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Summit sets target to restore world's kelp forests

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

Giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) in Tasmania. Photo: Joanna Smart

The Kelp Forest Alliance will hold a summit in Hobart Tasmania in February 2023 to set the first international target for kelp forest restoration.

On 19 February 2023, the Kelp Forest Alliance will host a summit in Hobart, Tasmania, and online, to create the world's first kelp restoration target. The event is being held in conjunction with the International Seaweed Symposium 2023 (ISS2023).

The aim of the target is to inspire more restoration activity, promote kelp forests to the world, and accelerate our movement to sustain our seas.

The Kelp Forest Alliance says rising sea temperatures, overgrazing, overfishing and water pollution are causing the deforestation of kelp forests across the globe.

Southern Australia and Northern California have lost 95% of their giant and bull kelp forests, and declines have occurred on every continent. When kelp forests disappear, so do the fish and so do the livelihoods that they support.

The summit will formalise the restoration target, which is expected to take the form of a number of hectares restored by a specific date. This goal will be part of a growing movement to restore our kelp forests.

In the lead-up to the summit, the Kelp Forest Alliance is working with its network and partners from around the world to determine a scientifically sound and achievable goal for international kelp forest restoration. This work will entail online meetings or workshops as well as written feedback.

The initial 'pledgees' – organisations that have committed to working towards this target – will be announced and celebrated at the summit in February.

The restoration target will be finalised in the morning session of the summit, with the afternoon session dedicated to creating a road map for how to achieve large-scale kelp restoration and promote it at the international level.

The summit is free to attend, but in-person registration is limited. An online link will also be available for virtual attendees.

Following the summit, the Kelp Forest Alliance is hosting a series of talks from leading experts in kelp restoration as part of the official ISS2023 program. This will be on 20 February 2023., featuring 10 presentations from Canada, California, Australasia, Japan, Korea, Norway, Portugal, the Mediterranean, Chile, and a global overview.

Each talk will focus on what has been learned from past restoration efforts and how we can work together in the future.

ISS2023 runs from 19–24 February 2023. Single-day registrations are available for delegates attending onsite.

More information:

Express interest in attending the Kelp Restoration Summit on 19 February 2023 here.

Email to enquire about the kelp restoration target.

Register to attend the ISS2023 conference here.

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