A two-day preparatory workshop ahead of the high-level United Nations (UN) Oceans Conference, aiming at the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, has kicked off at Ravenala Attitude Hotel in Balaclava.
The workshop is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Participants including local and international stakeholders, researchers and volunteers of Non-Governmental Organisations are attending the workshop. The working sessions are being conducted by resource persons from the UNDP and the National Ocean Council.
Present at the opening ceremony, the Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Premdut Koonjoo, underlined that the global prosperity of countries depend largely on oceans and seawaters. The successful outcomes of blue economy thrive on a safe and clean marine environment which necessitates healthy waste management practices, elimination of marine pollution and further intervention of regulatory bodies, he pointed out.
He also enumerated few disadvantages namely the acidification of water, global warming, rising sea-level, unreported and illegal fishing activities which weaken the coastal economy of a country. He underscored that Government is strongly aligned to the SDGs pledged in September 2015 and is committed to combat environmental issues as well as other daunting challenges to safeguard the marine sector.
According to Minister Koonjoo, the challenge is to tap the full potential of the ocean economy while maintaining environmental sustainability. In this respect, some Government initiatives are: setting up of Coastal Water Quality guidelines, Fisheries Division, Bank Fishery Management Plan, Port State Control Unit, and Fisheries Monitoring Centre.
The UN Oceans Conference
The high-level UN Conference is organised to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14, conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. The conference will be held from 05 to 09 June 2017 in New York, coinciding with World Oceans Day, celebrated on 08 June each year.
The conference will help to identify ways and means to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14, build on existing successful partnerships, and stimulate innovative as well as concrete new partnerships to advance the implementation of Goal 14.