Portuguese American Journal

Terceira | Fifth edition of GLEX Summit returns to Angra do Heroísmo – Azores

The fifth edition of GLEX Summit 2024 began in Angra do Heroísmo with inspiring presentations and important revelations. Fabien Cousteau, who opened the event, taking place June 18-19, highlighted the urgency of protecting our planet, which he dubbed the “Oasis Planet”, and announced Proteus, an innovative underwater “space station” scheduled for 2026. This facility, which will be inhabited by scientists from all over the world, promises to revolutionize ocean exploration.

Fabian Cousteau

The first day of the summit featured stories of overcoming challenges and a passion for science, including Sammy Ramsey, who shared his journey from fear of insects to becoming a renowned bee investigator. Martina Capriotti, an Italian biologist, highlighted the threat of microplastics to marine ecosystems and human health. Volcanologist Jess Phoenix underlined the importance of volcanic rocks for understanding Earth’s history.

The “Darwin200” expedition, recreating Charles Darwin’s historic voyage, was another highlight, with Stewart McPherson announcing that the expedition will end on the island of Terceira in 2025. Astrobiologist Britney Schmidt has warned of melting ice in Antarctica and the urgent need for conservation.

Heartwarming stories of resilience were also presented, such as that of Morad Tahbaz, imprisoned in Iran for his conservation research, and Ihor Poshyvailo, who has been documenting the damage to Ukrainian cultural heritage during the war. The unlikely friendship between Israel’s Kim Passy-Youseph and Palestinian Aziz Abu Sarah has highlighted the importance of dialogue and peace.

The special session “Women in Exploration: Breaking Boundaries” brought to light the contributions of women in exploration, with Yvette Gonzalez, Nicole Mann, Beatriz Flamini, Tess Caswell, Sabrina Thompson, Kirstin Schulz, Fatma Kaplan and Ana Pires sharing their experiences and challenges.

Tomorrow, the second and final day of the summit will begin with the “Infinite Horizons” panel, focusing on the most ambitious and innovative forms of exploration, including the TITAN project and the Darwin200 expedition. The “Beyond the Veil” session will address the secrets of nature and the origins of humanity. The summit will conclude with “The Magic of Exploration”, highlighting the magic of exploration and the charms of nature, followed by the closing ceremony conducted by Admiral Henrique Gouveia e Melo, Chief of Staff of the Navy.

The GLEX Summit is organized by the Portuguese company Expanding, with the seal and curatorship of the New York-based The Explorers Club, ensuring an international summit.

Source: Press Release | GLEX Summit 2024

The Azores (population 250,000) is a region of Portugal composed of nine islands. The archipelago discovered by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century, became an Autonomous Region of Portugal in 1976. The government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores includes the Legislative Assembly, composed of 57 elected deputies, elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term; the Regional Government and Presidency, with parliamentary legitimacy, composed of a President, a Vice-President and seven Regional Secretaries responsible for the Regional Government executive operations. The Autonomous Region of the Azores is represented in the Council of Ministers of the Central Government by a representative appointed by the President of Portugal. According to the latest US census over 1.3 million individuals of Portuguese descent live in the United States, the majority with roots in the Azores. It is estimated that over 20,000 US citizens live in Portugal.

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