Tristan Islander travels to New York for World Ocean Day representing the Gough and Inaccessible Island World Heritage Site

Kieran Glass to make Ocean Pledge at New York UNESCO event

Kieran Glass flies to New York as only UK representative
at prestigious UNESCO marine World Heritage Site event to mark World Ocean Day

11 year old Tristan islander Kieran Glass flies to New York on Monday 5th June with his grandparents James and Felicity Glass to attend an important UNESCO event on 7th and 8th June.

The event culminates on World Ocean Day, 8th June when Keiran and his companions unveil the pledge, titled ‘My Ocean Pledge’, on stage at the United Nations General Assembly Hall, after which world leaders will be invited to sign their commitment during a signature ceremony.

Kieran is one of 27 young people, aged 8-21 who will represent a World Heritage Site. He is the only representative of the UK, or of any UK Overseas Territories, so his participation firmly puts the Gough and Inaccessible Islands World Heritage Site on an international stage.

Kieran, along with all his fellow participants, has made a video ‘My Ocean Pledge’
which can be viewed above or on Youtube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sYCkVPXWKY

Photos taken recently in Lowestoft, England while James was working with CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquacluture) there show: Left - Kieran; Below: Kieran with his grandparents Felicity and James Glass.

It is significant that Kieran is accompanied by his grandparents as James set up the first Tristan Natural Resources Department in 1993 which covered both fisheries and conservation. Today Tristan has a separate Conservation Department and James is Head of the Tristan Fisheries Department. The Gough island World Heritage Site was established in 1995. James was co-author with Peter Ryan, of the first management plan for Inaccessible Island published in 2001, leading to the inclusion of Inaccessible Island with the Gough Island World Heritage Site in 2005. See: http://www.tristandc.com/wildworldheritagesite740.php

Note that Kieran, like all islanders, usually quote '1500 miles from Tristan to South Africa'. This is correct in nautical miles, however, Tristan da Cunha is 2810 km or 1750 statute miles from Cape Town. Either way it is the world's most isolated community and the island will be very proud to be represented by Kieran in far-away New York on 8th June.

After the New York event James will travel to Santa Barbara to study a Pacific Ocean spiny lobster fishery as part of his on-going fishery management work. He is also hoping to meet some of the Glass family descendants that emigrated to America in 1856 with Corporal William Glass’ widow Maria after William died in 1853. He also hopes to visit her grave.

We are in touch with the organisers of the UNESCO event and intend to publish a report and photos of Kieran's role as the sole UK representative at the important event leading up to World Ocean Day on 8th June. Look out also for international media coverage, led in the UK by the BBC who may choose to broadcast the event which occurs on Election Day as there is then an embargo on coverage of UK political matters as people cast their votes.