Location: California

Oceans retreat leaders call for international action to address migration crisis from climate change and sea level rise.

At the conclusion of the retreat on Sea Change: Developing Strategies for Rising Sea Levels and Ocean Acidification, key participants issued public statements on how to advance and provide leadership for effective sea level rise adaptation strategies and address increasing levels of acidification that imperils the vitality of the oceans.

Participants included esteemed global leaders from government, science, media, and philanthropy. Geoffrey Cowan,then-president of The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, announced that participants found agreement on several points and pledged continued engagement on these issues.

“We at Sunnylands are committed to convening follow-up meetings designed to explore new efforts to create state-of-the-art tools, standardized training and certification for professionals, and communication strategies to improve public understanding of the need to act,” he said.

Also speaking were retreat co-conveners HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, Dr. Margaret Leinen, director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, and His Excellency Anote Tong, President of the Republic of Kiribati.

HSH Prince Albert called for action and a follow-up meeting to identify appropriate protocols for peoples who will be displaced by the rising oceans. This meeting has been scheduled to take place in Kirabati in approximately one year.

“The implications of climate change related to migration of large numbers of people, both within countries and across international borders, present the international community with new and daunting challenges,” he said.

Dr. Leinen, said retreat participants are committed to building the adaptive capacity of communities. She emphasized the need for new mechanisms for training professionals, accurate shared information, and tools for predicting threats and costs of the rising oceans.

President Tong said that the retreat was “exciting and inspiring and gave him a degree of hope” for the future of his country, which may before the end of the century cease to exist and whose population may need to be resettled as a result of the rising oceans. He concluded by saying, this “must be a collective effort” no country can do it alone.


Filed under: Convenings

Musician John Legend and former Secretary of State Shultz to be among Panelists at Opening ProgramLive Web Cast to be Broadcast February 11

A morning of conversations with a select group of global leaders in public policy, education, and the arts will be presented by The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands as part of an invitation-only opening weekend planned by the organization’s trustees. The event, which will begin at 9 a.m. (PST), Saturday, February 11, 2012, will be streamed live at www.sunnylands.org. It will be archived on the web site through March.

The celebratory event focuses on how personal relationships impact history and the role Sunnylands intends to play in the future, which includes facilitating world peace and international agreement.

Broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff will moderate the panels. Guest speakers include former Secretary of State George Shultz and former Secretary of Defense William Perry; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, musician John Legend, an advocate for music programs in the schools; Thomas Campbell, director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Jeffrey Deitch, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; among others.

According to Geoffrey Cowan, president of The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands (2010-2016), the program celebrates “the wonderful people who visited Sunnylands when it was the winter home of Walter and Leonore Annenberg and those who will visit in the future as participants at retreats.”

The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands was founded in 2001 to address important issues facing the nation and the world. The Trust established The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, which will be dedicated on February 12, 2012, to serve as a sanctuary for generations of high-level national and world leaders seeking the privacy, the peace, and “the pause” needed to address the most pressing issues of the day.

See the recorded program here.

Filed under: Center News, Retreat News