aftermath of such losses. However, how will individual economies survive if such impacts were to be felt every decade? Such is the magnitude of the dangers posed by climate change. Incessant burning of fossil fuels and use of oil is leading to a more rapid rise in average global temperatures. Growth of population, changing pattern of lifestyle, over-exploitation of resources and ever-increasing emission of greenhouse gases is disrupting the global ecological balance. Large scale urbanisation, crop intensive farming too are adding to the problem.
Following the trend of disruption, the consequences of changing climatic conditions too are not uniform. While small island nations, coastal regions and low-lying countries are facing the threat of extinction with the possibility of submergence in the next half a century, warming of air is leading to drought-like conditions and consequently causing bushfires. Changing fishing patterns are posing threats to the welfare of the fisherfolk community and a shift away from conventional sources of energy production to more non-conventional ones is realigning diplomatic realities.
The challenge of climate change is the most globalised one for an entire generation with the roots of the solution lying in local action. While the pandemic has put large parts of the world on a halt for months, climate change will lead to gradual devastations. The need of the hour is for the stakeholders of IOR to move ahead with community based indigenous solutions to create a carbon neutral world.
It is to further discuss and deliberate on these issues that India Foundation is organising the 5th Indian Ocean Conference – IOC 2021 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The theme of IOC 2021 is “Ecology, Economy, Epidemic”.
Ecology: Discussion on ensuring sustainable use of marine resources, effect of climate change on littoral & island nations, mitigating the effects of natural disasters, green energy solutions for sustainable future, protecting marine environment and reducing the impact of marine pollution in the Indian Ocean Region.
Economy: Discussion on economic recovery and growth in the emerging markets and developing countries of the IOR post-COVID, critical importance of trade routes in Indian Ocean, renewables as the new currency for Indian Ocean energy security, fostering greater economic cooperation in the IOR.
Epidemic: Discussion on Impact of COVID-19 on Countries of the IOR, global fault lines and vulnerabilities of the healthcare system, socio-economic fallouts, regional cooperation and future challenges, cooperation in public health as a tool of diplomacy, espousing innovation in healthcare management.