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A message for the ocean from Relay4Nature in Cascais, Portugal

by The Ocean Race 17 Jul 07:18 PDT
Coastal Racing in The Ocean Race Europe © Sailing Energy / The Ocean Race

Joana Pinto Balsemão, the Executive Councillor for the Environment and Citizenship at Cascais Municipality reveals her fears and hopes for the ocean.

During the second stopover of The Ocean Race Europe in Cascais, Portugal, Relay4Nature had the pleasure of meeting with Joana Pinto Balsemão, the Executive Councillor for the Environment and Citizenship at Cascais Municipality. As a councillor who is responsible for environmental policies, she was eager to contribute a message towards the Relay4Nature project.

"I think cities have a really important role to play here," she said. "The seas have connected people and geographies for centuries. Today we know that they connect so much more."

"We really are entering an era where planetary balance is at risk. My biggest fear about climate change is that we, as human beings, lose control. If the ocean collapses, so does the climate, biodiversity and the production of oxygen. Whilst we're still in control, we have to do something - both individually and collectively."

The Relay4Nature baton will be presented during COP26, the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference, due to be held in Glasgow later this year. During The Ocean Race Europe, teams were encouraged to engage with their key stakeholders, sponsors, host ports and affiliated organisations on the topic of climate change and ocean health, generating messages of urgency to world leaders and decision makers.

Contributing her own message towards Relay4Nature, Joana Balsemão urged world leaders to make the fundamental decisions and policies needed to mitigate climate change.

"We know that every single action counts. We know that every decision made at COP26 in Glasgow will be fundamental, and we know that the actions and decisions taken by cities play a fundamental role in climate action."

"Our spirit as humanity is not small, let's harness our ingenuity, our sense of belonging, our common sense of mission. Let's cherish and save this blue common thread that connects us all - the ocean. This is a truly worthwhile cause."

After the finale of The Ocean Race Europe in Genoa, Italy, the Relay4Nature baton was carried on board Team Viva México to Alicante, Spain, the home of The Ocean Race. From here, it will continue its journey to the IUCN Congress in Marseille in September, before making its way to COP26 in November 2021.

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