Lloyd’s Register Foundation and The United Nations Global Compact, in partnership with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CRNS), today launched a global coalition to support a safe, sustainable and scalable seaweed industry to address some of the world’s most pressing global challenges. The Safe Seaweed Coalition is the first initiative to convene stakeholders from across the globe to unlock the full potential of seaweed to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Seaweed has a significant role in food security, climate change mitigation, supporting biodiversity in marine ecosystems and contributing to job creation and poverty alleviation. It also provides a nutritious source of food to humans and animals and some compounds can be used as a substitute for plastics as well as for natural fertilizers or new medical treatments. Seaweed is also a key source of jobs and revenues to coastal communities, particularly for women. Seaweed can also act as a form of carbon sequestration and is increasingly being used as a ‘nature-based solution’ to mitigate climate change and restore abundance in the ocean ecosystem.
The Safe Seaweed Coalition builds on the recommendations outlined in the Seaweed Manifesto, a collaborative report developed by Lloyd’s Register Foundation and the UN Global Compact in 2020 and will bring together diverse stakeholders from across the seaweed industry to establish the critical infrastructure, regulations and technologies required to drive this new type of cultivation to scale. The Coalition has three core objectives:
- Consumer safety – Ensuring seaweed products meet commonly agreed upon safety standards for use by consumers
- Environmental safety – Ensuring seaweed production and processing takes place in harmony with local ecosystems and improves ocean biodiversity
- Operational safety – Ensuring the welfare of workers is protected at every stage of the seaweed value chain
Vincent Doumeizel, Director of the Food Programme at Lloyd’s Register Foundation and Senior Advisor to the UN Global Compact, commenting on the Coalition’s launch, said: “Seaweed may well be the greatest untapped resource on the planet. This nascent industry is currently highly disconnected and lacking in global safety standards to scale up. Safety is a pre-competitive topic and a great point of convening. By coming together in solidarity, we can leverage seaweed to address some of the most pressing global challenges.”
Sanda Ojiambo, CEO & Executive Director of UN Global Compact, said: “With the COP26 and UN Food System Summit conferences taking place later this year and a renewed focus on the Decade of Action, there is increasing recognition of the urgent need to find solutions to mitigate climate change and translate the Sustainable Development Goals into reality.
“The Safe Seaweed Coalition will facilitate multilateral collaboration to accelerate the seaweed industry’s potential to address some of the world’s most pressing problems.”
The Financial Times will host a public digital event to launch the Safe Seaweed Coalition on 17 March. More information on how to register for the launch can be found here.
For more information please visit the Safe Seaweed Coalition website.
Those interested in joining the Safe Seaweed Coalition can email firstname.lastname@example.org.