August 23, 2017

In the Zone Conference (ITZ) , Blue Zone Conference, Perth, 2 October 2017

Australia has an extensive framework for cooperation spanning political, economic, security, development, education, and people-to-people ties with our neighbouring ‘in the zone’, Indian Ocean countries. While the future of the Indo-Pacific unfolds against a maritime backdrop, we must address the issues, challenges and opportunities that face our collective nations as the maritime realm continues to shape our politics, technology and livelihoods. 

In collaboration with The University of Western Australia, the Perth USAsia Centre is pleased to announce that the 2017 In the Zone Conference – “The Blue Zone” will be held on 2nd October 2017 in Perth, Western Australia and will spark a regional discussion that aims to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG14) of seeking to ‘Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources’.

The 2017 In the Zone Conference, "The Blue Zone", will be held on 2 October in Perth. The conference is a flagship event for the University of Western Australia and attracts participation from Indo-Pacific government and business representatives and academia. This year's theme will address security, resources and the environment (including climate change) in relation to the maritime realm and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has agreed to give the keynote address.

The 2017 In the Zone Conference (ITZ), a flagship event for the University of Western Australia in collaboration with the Perth USAsia Centre (the organisers), will take place in Perth on Monday 2 October 2017.  The ITZ series was founded to provide a strategic forum for policy-makers, advocates, academics, and business and political leaders in the Indo-Pacific to grapple with issues of shared concern within the region.  It has attracted strong participation from government and business representatives from our region. 

 In 2016, ITZ was held in Jakarta, Indonesia and in 2018 it will be held in Japan.  This year’s ITZ will focus on the future of the Indian and Pacific Oceans and is entitled 'Blue Zone: Environment, Resources, and Security in the Indo-Pacific Maritime Realm'.  The Conference will be framed around the following questions:

·         Security - How can countries cooperate in the Indo-Pacific to solve security problems within the maritime realm?

·         Resources - As the global population rapidly grows and global demand increases, what kind of resource policies should governments develop and how can we best utilise innovative technologies?

·         Environment - How do we reduce pollution, protect species from climate change and ensure sustainable consumption?

 The Perth USAsia Centre is expecting 300‒400 people to attend and has invited high-profile speakers from the Indo-Pacific region.  Foreign Minister Bishop has agreed to give the keynote speech at the conference.  A list of other speakers secured to date can be found at−2017 and includes Shadow Foreign Minister Penny Wong, former ROK President Dr Han Sueng-soo, Rio Tinto Iron Ore CEO Chris Salisbury, India's Vice Admiral Anup Singh, Japan's Vice Admiral Yoki Koda, and Indonesia's Foreign Policy Community founder Dr Dino Patti Djalal.  

Pre-conference activities include a facility tour of the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre (the largest marine research capability in the Indian Ocean rim) and a sundowner and dinner event on Sunday 1 October.  The conference program also includes a regional student innovation contest and regional photography contest for high school and university students.