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Seychelles

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Készült:
2017, szeptember 22 - 23:00

United Nations’ Ocean Conference

Wake-up call for international community to protect the ocean

The recent high level United Nations Ocean Conference in New York was a wake-up call for the international community to protect and conserve the ocean, Vice-President Vincent Meriton has said.

VP Meriton was speaking to the press at State House yesterday afternoon after leading a high-level Seychelles delegation at the June 5-9 conference.

The conference followed a previous one organised by the United Nations and another one is to be organised later this year by the European Union in Malta. Next year, Indonesia is also expected to host a similar conference.

“This shows the increasing efforts by the international community to stress on the importance of the ocean. To us islanders, it’s a question of survival. We are the most affected and it is for this reason that island states have taken leading positions with regard to the blue economy, the ocean and how we can best manage our oceanic space in a sustainable way,” said VP Meriton.

Also present at the press meeting were all the delegates who attended the conference which was also to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 which stresses on the importance of conserving and using the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

The conference coincided with World Oceans Day on June 8, to support the implementation of that specific goal. It aimed at being the game changer that will reverse the decline in the health of our ocean for people, planet and prosperity with engagement from all nations and countries.

VP Meriton said Seychelles made seven engagements after the conference to push forward the blue economy agenda. Seychelles interventions were on various topics that have to do with the ocean and the country is very proud of one of its children, Alvania Lawen, who delivered a presentation on Seychelles alongside youngsters from other countries. A presentation which, Mr Meriton said, enhanced the country’s leading role in this aspect. He added that the conference had a great impact on Seychelles as there was a lot of demands for our country to share its experiences and programmes.

“In all the events ‒ plenary and bilateral sessions, side events and other sessions ‒ the Seychelles presence was very important,” VP Meriton remarked.

He noted that he got the chance to make different presentations as did Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Didier Dogley who also addressed various sessions.

The other members of the Seychelles delegation also made some presentations and VP Meriton said “each member played a formidable and significant role to reinforce Seychelles’ presence and ensure our country continues to gain prominence”.

VP Meriton also remarked that Seychelles’ name will continue to be mentioned for a long time to come in relation to the conference.

“This is important for us because it not only increases Seychelles’ visibility internationally but it also increases the possibility for our country to obtain support to organise similar events here in the future,” he said, noting that already there are organisations which have expressed their interest and support towards such an event.

“We have to bear in mind that Seychelles has graduated from being a middle income country to a high income one. So we must look for innovative ways to get support. And one of these innovative ways is the blue bond, which is a financial transaction initiated by the government of Seychelles to support sustainable fisheries,” VP Meriton added.

Minister Dogley said Seychelles’ involvement in the conference was to make sure we influence documents or decisions there. Secondly it was for us to make sure we share our experiences and know-how on various initiatives in place in Seychelles while interacting with other partners and countries who also have great interest in issues related to the environment, marine life or the ocean.

He mentioned the document being worked on called ‘Call for Action’ which entails putting up the necessary structures and actions different countries have to put in place at the national, regional or international levels.

“When we compare other countries’ work on issues related to oceans, we discovered that Seychelles has made great strides forward,” he said. He cited as another example the debt swap initiative and noted that lots of countries plan to conserve marine parks but not in a comprehensive way like we have done here and through support from this initiative.

“We have made sure we have financial assistance through the debt swap. We have reached an advanced stage in the work for a Seychelles Marine Spatial Planning Initiative which will expand sustainable use of marine protected areas to conserve biodiversity across 15% of our EEZ. Improved governance of priority fisheries will also be supported, with key objectives including the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT), an independent local trust fund established under Seychelles’ legislation, and the Development Bank of Seychelles that will support private sector investments in scientific and logistical support services. We showed them how we have implemented these projects,” sad Minister Dogley.

As all the other Seychellois delegates had the chance to make their contribution during the conference, Seychelles NATION hopes to bring their remarks in another edition.

Forrás: www.nation.sc

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