Conference FACT-O in Vancouver: "Impacts of Climate Change on the Ocean: Focus on Deep Ocean and Biodiversity"

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The FACT-O Vancouver conference (« French Ameri-Can Climate Talks – Ocean ») took place at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum of the University of British Columbia (UBC) on November 17, 2017. It was thus organized on the last day of the COP23 and one month away from the « One Planet Summit » (Paris, December 12, 2017). Gathering over 110 attendees, the event focused on deep ocean and biodiversity and enabled the French and Canadian panelists to discuss the impact of climate change on these little- known ecosystems. It received the financial support of the Institut Français, the logistical and organizational support of the Alliance Française in Vancouver and took benefit from its partnership with the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.

The event was divided into three phases.

First, we set up a 19 posters exhibition at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum named « Biodiversity is life, Biodiversity is our life ». It demonstrates the crucial role played by biodiversity in our living environment and brings out the alarming loss of species which occurs every day. Solutions were mentioned.

We also organized a youth seminar on the same day as “FACT-O” to enlighten children on the need to protect our oceans. 50 children were present in the auditorium of the Beaty Biodiversity. The conference was moderated by Hélène Creusot from the Alliance Française, with speakers Daniel Pauly and Loreley Picourt and it focused on pollution, waste, the rise of the temperature as well as overfishing. During an hour, children got the opportunity to ask their personal questions to the specialists.

Finally, the “FACT-O” conference took place. After a welcoming video from Santa Ono, President of UBC, and welcoming remarks by Philippe Sutter, Consul General of France in Vancouver, journalist and moderator Geoff Dembicki went onstage with the following panelists:

- Dr William Cheung, Professor at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, UBC
- Dr Kim Juniper, Science Director of « Ocean Networks Canada »
- Laura Lallier, Lawyer at eCoast
- Dr Daniel Pauly, Professor at UBC, founder of « Sea Around Us »
- Loreley Picourt, Head of Initiatives at the « Ocean & Climate Initatives Alliance »

For 45 minutes, the speakers discussed the impact of climate change on the oceans and biodiversity, then answered the questions of the audience for 30 minutes. The questions were diversified and enabled a constructive and wide debate. Thus, the audience and the panel addressed the issue of a blue economy, artisanal fisheries and aquacultures. They also talked about invading species and their impact on local ecosystems, and brought up local examples such as the Site C dam.

The conference was closed by Dr. Rick Taylor, director of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, who summed up the discussion and invited the audience to join the reception.


Links to press releases :
- Article in the newspaper « The Tyee », November 21, 2017 :
- Interview of Daniel Pauly in « The Early Edition », CBC, November 17, 2017 :
- Interview of Loreley Picourt in « Phare Ouest », Radio Canada, November 17, 2017 :

Link to photos :
- Facebook Page of the Consulate General of France in Vancouver