WCS will have marine conservation experts on the ground at OOC18, taking place in Bali, Indonesia on October 29th and 30th, to join with other conservation organizations, government delegates, and businesses in pledging new commitments for ocean conservation and discussing progress on previously made commitments. For more information on the event, click here.

The head of the WCS delegation at the conference, Cristian Samper, President and CEO, and both he and Jason Patlis, Executive Director for Marine Conservation, are available for comment/interview during the conference.

Interviews can be arranged through Mary Dixon, WCS Senior Vice President of Communications: mdixon@wcs.org; 1 347-840-1242, and John Delaney, Assistant Director of Communications: jdelaney@wcs.org; 1 347-675-2294, and Stephen Sautner, Executive Director of Communications: ssautner@wcs.org; 1 908-247-2585.

Key themes and topics of interest at the 5th Our Ocean Conference:

·         CLIMATE CHANGE: WCS currently manages a global coral reef research and conservation program and will make a major commitment to boost the protection of the world’s climate-resilient reef ecosystems across its portfolio. WCS will also support efforts to monitor reefs and measure benefits to coastal communities that rely on these ecosystems for livelihoods, health, and food security in places where WCS works. 


Caleb McClennen, Vice President, WCS Global Conservation

·         MARINE PROTECTED AREAS: WCS is currently managing the MPA Fund, an initiative launched at OOC in 2016 for the purpose of raising $15 million for creating new and expanded MPAs in 20 countries and to help protect 10 percent of the world’s coastal and marine waters by 2020. At OOC18, government delegates from Papua New Guinea and Indonesia are announcing new marine protected areas, with supported provided through the WCS MPA Fund.

WCS Experts:

Jason Patlis, Executive Director of WCS’s Marine Program;

Noviar Andayani, Country Director of WCS’s Indonesia Program.

·         SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES: WCS is announcing a major, ten-year shark and ray initiative that will establish comprehensive, science-based management programs in 10 seascapes around the world. The initiative will aim to improve the conservation status of 75 percent of the world’s sharks and rays, control fisheries and trade impacting these species, while maintaining socio-economic benefits to people and ecosystems.

WCS Expert:

Hollie Booth, Shark Advisor of WCS’s Indonesia Program;

Luke Warwick, Associate Director of WCS’s Shark and Ray Program (based in New York).