OBITUARY

Prof. Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain

OBITUARY – Prof. Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain

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With great sadness we acknowledge the passing away of Prof. Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain, one of the leaders of ocean and coastal management. She truly was a pioneer and leader who brought ocean and coastal science and policy together in extremely important ways and a role model to many, especially women working in ocean matters.

Biliana sadly passed away on 1 September 2020 and will be dearly missed by family, friends and colleagues.

Bruce Glavovic (FEC Co-Chair) recalls: “I worked with Biliana on a UNESCO IOC project to craft indicators for ICM in the early 2000s and recall Biliana’s insight and influence in extended discussions and deliberations. She brought a remarkable depth of experience and insight to the work and was highly esteemed by all those working on the project. At her invitation, I participated in a series of Global Ocean Forum conferences and recognized the vital work she did in bridging the worlds of science and policy with respect to ocean and coastal management. Her vision and leadership in this realm over decades has been foundational for global efforts to chart more sustainable development of the world’s oceans and coasts. I also was invited by Biliana to join a supervisory team for PhD research under her oversight. Again, her leadership and extensive experience – notwithstanding the huge demands on her time – enriched this research and resulted in an important contribution to ocean governance in the African context. Recently, I was appointed Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Ocean & Coastal Management. I was about to invite Biliana – who had been founding Editor of the journal – to write a reflective Editorial. But sadly I discovered she had just passed away. She will be missed as one of the most influential people in bringing global attention to the vital importance of ocean and coastal management; and to laying the foundation for developing an integrative field of  interdisciplinary research and practice.”

In honor of the late Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain a Virtual Oceans Action day was held on November 2020, organized by the Global Ocean Forum; Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan; Oceano Azul Foundation, Portugal; Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO; Ocean and Climate Platform; Conservation International; and International Union for Conservation of Nature, in association with the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action. Please read the official announcement by the Global Ocean Forum below.

“As part of the celebration of the life, work, and legacy of Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain, founder and President of the Global Ocean Forum, a virtual Oceans Action Day will be held in her honor on 20 November 2020. Biliana firmly believed in the importance of addressing the oceans and climate nexus in mitigating and adapting to climate change. She led the wide dissemination of information targeting decision-makers at the UNFCCC and beyond emphasizing the undeniable evidence of the importance of oceans, the central role the oceans play in regulating the climate system, and the dire consequences of inaction.

In addition to taking stock of progress on oceans and climate issues towards UNFCCC COP26 in Glasgow, the event will capture the outcomes of the discussions to take place at the Ocean and Coastal Zones Thematic Group Race-to-Zero November Dialogues under the Marrakech Partnership on 12 November 2020. It will also provide a platform for climate and ocean leaders to present their visions and ambitions towards the virtual UNFCCC SBSTA ocean and climate change dialogue to consider how to strengthen adaptation and mitigation action to be held from 2 to 3 December 2020.

Moreover, VOAD 2020 is intended to be an occasion where panelists share stories of discovering how stakeholders in the global oceans and climate community are responding boldly to Covid-19 and its disastrous impacts. VOAD 2020 aims to bring us together in communal learning for survival and inspire us to greater action in the ocean climate action pathway to zero emissions. It is an opportunity for us to: 1) refocus interest in our current efforts to combat climate change with a renewed motivation; and 2) stimulate ideas for partnership and other collaborative initiatives.

VOAD 2020 is being organized by the Global Ocean Forum; Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan; Oceano Azul Foundation, Portugal; Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO; Ocean and Climate Platform; Conservation International; and International Union for Conservation of Nature, in association with the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action.”


Please share any memories or condolences here:  www.celebrationofbilianaslifeandlegacy.com/