PENANG’s hosting of a global conference on marine biodiversity is set to strengthen the Malaysian state’s commitment to sustainability and research while boosting its credential as a meetings destination.
The World Conference on Marine Biodiversity (WCMB) 2023, organised by Universiti Sains Malaysia, is scheduled for July 2-5, and will bring together prominent scientists, researchers, policymakers, and industry experts from around the world to Penang.
The conference is expected to have an economic impact MYR3.2 million (about US$688,000) and a total of 400 delegates are expected to attend with 70 per cent from overseas.
Yeoh Soon Hin, state executive councillor for tourism and creative economy, said the objectives of the conference aligned 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,” Yeoh said.
“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 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.”
Ashwin Gunasekeran, CEO of Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau, said: “The insights gained from this global gathering will inspire further research, innovation, and sustainable practices, positioning Penang as a leading hub for marine biodiversity conservation and research.”
Over the years, science conferences have significantly contributed to Penang’s economy, generating close to MYR40 million from 8,056 delegates, Ashwin said.