The Ocean Affairs Council organized the "APEC Workshop on Promoting Women's Role in Ocean Science towards Sustainable and Inclusive Ocean Governance" on March 16th and 17th in Kaohsiung as part of its efforts to promote and enhance women's participation in ocean science. It echoes the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, and APEC's theme for 2023, "Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All." Representatives from APEC economies were invited to participate in this event held in Taiwan to exchange views on promoting regional gender awareness and pursuing equality and inclusiveness in ocean science.
Dr. Wen-Ling Hong, Deputy Minister of the Ocean Affairs Council, pointed out, "according to research, women account for only 39% of ocean science. Due to systemic barriers, including social, cultural, and economic factors, women's participation in ocean science and governance is limited, and their dedication and contributions are overlooked" during her opening remarks. To this end, the workshop served as a platform for dialogue and exchange to support gender equality in the APEC region and envisage sustainable and inclusive ocean governance.
On the morning of the 16th March, Ms. Chloe Nunn, a former official of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO's Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, shed light on the role of women in leading the ocean science industry on the global stage. This was followed by a keynote speech by Dr. Hong on the best practices of female leadership in the ocean science industry. In the afternoon, representatives from APEC member economies and female ocean scientists explored policies and innovative strategies to promote women's participation in ocean science, providing the next steps for women's engagement in ocean science.
In addition, delegates will join a field trip on March 17th. Female surveyors from DRAGON SURVEY CO., LTD., responsible for ocean survey and underwater operation experiences on the survey ship, will share their work on the survey ship. And representatives from APEC economies will board "Polaris" survey ship and learn about the facilities and conditions of working at sea.
The APEC workshop attracted nearly 150 participants from various sectors, including representatives from APEC economies, including the Philippines, Peru, Chile, Indonesia, the United States, Viet Nam, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea, and different sectors, such as academia, civil society, and industry leaders. The participants discussed strategies for increasing women's participation in ocean science in the Asia-Pacific region and environmental and technological fields through information sharing and exchange. The ultimate goal was to bridge the gender gap, provide innovative knowledge and practices in ocean science, and work together toward sustainable and inclusive ocean governance.
Mr. Jung Chun-hao