Roundtable & Networking event with the Smithsonian Institution
UNDP is facilitating a series of roundtable and networking events to discuss the impact of emerging issues and global megatrends on sustainable development, and to develop a channel for sustained engagement between UNDP and experts across sectors on trends and approaches that could support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Our next event will be marking the Earth Day 2018. This event will feature the Smithsonian Institution’s #EarthOptimism movement and its achievements in raising public awareness to the challenges regarding the well-being of the planet and all the life its support.
20 April 2018 | Friday | 11:00 am - 12:30 pm | UNDP Rio Room | 304 East 45th Street | 9th floor | New York City
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The Smithsonian Institution's #EarthOptmism campaign was created as a shared digital space for inspiration and creativity through successful and inspiring conservation stories from around the globe. The Smithsonian Institution’s inaugural Earth Optimism Summit was held in 2017 in Washington, DC, bringing together thought leaders, practitioners, pioneering scientists and researchers, environmentalists, artists, civic leaders, industry participants, media, philanthropists, and other conservation-minded citizens.

As the 2018 theme of the Earth Day is “End Plastic Pollution”, the upcoming Roundtable will also feature a discussion on the future of our ocean and the SDG 14: Life Below Water. It will discuss some key results from UNDP’s Ocean Governance work as well as the Ocean Action Hub, which was created by UNDP and Sweden to incentivize citizen engagement in the implementation of the SDG 14.

11:00 - 11:15 am Networking

11:15 - 11:25 am WelcomeRemarks
Adriana Dinu, Director, Sustainable Development (Environment) and Executive Coordinator, Global Environmental Finance, UNDP
Nancy Knowlton, Sant Chair in Marine Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and Earth Optimism Co-Chair

11:25 - 11:50 am Panel I: #EarthOptmism: Reflections from a global digital movement
Speaker: Nancy Knowlton, Smithsonian Institution
Moderator: Alexandra Hiniker, New York City Mayor’s Office for International Affairs

11:50 - 12:15 pm Panel II: SDG 14 – Oceans: Challenges and Opportunities
Speaker: Andrew Hudson, UNDP

12:15 - 12:30 pm Next Steps & Close of Discussion

Nancy Knowlton is a coral reef scientist known for her research on biodiversity. She is the author of National Geographic’s best-selling Citizens of the Sea, helped launch the social media campaign #OceanOptimism, and co-led the Smithsonian’s 2017 Earth Optimism Summit. A member of the US National Academy of Sciences, she has also been on the faculties of Yale University, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and the University of California San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Andrew Hudson is the Head of the Water & Ocean Governance at UNDP. He oversees and provides strategic, policy and technical guidance on all aspects of the development, implementation and evaluation of UNDP’s work in water and ocean governance with a current portfolio in over 100 countries. Prior to joining UNDP, he was Executive Director of The Center for Field Research at Earthwatch. He received his BS and MS in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was a doctoral student in Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, and received his PhD in Environmental Sciences from the University of Massachusetts-Boston.

The Earth Day is celebrated to remind each of us that the Earth and its ecosystems provide us with life and sustenance. It recognizes a collective responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social, and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity. This day provides an opportunity to raise public awareness around the world to the challenges regarding the well-being of the planet and all the life it supports.
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