Distinguished Co-Chairs of the UN SIDS Partnerships Steering Committee,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to join you at today’s event organized under the auspices of the SIDS Partnerships Framework. I thank the Co-chairs of the Steering Committee for leading this initiative, which is a continuation of the rich discussions from last year’s webinar series.
Today’s topic, “Partnerships, the Blue Economy and the Sustainable Use of Marine Resources”, is highly timely and relevant.
The concept of “blue economy” seeks to promote economic growth, social inclusion, and the preservation or improvement of livelihoods. While, at the same time, ensuring environmental sustainability of the oceans and coastal areas, in line with SDG 14.
The blue economy has diverse components:
- seafood harvesting, minerals and energy sources extraction,
- renewable offshore energy,
- freshwater generation, and
- the development of chemical and pharmaceutical products.
Moreover, the blue economy can also interface with:
- transport and trade,
- coastal development,
- tourism and recreation,
- carbon sequestration,
- waste disposal, and
- coastal and biodiversity protection.
Pathways toward the blue economy depend on national and local priorities and goals. At the same time, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is an important enabler in the global implementation of the blue economy concept.
The destructive path of climate change in the form of rising sea levels, increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events, and rising temperatures, continues. Our sustainable use of marine resources is going to have direct and indirect impacts on ocean-related sectors – the blue economy.
However, SIDS and coastal LDCs often lack the institutional, technological, and financial capacities to benefit to the fullest from their marine resources. The socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the situation.
Building genuine and durable partnerships, in the spirit of the SAMOA Pathway, can assist SIDS in addressing this lack of capacity, and to build back better.
To fully realize the benefits of their blue economy, SIDS need an appropriately skilled workforce. They also need the promotion of science, technology, innovation, and multidisciplinary research. And, to effectively include women, young people, local communities, indigenous peoples, and the marginalized and underrepresented.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have here, the opportunity to embrace transformative partnerships for the blue economy. Such partnerships can generate sustainable economic growth and development through the ocean and the sustainable use of marine resources.
I look forward to today’s discussion.
I thank you.