NATION

Regional Preparatory Process Progressing Well

National and regional preparatory process for the United Nations Conference on Oceans is progressing well, with an open and inclusive discussion among Government and key stakeholders. At the two-day National
13 Mar 2017 11:00
Regional Preparatory Process Progressing Well
Sangeeta Mangubhai at the National Multi-stakeholder consultations on the Ocean Conference in Suva. Photo: DEPTFO News

National and regional preparatory process for the United Nations Conference on Oceans is progressing well, with an open and inclusive discussion among Government and key stakeholders.

At the two-day National Multi-stakeholder Workshop on the Ocean Conference in Suva last week, representatives from civil society organisations and the private sector, as well as environmental experts, discussed at length various ways to address the problems facing our ocean.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Robin Nair said the consultation was a build-up towards this week’s Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Ocean Conference to be held in Suva from March 15-17.

Highlighting the need for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, Mr Nair said the protection of the ocean and its resources was critical for environment sustainability.

“This commitment is not only fitting for us, given our longstanding history when it comes to oceans, but one that is necessary in view of the current state of the health of our oceans,” Mr Nair told the participants.

He said the unrelenting degradation of the ocean was a matter of grave concern for everyone, and urged all stakeholders to work together to protect the marine environment, curb marine pollution and address the impact of ocean acidification.

“We have been taking more resources from the marine environment than it can sustainably provide us, and through marine pollution and debris, illegal and destructive fishing practices, and the man-made effects of climate change.

“We are severely testing the ability of the oceans and seas to maintain significant life for the sustenance of generations to come,” Mr Nair said.

Fiji also plays a major role as the co-president with Sweden of the first-ever high-level United Nations Ocean Conference .

“It will provide political impetus for the much-needed paradigm shift that the ocean desperately deserves. As co-president of the conference, we must ensure that Fiji maintains this leadership through the implementation phase. Let’s maximize on this opportunity to garner support,” Mr Nair added.

The UN Ocean Conference will convene at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from June 5-9.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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