YB Yeoh addressing the press conference

Penang will be the first-ever host city in Malaysia and the ASEAN region for the 6th World Conference on Marine Biodiversity (WCMB 2023).

Prior conferences were held in countries like Scotland, Canada, New Zealand, Spain and China. 

The gathering will see 418 delegates from 50 countries converging at the JEN Hotel Penang from July 2nd to 5, 2023.

The delegates are among the world’s top scientists, researchers, and experts on the topic.

Present to announce the conference was Penang State Exco for Tourism and Creative Economy YB Yeoh Soon Hin accompanied by Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) chief executive officer, Ashwin Gunasekeran..

Also present was the chairperson for the organising committee and Director for the Centre for Marine & Coastal Studies Universiti Sains Malaysia Prof Dato Dr Aileen Tan and Prof Dato Dr Zilfigar Yasin from USM.

“It will be another milestone on propelling the state’s MICE industry on the global stage as Penang has been chosen by the International Association for Biological Oceanography (IABO) to be the first-ever host city in Malaysia and ASEAN for this tri-annual global conference. The next General Assembly of IABO will also be held during the WCMB 2023 in Penang. 

“This objective of the world conference also aligns with Penang’s efforts to promote sustainable tourism practices. By focusing on the importance of marine conservation, we raise awareness about the fragility of our oceans and inspire visitors to become responsible in stewarding our natural resources,” said Yeoh in his address.

He also added that the estimated economic impact (EEI) of the conference is RM3.2 million with 70% of them being international attendees. 

“Hosting this prestigious event that attracts distinguished scientists, researchers, and experts from around the world, will bring international recognition to our state as a hub of scientific research and conservation efforts. As a result, our local scientific community will have the opportunity to interact with leading minds in the field, fostering innovation and driving advancements in marine biodiversity research. It showcases Penang as a destination that is committed to protecting and preserving our marine ecosystems.

“This conference will have a positive ripple effect on our tourism industry too,” said Yeoh.

Dr Aileen added that the conference will be an important platform to network and share ideas with world class experts in this field.

“Since Malaysia is surrounded by water and considering climate change, the conference will play an important role to share ideas and knowledge.

“There will also be 14 co-organisers from marine science institutions and representatives from the embassies of France, China, Japan and the United Kingdom.

“We are now ready to successfully host the conference,” she said ading that many of the participants will also bring their family members.

Meanwhile, Ashwin said that Penang will emerge as a recognised centre of excellence in the field, attracting investments, partnerships and scientific talents.

“This global gathering of esteemed professionals will also contribute to advancing knowledge, understanding and preservation of our oceans,” he said.