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#ListenToTheOcean – is COP26 a reason for hope?

2 minute read

Alice Watson, Public Affairs Officer, Marine Conservation Society

10 Nov 2021

The #GlobalDayofAction march in Glasgow is a moment that will go down in environmental history. Our Public Affairs Officer, Alice Watson, shares her account of the inspiring day.

Marking the halfway point of the COP26 Climate Change Conference, on Saturday 6 November activists from across the world took to the streets to march for climate justice as part of the Global Day of Action.

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I joined the march in Glasgow, alongside our Good Fish Guide Ratings Officer Alice Moore, and the team at Whale and Dolphin Conservation, to send a message to global leaders to WAKE UP and #ListenToTheOcean.

We marched with the ‘bio bloc’ alongside many other organisations including WWF and RSPB, kicking off at Kelvingrove Park in the west of the city at midday and finishing up at Glasgow Green at around 5pm.

We could see that tens of thousands of people had showed up, but we were later amazed to find out that the event attracted 150,000 protestors

Alice Watson, Public Affairs Officer

Among the eclectic crowd, we could see that tens of thousands of people had showed up, but we were later amazed to find out that the event attracted 150,000 protestors.

As an environmental NGO community, we haven’t been able to march together in the UK since ‘The Time is Now’ mass lobby back in the summer of 2019 – an inspiring event that sticks in my memory to this day.

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Of course so much has changed since then: we have adjusted to life in a global pandemic, our appreciation for nature has grown exponentially, and the need to restore the health of our planet has become even more urgent.

But something that remains unchanged is our collective drive to fight for nature and the people whose lives depend on a thriving planet.

A glimmer of hope

With a week of the conference still to come, the concrete outcomes for our ocean remain uncertain. Reflecting on the lack of commitments agreed in Week One, however, it’s obvious that our blue planet has been sidelined and we must continue to push the UK Government to invest, protect and restore our seas, with genuine action and ambition.

One thing that is certain is the power of our unified voice. As we played whale song through the streets of Glasgow alongside 150,000 other campaigners, we hold hope that decision makers will wake up, listen to the ocean, and recognise its intrinsic role in fighting the climate crisis.

If you want to hear our #ListenToTheOcean playlist for yourself, you can find it here on Spotify.

We hold hope that decision makers will wake up, listen to the ocean, and recognise its intrinsic role in fighting the climate crisis

Alice Watson, Public Affairs Officer

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