As Mayor of Bergen, it is a great pleasure to welcome you all to the 5th international symposium on the Effects of Climate Change on the World's oceans.
The ocean and its travellers have shaped our city ever since King Olav Kyrre founded Bergen in 1070. Bergen early became a strategic melting pot between fishermen of northern Norway and merchants from southern Europe. The ocean brought us trade, wealth and new cultures and ideas. This made Bergen one of Europe's most important shores in Europe and the capital of Norway until 1600. Hundreds of years later, Bergen is still a city where we live, by and of the ocean. Today, we are home to world-leading research centres and institutes focusing on the marine and maritime fields, innovative businesses and clusters, and a large shipping industry. This would not have been possible without our historic bond to the ocean and the international influence brought with it.
I am pleased that you have chosen the ocean city Bergen for this year's event, which will also be a part of the One Ocean Week. Bergen has often looked outward towards the world for inspiration and collaboration, a tradition you and this conference continue. This conference brings together over 600 experts and young researchers from almost 70 countries to better understand how climate change affects and changes the ocean's ecosystem. Through 19 sessions over five days, you will present and discuss what is at stake and what measures we need to take to secure a sustainable future for the oceans, and for those who live in and by them.
On behalf of the city of Bergen, I wish you the best of luck with this important conference. I hope it will be informative, and inspire us to a stronger call to action for our oceans.
The Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Ocean Symposium was launched in 2008 in Gijon, Spain by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES), and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) to address the urgent need for information on changing oceans. Since then we have had three more symposia; in Korea 2012, in Brazil 2015, and in Washington in 2018, and now we meet here in Bergen five years later. The ECCWO conferences have been of high quality and well attended and this year we have attracted 760 participants, of which a third will take part digitally. The proceedings will be published in the ICES Journal of Marine Science as for previous conferences.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - IPCC recently concluded that the science now documents that the climate is changing faster, and that the impact is stronger, and the conclusions are more certain than previously reported. The theme of this conference has, therefore, never been more important!
Science has a critically important role in providing information about past, present and future effects of climate change on marine ecosystems, ecosystem resilience to change, human livelihoods and in proposing efficient adaptation and mitigation measures. These are core themes of this conference.
Having meeting places such as the ECCWO symposia are critical to facilitate the dialogue between scientists, to introduce early career professionals to the community and hopefully inspire great science in the years to come within this important field!