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Conference ~ The “Blue Planet @ Eastbourne” 

To book an "in person" place at this Conference, please use this link

Please use this link for ONLINE Virtual participation. Zoom link will be sent to you before the event start

This event is curated by Plastic Free Eastbourne and United Nations Association ~ Climate and Oceans. It will be taking place in the Conference Suite of the Lansdowne Hotel, Eastbourne on Thursday 18th May 2023.
Registration will start at 6.30, with refreshments (to pay please). The Conference itself will begin at 7pm promptly.

There will be six speakers: 

6.30 ~ Registration and refreshments

7.00 ~ Oliver Sterno opens the conference with Gonzalo Alvarez

7.05 ~ “Blue Heart” ~ Eleanor Lanyon
7.15 ~ Marine Conservation Zone ~ “Beachy Head East” ~ developments since last year ~ Sophia Pinheiro Vergara
7.25 ~ WhippAway ~ Julian Randall
7.35 ~ Short video “Sussex Underwater” (or similar)
7.40 ~ Biomass Plastics ~ Aulden Dunipace
7.50 ~ Is data collection important in challenging environmental plastic pollution? ~ Andy Dinsdale
8.00 ~ UN Decade of Ocean Science (Coastal Connect) Gonzalo Alvarez
These presentations will be followed by a Questions and Answers session.
The programme brochure will be available at the conference.
There will be a bucket collection opportunity at the end of the evening.


Speaker and Participant profiles

Oliver Sterno

is a retired Geography teacher. He has engaged with the issues surrounding the environment throughout his career. Now he is passionately campaigning to reduce the impact of climate change on our Planet. He is the Community Leader for Plastic Free Eastbourne as well as the Coordinator for Refill Eastbourne.

Eleanor Lanyon

is Engagement and Communications Lead for the Blue Heart project, creating links between partners, stakeholders, and communities. She has many years of experience in engaging individuals and groups; drawing on their existing experiences, interests and needs to ensure maximum benefit. She has partnered extensively with local authorities, charity and community organisations and a wide variety of audiences. She is pleased to have a role that helps people build resilience to flooding and climate change. 

Sophia Pinheiro Vergara

is a Project Support Officer at the Marine Conservation Society. She received a bachelor’s degree in History with Human Rights from the University of Essex, and a master’s degree in Environment, Development and Policy from the University of Sussex. She has co-authored a paper with the University of Sussex for the Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning. Her current work focuses on community engagement in Sussex and supporting projects in the UK and the Caribbean. 


Julian Randall
set up a home in Eastbourne in 2003 with his now wife and 2 children after moving from Isleworth, Born in High Wycombe. After working for large Kitchen manufacturers and showrooms up until 2020, Julian moved into more sustainable water-saving products, having then been made redundant in 2022, joined WhiffAway, Market Leader in Waterless Technology and water-saving products, our aim is save water, save energy, cut the carbon footprint, and cut operational costs.

Aulden Dunipace

is Commercial Director for Chestnut Natural Capital, a company leading the adoption of plant-based biopolymers across the plastics industry. The company’s material, Chestnut Bio is 100% bio-degradable, non-toxic, and non-polluting and can be injection moulded, extruded to sheet to be vacuum formed and has been developed into a 3D printer filament. Aulden is responsible for finding the keys to unlock the potential of this material in the world’s drive to replace fossil-based plastics.

Andy Dinsdale  

has been conducting surveys of environmental plastic pollution in East Sussex since 2004. He founded Strandliners, a community interest company, working with volunteers and local, national and international organisations, all raising awareness through citizen science and community engagement, and contributing to a global database, in order to lobby for change. There are many routes through which plastic pollution enters our environment and reaches our coastal waters. Strandliners records this vital data as evidence to reduce pollution at source.

Gonzalo Alvarez, PDTh, BSc, BA Hons,

is a Marine Biologist, and is the Chairman of the United Nations Association of Climate & Oceans. He has led international teams in Coastal Communities in Latin America, the Caribbean and in the United Kingdom. He has also been a member and speaker at  International Human Development Forums in New York, London, Singapore, Wales, Jerusalem, Chile, Cuba and Argentina.   Throughout the years, he has also chaired different high-profile Scientific Ocean Conferences. He is a proactive public speaker and environmental campaigner.

Eastbourne's Mayor ~ Mr Pat Rodahan

has had a wide-ranging career – marketing and advertising, executive officer for the Australian Government in London and a small hotel owner in Eastbourne. He is a former active member of the Federation of Businesses. Long-time councillor serving on Eastbourne Borough and East Sussex County Council. A Country lad, Pat loves nature and knows that environmental improvements not only make his adopted Eastbourne a better place but are essential for future generations.

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