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Sustainable Blue Economy Bulletin

Volume 208 Number 31 | Saturday, 1 December 2018

The Sustainable Blue Economy Conference Bulletin

26-28 November 2018 | Nairobi, Kenya

Languages: EN (HTML/PDF)
Visit our IISD/ENB+ Meeting Coverage from Nairobi, Kenya at: http://enb.iisd.org/oceans/blueeconomy/2018/

The Sustainable Blue Economy Conference was held from 26-28 November 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya. Under the theme “The Blue Economy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” the conference gathered over 18,000 participants from 184 countries, including seven Heads of State and Government, 84 Ministers, and leaders from a wide range of sectors, including different levels of governments, science and academia, the scientific and research community, UN and other intergovernmental organizations, international organizations, business and private sector entities, non-governmental and civil society organizations, and ordinary citizens.

Throughout the three days of the conference, participants actively engaged in panel and other discussions focused on how to achieve the sustainable use and conservation of aquatic resources, including oceans, seas, lakes and rivers, for improved human wellbeing, social equity and healthy aquatic ecosystems. The discussions centred on the following nine key themes:

  • smart shipping, ports, transportation and global connectivity;
  • employment, job creation and poverty eradication;
  • cities, tourism, resilient coasts and infrastructure;
  • sustainable energy, mineral resources and innovative industries;
  • managing and sustaining marine life, conservation and sustainable economic activities;
  • ending hunger, securing food supplies and promoting good health and sustainable fisheries;
  • climate action, agriculture waste management and pollution-free oceans; maritime security, safety and regulatory enforcement; and
  • people, culture, communities and societies – the inclusive blue economy.

During the multiple conference sessions and forums, representatives from governments, intergovernmental and international organizations, the private sector and civil society made hundreds of commitments to advance a sustainable Blue Economy in their respective countries and around the world, including 62 concrete commitments in the fields of marine protection, plastics and waste management, maritime safety and security, fisheries development, financing, infrastructure, biodiversity and climate change, technical assistance and capacity-building, private sector support, and partnerships.

In addition to those commitments, participants reflected on the critical threats and challenges facing the world’s oceans, seas, rivers and lakes and on the pressing need to preserve those Blue Economy resources in order to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and they exchanged valuable ideas and experiences on how to address such threats and challenges in order to harness the economic opportunities provided by Blue Economy resources while ensuring their sustainable use and management. A the end of the conference, it was clear that the take-away messages of the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference would have a lasting impact on how governments and other stakeholders view the Blue Economy in Africa and beyond. The messages conveyed the clear message that the Blue Economy must be sustainable, the planet’s ocean and water resources must be conserved and sustainably used, and need to consider oceans, lakes and rivers, as well as water- and land-based ecosystems, in a holistic manner. The messages were captured in the Nairobi Statement of Intent on Advancing the Global Sustainable Blue Economy.

This report provides a brief summary of the conference, focusing on the Leaders’ Commitment Segment, a number of selected side events on some of the key themes of the conference, and one of each of the Signature Thematic Sessions, the Business and Private Sector Forum and the Governors and Mayors Convention.

A Brief History of the Blue Economy

The UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015 saw the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). In paragraph 33 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Member States recognize that “social and economic development depends on the sustainable management of our planet’s natural resources” and determine to “conserve and sustainably use oceans and seas, freshwater resources, as well as forests, mountains and dry-lands and to protect biodiversity, ecosystems and wildlife.”

Milestone events that accelerated the movement towards the first-ever global conference on a Blue Economy, include the following meetings.

The Global Oceans Action Summit for Food Security and Blue Growth took place from 22-25 April 2014, in The Hague, The Netherlands. For the first time, global leaders, ocean practitioners, scientists, and representatives from governments, business, civil society and international organizations convened to explore action-oriented partnerships, governance arrangements, investment frameworks and new financing vehicles to address the health of oceans. The Summit identified steps towards critical internationally agreed targets for fisheries, aquaculture, habitat protection and pollution reduction.

The high-level UN Conference to Support the Implementation of SDG 14: (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development) was convened at the UN Headquarters in New York from 5-9 June 2017, coinciding with World Oceans Day, to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14. The Conference raised global consciousness on ocean issues and produced strong ambitious outcomes. The political declaration “Our ocean, our future: call for action” was adopted by the General Assembly on 6 July 2017 through resolution A/71/312. The resolution recognizes the oceans “as an engine for sustainable economic development and growth” and calls upon all stakeholders to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development by taking, inter alia, actions to support the promotion and strengthening of sustainable ocean-based economies.

The third UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-3) met from 4-6 December 2017, in Nairobi, Kenya. The Assembly adopted 11 resolutions and adopted, by consensus, a negotiated Ministerial Declaration, through which they agreed to address the pollution of air, land and soil, freshwater, and oceans. The resolutions called for accelerated action and strengthened partnerships to, inter alia, combat the spread of marine plastic litter and microplastics and address water pollution.

The High-Level Scientific Conference ‘From COP21 towards the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)’ took place from 10-11 September 2018 in Paris, France, at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The two-day conference synthesized recent scientific progress on ocean and climate interplays, evaluated the latest ocean-climate trends within the context of increased ocean action, and reflected on ways to move “from science to action” during the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

The Sustainable Blue Economy Conference Report

Opening and Leaders’ Commitments Segment

The Sustainable Blue Economy Conference opened on 26 November with the Leaders’ Commitments segment, interspersed with videos on the themes of the nine Signature Thematic Sessions.

In her opening remarks, Monica Juma, Cabinet Secretary, Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that oceans, seas, lakes and rivers held natural capital that could be used to accelerate economic growth, while creating employment and reducing poverty. She highlighted the aim of the conference as identifying priorities, opportunities and challenges that would result in a Nairobi Statement of Intent, and invited commitments from different sectors to advance a Blue Economy.

Jonathan Wilkinson, Canadian Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, said that the conference would explore how to build a sustainable Blue Economy that left no-one behind and that achieving a Blue Economy would require reliance on innovation, science and best practices, and a collaborative approach to enhance decision making.

Keriako Tobiko, Cabinet Secretary, Kenyan Ministry of Environment and Forestry, said that economic development could not come at the expense of the environment, and that population growth would require innovative solutions to meet human needs. He stressed that the conference would provide a unique opportunity to discuss how blue resources could sustainably boost economic growth, create employment and tackle poverty.

In a dialogue on the global situation of the Blue Economy, Pavan Sukhdev, President, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) International, and Justin Mundy, World Resources Institute (WRI), reflected on the pillars of a Blue Economy, namely: productivity through accelerated economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation; and sustainability through addressing climate change, controlling pollution, managing waste, and sustaining marine life.

The Leaders’ Commitments segment was introduced by Cabinet Secretary Juma on Monday, 26 November, when statements were read by representatives from governments, intergovernmental and international organizations, the private sector and civil society throughout the day. The Leaders’ Commitments segment continued on Wednesday, 28 November.

Highlights from these commitments include the following:

Marine Protection                                 

  • Implement a CAD$1.5 billion ocean protection plan project to enhance maritime safety and address protection of marine biodiversity (Canada);
  • Protect 10% marine and coastal areas by 2020 (Canada);
  • Restore mangrove forest to 5000ha by 2023 (Mozambique);
  • Support conversion of 30% of oceans into marine protected area by 2030 under its ‘30-by-30 strategy’ (UK);
  • Allocate US$5 million for marine protection and research (Namibia);
  • Increase marine protected areas (MPAs) by 11 million hectares to over 10% (Bahamas);
  • Designate 30% of exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as an MPA by 2030 (Tonga);
  • Contribute €40 Million to protect corals and reefs and €60 million for protection of MPAs in African countries (EU); and
  • Contribute US$1.5 million to build resilience to ocean acidification through technology innovation to protect shellfish and other aquaculture farms (Ocean Foundation).

Plastics and Waste Management

  • Allocate US$100 million for improved ocean’s management and against dumping (Norway and World Bank);
  • Commits US$200 million for the next four years for development of initiatives to combat marine litter and microplastics (Norway);
  • Total ban on plastic utensils and polystyrene to come into effect in 2019 (Antigua & Barbuda);
  • Ban single-use plastic bags, straws and cans by 2020 (Bahamas);
  • Implement national zero-plastic pollution campaign (Timor Leste);
  • Commit to sustainable plastic-free tourism (Autonomous Region of Sao Tome and Principe);
  • Commit to plastic-free services in all its establishments (Java House Africa); and
  • Confront the challenge of waste management and plastic pollution (Kenya).

Maritime Safety and Security

  • In 2018, enhance maritime surveillance and fishery protection by completing a €250 million naval vessel replacement programme and purchasing two marine patrol aircraft (Ireland);
  • In 2019/2010 contribute €32 million for three Pilatus 12 aircraft to enhance patrolling capability (Ireland);
  • Increase investment by €1.5 million to upgrade Naval Service ICT systems to support fishery protection regime in Ireland (Ireland);
  • Aggressively combat illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing, and enhance maritime security and safety (Kenya)

Fisheries Development

  • Construction of hatchery to produce 10,000 MT, to become sub-Sahara Africa’s largest tilapia hatchery in 2019 (Victory Farms Limited East Africa);
  • Set aside €40 Million to support aquaculture value chains in African countries (African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, EU)


  • Establish Trust Fund with the World Bank (PROBLUE) to help manage marine litter in developing countries (World Bank);
  • Mobilize nearly €44 billion of investment by 2020, including for the blue economy (EU - External Investment Plan);
  • Contribute US$33.3 Million into PROBLUE to support transition into blue economy and realization of SDG 14 (Sweden, through Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency);
  • Issue the first Sovereign Blue Bond to the magnitude of US$15 million (Seychelles, in collaboration with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), World Bank and Prince of Wales Trust);
  • Introduce Debt-Swap for conservation - US$21.6 million (Seychelles, in collaboration with the Paris Club);
  • Establish a Blue Economy Bank to support the growth and development of the Blue Economy (Kenya)
  • Commit €10 million to develop water financing facilities through the Global Lab to unlock finance for low-carbon climate-resilient development (Netherlands); and
  • Support debt-free financing through Blue carbon bonds and other means of debt swaps (Nature Conservancy).


  • Invest US$120 billion to revolutionize 600 maritime logistics and port-led development projects in India (India- Sagarmala Programme);
  • Promote blue value chain, incorporating fisheries and tourism sectors (Namibia);
  • Commit to desalinate sea water for agriculture, domestic and industrial use (Namibia); and
  • Take measures to revive Kenya’s maritime transport and partnering with global shipping lines (Kenya).

Biodiversity and Climate Change

  • Commit CAD$10 million Pacific Initiative for Biodiversity, Climate Change and Resilience (Canada, with EU, New Zealand and Australia); and
  • Protect fragile areas from climate change and unsustainable fishing poachers (Timor Leste).

Technical Assistance and Capacity Building

  • Contribute CAD$20 million in increased technical assistance and capacity development to Small-Island Developing States (SIDS) (Canada);
  • Help African countries in capacity building in exploitation of deep seas exploitation (African Union (AU));
  • Establish an African Blue Economy Innovation and Research Centre, and the University of Nairobi Institute for Blue Economy and Ocean Studies (Kenya)

Private Sector Support

  • Pledge CAD$153 million by the Government of Canada and private sector in an Ocean Supercluster to help build a knowledge-based ocean economy (Canada)
  • Invest in renewable energy in Africa including generation of energy from waste in Mombasa (Toyota Tshusho, Japan)

The list of commitments made by governments and organizations are found in the Annex.

Ending Hunger, Securing Food Supplies and Promoting Good Health and Sustainable Fisheries

This signature session was held on Tuesday, 27 November 2018, to discuss how to achieve food and nutrition security in a blue economy, in particular through sustainable fisheries, in order to meet the challenge of feeding a population of 9 billion by 2050. It featured a panel consisting of Japhet Ntiba Micheni, State Department for Fisheries, Aquaculture and the Blue Economy, Kenya; Pakjuta Khemakorn, Department of Fisheries, Thailand; and Catherine Blewett, Deputy Minister, Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Deputy Minister Blewett described Canada’s efforts to ensure sustainable fisheries for improved domestic food security through a science- and risk-based approach premised on the precautionary principle; its work in helping countries and poor and vulnerable communities to improve food security by promoting gender equality; and its commitment to achieving SDG 14.

Blewett and the other panelists highlighted among key issues:

  • the key role of fish and seafood, as high-quality sources of protein, in ensuring food security and nutrition;
  • the need to recognize the common objectives and links between the blue and green economies;
  • promoting gender equality and fair access to resources in food production could help to reduce chronic hunger in children and families and enhance the resilience and sustainability of food production;
  • ending IUU fishing, a serious global problem with an annual estimated cost ranging between US$10 and US$23 billion, was a pre-requisite of sustainable fisheries;
  • achieving sustainable fisheries would require dealing with abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear, which made up over half of marine litter and some of the most harmful debris, causing a decrease in fish stocks and affecting the livelihoods of fish-reliant communities;
  • the need to tackle marine plastic litter at source, including through waste prevention strategies;
  • stakeholder engagement, transparency and science-based approaches were critical to ensure sustainable fisheries and optimal decision-making; and
  • the need for a Blue Economy bank to support private sector investments in sustainable fisheries and partnerships with regional and international partners should be created to support the Blue Economy in Africa.

Business and Private Sector Forum – Leaders’ Remarks

During this forum, that convened on Tuesday, 27 November, and which focused on investing in the Blue Economy, including in tourism, maritime transport, aquaculture and renewable energy, participants discussed options for innovative financing for the Blue Economy, such as “green bonds,” and how to build sustainable economic growth.

In a special segment for heads of states’ remarks, Henry Rotich, Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury and Planning, Kenya, emphasized the importance of the private and business sectors to unlock opportunities for employment and improve prospective investment initiatives in the blue economy sectors.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya, noting that the substantial presence of the business and private sector at the conference signaled a growing interest in investing in a sustainable Blue Economy, pledged that his government would create a fertile business environment and invited the private sector to engage in partnerships to expand the present US$1.4 billion portfolio to stimulate the Blue Economy.

Wallace Cosgrow, Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Seychelles, outlining successful Blue Economy activities implemented in his country, said the Blue Economy “is about the prosperity of the people.”

Danny Faure, President of Seychelles, urged balancing economic growth with environmental sustainability, stressing that the Blue Economy offered an alternative model for sustainable exploitation of the ocean for shared prosperity, food security and healthy oceans.

 Bernhardt Martin Esau, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Namibia, expressed delight that after years of neglect, the vast untapped coastal and inland water resources of Africa were at last receiving attention, stressing that establishing a successful and truly sustainable Blue Economy would require policy innovation to ensure it is sustainable and not harmful.

Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Prime Minister of Namibia, elaborating on her country’s fisheries and marine mining sectors, pledged to support investors interested in financing the Blue Economy through strong consultative governmental mechanisms, multi-stakeholder dialogues, and anti-corruption measures.

Governors and Mayors Convention: Welcoming Remarks and Leaders’ Commitments

On Tuesday, 27 November, during the Governors and Mayors Convention, Governor Mike Sonko, Governor of Nairobi, stressed the importance of ensuring water transport safety and building resilience to climate change, and the oceans’ significance to agriculture, tourism and other industries.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson, AUC, stressed challenges to promoting a Blue Economy, including rising sea levels, pollution and a lack of basic services and urged a special focus on setting up local and national plans for better management of cities to stimulate a Blue Economy.

Maimunah Mohd Sharif, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN-HABITAT, pointed out the importance of setting up resilience plans at different scales; ensuring consideration of the value of natural capital in cities, infrastructure planning so as to integrate cities into surrounding nature; and considering water, from the highlands down to rivers and into the ocean, as one holistic ecosystem. She also lauded Kenya’s clean-up actions along coastal areas and encouraged implemention of the “three R’s”: to reduce garbage while promoting recycling and reuse.

In a keynote address on ‘Cities and urban spaces in the world: the future of cities and the blue economy,’ President Kenyatta identified improving communities’ resilience, planning cities with better green space, sound pollution and waste management systems and energy efficient transport systems as key for shifting towards a more sustainable urbanization process.

Danny Faure, President of Seychelles, said that his country would work with the AU to develop the Blue Economy by sharing experiences to guide SIDS towards a sustainable future.

Women of the Blue Economy: Lessons from the Field for Better Equity and Participation

This event was held on Monday, 26 November 2018, and featured a panel of expert fisherwomen, researchers, policymakers, international organizations, and government and civil society organizations directly supporting women on the ground. The event opened with a short video presenting stories of women in the fisheries sector in Kenya and Somalia and the challenges they faced, including cultural taboos, unequal access to economic opportunities and climate change. An interactive conversation followed among the panelists on gender transformative processes and opportunities in the Blue Economy in Africa.

Reflecting on how to address visible and invisible barriers for women in the fisheries sector and in the wider Blue Economy, including a lack of access to technology, financial services and profitable markets, and discriminatory social norms that prevented women’s participation in certain areas of the Blue Economy, the panelists said that it was important:

  • for women to organize in groups or networks around common agendas in order to engage in sectors that marginalized them and obtain access to resources such as training, education and basic services and facilities;
  • to create partnerships between financial institutions and non-governmental organizations to support women associations and women working in the Blue Economy to access financial resources;
  • to learn from best financial practices;
  • to better inform women about funding opportunities;
  • to address technological barriers and social norm barriers at the same time, including by engaging men in efforts to empower women and achieve gender equality;
  • to adopt a human-rights based, inter-disciplinary approach to the Blue Economy to ensure it was inclusive, environmentally sustainable and just, and supporting coalitions that held that vision of the Blue Economy;
  • Provide transformative funding to empower women in the Blue Economy; and
  • Define the Blue Economy not as a for-profit making enterprise, but as a sector that would sustain livelihoods and promote gender equality.

Value the Oceans: Enhancing Coastal Marine Ecosystem Service Mapping, Assessments and Valuation for Sustainable Blue Economy Policies and Actions

This side event was held on Tuesday, 27 November 2018, to discuss how to achieve a Blue Economy by measuring the value of ocean ecosystems. The event featured two panels with panelists from UN agencies, governments, NGOs and research organizations who raised the following key issues:

  • the Blue Economy should aim to advance SDG 14, which would help advance many other Goals, including those related to food security, economic development and decent jobs, poverty eradication, climate and gender equality;
  • Blue Economy policies must recognize natural capital values, planetary boundaries and the global biodiversity and climate crises;
  • putting an economic value on all the benefits of oceans is extremely difficult, despite existing tools that value some of those benefits to inform planning and policymaking;
  • ecosystem service valuation could provide useful metrics for integrated coastal and oceans planning;
  • obtaining sound ocean data is critical for sustainable Blue Economy policymaking, as is addressing information gaps and agreeing on common methodologies and tools for ocean valuation;
  • to measure the extent, condition, services and beneficiaries of ocean ecosystems in biophysical, non-monetary terms is the first step to valuing oceans;
  • in developing a truly sustainable Blue Economy, thought should be given to “ecologizing the economy”, rather than “economizing nature”, and to using a different economic model rather than injecting innovation into the traditional, national-product-based economic model;
  • a circular Blue Economy approach is needed to tackle ocean pollution, since most plastic and other marine pollutants come from land-based sources;
  • taxes and legislation approaches to combat plastic marine pollution by preventing, substituting and recycling plastics need to be scaled up through international cooperation platforms such as the Blue Economy Initiative announced by UNEP;
  • blended finance approaches could help to finance a sustainable Blue Economy;
  • Blue Economy investments should move away from obsolete infrastructure and technologies and finance innovation and socially-just, environmentally-sustainable projects; and
  • economic activities such as seabed mining present risks because ocean currents carry debris around the world.

Building the Global Momentum on Marine/Aquatic Plastics Litter

This side event took place on Tuesday, 27 November and focused on the themes of adopting a global perspective on plastics, and implementing and calling for actions on plastics.

Panelists from diverse sectors, including UN agencies, governments, the retail and manufacturing industries, NGOs and civil society, called on governments to develop robust regulations to change social behavior. Discussions also focused on:

  • methodologies and scientific analyses of plastic sources;
  • recycling initiatives;
  • engaging communities and the private sector to act as catalysts of circular economy;
  • creating incentives or subsidies to promote recycling and waste collection systems;
  • regional cooperation and partnerships;
  • promoting school education to raise public awareness on plastic waste;
  • technology innovation; and
  • individual’s successful attempts to push forward desired policies.

Responding to questions from the floor, panelists advocated for avoiding the use of plastics, due to high disposal costs, and developing suitable alternative materials to plastics before phasing them out.

Keriako Tobiko, Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Kenya, discussed the difficult process of engaging Kenya’s industry to agree with the government’s initiative to ban plastic carrier bags in 2017. Jonathan Wilkinson, described Canada’s efforts to establish a deposit system for recycling plastic bottles, calling for more countries and stakeholders to join the Canadian-led Oceans Plastic Charter and inviting governments to aim for zero waste in a circular economy as their ultimate goal.

Harnessing Global Action to Tackle IUU Fishing

During this side event, which was held on Wednesday, 28 November, panelists from FAO, Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism, Senegal National Agency for Maritime Affairs, and anti-illegal fishing NGO Trygg Mat Tracking joined the discussion. Panelists and speakers emphasized the importance of joint efforts in combating IUU fishing, considering its links to other crimes, such as corruption, money laundering and drug trafficking. Addressing participants’ questions on the definition of IUU fishing, traceability systems, a regional cooperation mechanism, as well as NGOs’ role in combating IUU fishing, panelists highlighted the need for:

  • a clear internationally-agreed definition of “illegal” fishing;
  • an IUU fishing data collection system;
  • a tracking “passport” system to trace fish from the origin of fish stock to the plate;
  • enhancing enforcement capacities, for instance by working with the International Criminal Police Organization;
  • assisting countries in developing legislative frameworks;
  • international blue justice in combating IUU fishing; and
  • The panelists also discussed NGOs’ “do’s and don’ts” in monitoring and combatting fisheries crimes, and the experiences of the Caribbean regional cooperation schemes and the effects.

Closing Ceremony

The Conference’s Leaders Circle and Closing Ceremony took place on Wednesday, 28 November, and was chaired by Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma. Michael Oyugi, Conference Secretary, presented a summary report of the conference, which, he said, had gathered over 16,000 participants from 184 countries, including heads of states and governments, ministers, mayors, governors, and business and civil society leaders, to discuss how the Blue Economy could be harnessed to promote sustainable economic development. He highlighted that consistent messages throughout the conference included:

  • oceans, seas, lakes and rivers play a critical role in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs;
  • the negative impact of human activities on the viability of Blue Economy resources and the livelihoods they support are a serious concern;
  • global collaboration is needed to harness opportunities and tackle the challenges affecting such resources;
  • an enabling environment for investments is needed to fight illegal maritime activities;
  • it is critical to involve all stakeholders, including women and youth, in the sustainable Blue Economy; and
  • climate change, pollution, waste management and the destruction of marine ecosystems need to be addressed in a sustainable Blue Economy.

In addition to signature sessions held to discuss Blue Economy themes, Oyugi said the conference had successfully: explored opportunities for entrepreneurs to access funding to expand Blue Economy activities, during the Business and Private Sector Forum; called for enhanced collaboration within and among, and for financial support for, cities, during the Governors and Mayors Convention; called for resources for science and research to generate Blue Economy data, during the Science and Research Symposium; and heard civil society actors commit to supporting governments, during the Civil Society Forum.

He highlighted commitments made during the multiple conference sessions and forums, including 62 concrete commitments to marine protection, which included investment commitments totaling hundreds of millions of dollars; plastics and waste management; maritime safety and security; fisheries development; financing; infrastructure; biodiversity and climate change; technical assistance and capacity-building; private sector support; and partnerships.

Presenting highlights from the Nairobi Statement of Intent, Minister Wilkinson said that implementing the commitments would require investments translated into bold actions. On behalf of the Canadian government, he announced contributions of: up to CAD$1 million to support the work of the UN Special Envoy to the Ocean; CAD$1.6 million to assist Pacific Islands to combat IUU fishing in their marine territories; and up to CAD$9.5 million to advance activities related to the UN’s Decade of Ocean Science. He called on all participants to join his country in establishing a Knowledge Hub to advanced science in the field of oceans and marine resources.

During a moderated discussion on the read outs and enablers of the Blue Economy, Juma reiterated the importance of partnerships and dialogue and integrated sustainable planning to deal with fresh water, land and the ocean as a whole. Wilkinson highlighted the importance of leadership and political will to find technical solutions to end plastic pollution, and of adopting available technologies to assist small countries in combating IUU fishing.

Juma drew attention to the ‘Nairobi Statement of Intent on Advancing the Global Sustainable Blue Economy,’ which encompassed the vision and intent of all Blue Economy Conference participants, expressing the hope that it would guide all future action and collaboration on the Blue Economy.

Wilkinson applauded the enthusiastic participation in providing substance to the principles of building a sustainable Blue Economy. 

Peter Thomson envisioned that the second UN Oceans Conference to take place in Lisbon, Portugal in June 2020, would build on the achievements of the Blue Economy Conference, the key messages of which, including the need to look at water and land resources holistically, he promised to bring these “to all oceans’ meetings.”

In closing remarks, President Kenyatta stressed that the “truly global representation and the far-reaching and collectively beneficial outcomes of the conference demonstrated the transformative power of multilateralism.” He highlighted commitments made, including: the development of solid environmental standards; the strengthening of political leadership and international collaboration; the provision of support to poorer countries to address threats such as UUI fishing; and the enhancement of research and data analysis.

The conference was declared closed at 4.53 p.m.

The Nairobi Statement of Intent on Advancing the Global Sustainable Blue Economy

The messages captured during the three days of the Conference reflected the critical threats and challenges facing the world’s oceans, seas, rivers and lakes and on the pressing need to preserve those Blue Economy resources in order to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Key messages heard at the Conference include the importance of:

  • Promoting action-oriented global strategies that place people and the Blue Economy resources at the center of sustainable development as a contribution to the realization of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs;
  • Promoting collaboration for sustainable partnerships and projects in the various sectors of the Blue Economy for economic growth, poverty alleviation and conservation of the resources for the present and future generations through a multi-sectoral approach;
  • Promoting mobilization of finance from public and private sources, access to technologies and innovations as well as capacity building among local, national and international stakeholders for the full realization of the potential of the blue economy;
  • Promoting the role of women in the Blue Economy and identifying the barriers and opportunities to further empower women and encourage their role in positions of leadership;
  • Recognizing that gender equality and the empowerment of women will build a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world;
  • Strengthening science and research to generate and disseminate evidence-based knowledge and information on advancing the sustainable Blue Economy;
  • Strengthening science-policy interface of the Blue Economy resources to inform decision-making;
  • Strengthening governance mechanisms for a sustainable Blue Economy including by raising awareness and ensuring stakeholder participation in policy and decision making;
  • Promoting synergies between local authorities and national governments in the implementation of decisions on Blue Economy, including through the Governors and Mayors Global Forum for the Sustainable Blue Economy (SBE 1000); and
  • Sharing innovations, technologies, and best practices and experiences within and across regions.

Upcoming Meetings

Towards concrete blue actions in the western Mediterranean: Organised by the European Commission and the Co-Presidency of the Initiative for the Sustainable Development of the Blue Economy in the Western Mediterranean, the conference will enable maritime players from business, research, academia, training institutes, ports and national and local authorities to develop partnerships, further existing projects and create new ones. date: 3 December 2018. location: Algiers, Algeria www: http://www.westmed-initiative.eu/  

Ministerial Conference on  Innovative Solutions to Pollution in South East and Southern Europe: The conference will focus on pollution and explore innovative solutions to tackle it, emphasizing the challenges and risks it poses to the region. dates: 4-5 December 2018 location: Belgrade, Serbia contact: N.A. phone: obsolete fax: no one uses it anymore email: UNEnvironment-registration@un.org  www: https://reg.unog.ch/event/26829/overview

25th Session of the ISA Council (Part I): The International Seabed Authority Council will continue discussions on, inter alia, the payment mechanism and the draft exploitation regulations.  dates: 25 February - 1 March 2019  location: Kingston, Jamaica  contact: ISA Secretariat  phone: +1-876-922-9105  fax: +1-876-922-0195  email: https://www.isa.org.jm/contact-us  wwwhttps://www.isa.org.jm/   

Fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly: the UN’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment will convene at its fourth session under the theme: Innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production, and discuss ideas and innovations on the solutions needed to address some of the world’s greatest environmental challenges. date: 11 – 15 March 2019. location: Nairobi, Kenya www: http://www.unenvironment.org/environmentassembly

IGC-2: The second session of the Intergovernmental Conference on an international legally binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction will continue work on the elements of a draft text of an international legally binding instrument. dates: 25 March to 5 April 2019  location: UN Headquarters, New York  contact: UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea  phone: +1-212-963-3962  email: doalos@un.org  wwwhttps://www.un.org/bbnj/  

European Maritime Day 2019: This special day highlights the fundamental role that oceans and seas play in the lives of the coastal communities and citizens of the European Union. date: 20 May 2019 location: Lisbon, Portugal www: http://ec.europa.eu/archives/commission_2010-2014/damanaki/headlines/press-releases/2013/06/20130625_en.htm

Our Ocean Wealth Summit: This conference will enable participating countries to share experiences in addressing the multiple challenges facing the oceans. date: 6-7 June 2019. location: Cork, Ireland. www: https://www.marine.ie/Home/site-area/news-events/seafest-sets-sail-cork-2019?language=ga

The Second UN Ocean Conference: This conference will be co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal and will focus on reviewing the implementation of SDG14, and in particular the 2020 targets under SDG14. dates: June 2020 location: Lisbon, Portugal www: http://www.eurocean.org/np4/802.html

Annex: Leaders’ Commitments

26 November:

Kenya: President Uhuru Kenyatta pledged that as the host country, Kenya would play a leading role in: implementing proper policies and mechanisms to harness the Blue Economy; managing waste for the sake of food security and biodiversity; enforcing sustainable fishing; and ensuring security and safety in the high seas.

Seychelles: Danny Faure, President of Seychelles, committed to train more women to join the Blue Economy and to cooperate with various stakeholders from different sectors to promote a transparent, sustainable Blue Economy beneficial to people.

Somalia: President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed made commitments to better regulate offshore activities such as piracy, actively cooperate internationally to address security issues and ensure sustainable partnerships in developing marine resources.

Tanzania: Ali Mohamed Shein, President of Zanzibar said that Tanzania was committed to mainstreaming the Blue Economy, including climate change and environmental sustainability, in its development planning.

Uganda: President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni highlighted Uganda’s plans to: regulate fishing, monitor lakes and ensure all boats were registered to tackle IUU fishing; protect the vegetation in lakeshores and river sides; compensate people moving out of wetlands; and prohibit cultivation on hills sloping more than 30 degrees to prevent landslides.

Mozambique: President Filipe Nyusi highlighted the country’s 2017 Policy and Strategy of the Sea, including the establishment of a Blue Economy observatory to coordinate, harmonise and maximise the use of the sea; actions to combat marine waste, and restoring 5,000 hectares of mangroves by 2023.

Namibia: Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila highlighted the 2017-2022 Blue Economy strategy which will address, among others, marine mining, tourism development, port infrastructure and services, and eradicate IUU fishing.

African Union Commission (AUC): Cairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, noting that 38 African member states were either coastal or island states, and that over 90% of all transport on the continent is conducted through oceans and rivers, pledged to make the Blue Economy a flagship project of the AU’s Agenda 2063.

Canada: Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced: a contribution of CAD$10-million investment to the Pacific Initiative for Biodiversity, Climate Change and Resilience; CAD$20 million for SIDS to foster a Blue Economy; and as part of the Aichi process, the intention to protect 10% of Canadian marine and coastal areas by 2020. He emphasized Canada’s commitment to plastic pollution control, scientific innovation, and combating IUU while holding the G7 Presidency.

Norway: Nikolai Astrup, Minister of International Development, pledged to work with countries internationally to take strong actions, including stronger regulatory and effective tools for a Blue Economy, and called for political leadership to improve sustainable ocean management and development.

UK: Tariq Ahmad, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN, announced the UK’s “3030” pledge, calling for 30% of seas to be protected by 2030, and committed to support the establishment of over 4 million km2 MPAs in Commonwealth waters.

EU: Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, pledged to mobilize €44 billion by 2020 for external investment programmes including for developing the Blue Economy.

China: Xu Jinghu, Special Representative of the Chinese Government on African Affairs, pledged China’s participation in global ocean planning, enhancing marine protection and governance, sharing experiences, and partnering with African countries through financial support and capacity development.

Ireland: Patrick Breen, Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, announced contributions of €250 million for maritime surveillance; €32 million for aircraft to enhance patrolling capability; and an additional €1.5 million to upgrade information and communications technology to protect fisheries. 

Oman: Ahmed Mohammed Salem Al-Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications, Oman, pledged to draft a national strategy to mitigate illegal and overfishing activities, noting that Oman had been selected for a pioneering Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) experiment in improving fisheries industry management.

South Africa: Blade Nzimande, Minister of Transport, South Africa, highlighted Operation Phakisa, or “hurry up,” to indicate the urgency with which his country aims to unlock the economic potential of a sustainable Blue Economy.

UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean: Peter Thomson committed to supporting states in their efforts to implement SDG 14 and achieve its four 2020 targets.

UN Office at Nairobi (UNON): Director-General Hanna Tetteh, stressing the current ocean crises, including rising seas, dying coral reefs and overfishing, urged more countries to commit towards achieving SDG 14 through conservation and the sustainable use of oceans.

Sweden: Isabella Lövin, Deputy Prime Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, announced that in 2018 Sweden had increased its contribution to the Blue Action Fund by US$8 million, provided US$6 million to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and its coordinating body on plastic pollution, and committed to contributing through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency US$ 33.3 million to the World Bank Fund (PRO BLUE) to support the transition into a Blue Economy.

Democratic Republic of Congo: Léonard She Okitundu, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, urged support for the infrastructure project in the port city of Banana, capacity-building initiatives at the University of Kinshasa, protection of a marine mangrove park, and renewable energy projects.

Egypt: Sherif Ismail Mohamed, Special Envoy of Egypt’s President, warning that rising sea levels and ocean warming calls for urgent action, committed to significant investments over the next ten years to activities for achieving the SDGs, including through improving maritime monitoring and protection strategies. 

Rwanda: Claver Gatete, Minister of Infrastructure, describing initiatives to protect water bodies from erosion and to ban plastic bags, highlighted Rwanda’s National Water Resources Master Plan to protect water resources, and its plan to develop early warning systems, and ensure better drinking water quality.

Algeria: Abdelkader Benmessaoud, Minister of Tourism and Handicraft Industry, announced US$40 million dedicated to port infrastructure, linking many countries in the Sahel with the rest of the world and thereby benefitting 18 million people living in the coastal area.

Senegal: Mame Thierno Dieng, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, committed to developing a sustainable Blue Economy, with support of partners to improve coastal ecosystems.

Angola: Victoria Francisco De Barros Neto, Minister of Fisheries and Sea, reaffirmed Angola’s commitment to using the Blue Economy as a mechanism to achieve sustainable socio-economic and cultural development.

Antigua and Barbuda: Dean Jonas, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs, said the country had banned the single-use plastics three years ago and expressed full commitment toward supporting the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance.

Bahamas: Romauld Ferreira, Minister of the Environment and Housing, committed to advancing Bahamas’ marine protection by setting up 43 new MPAs, banning single-use plastics and styrofoam by 2020, fulfilling marine pollution legislation, and launching public education campaigns.

Barbados: Kirk Humphrey, Minister for Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, announced a ban on single-use plastics by April 2019, and pledged to, through the establishment of a training institute, enhance the fishery sector, and establish a real-time open ocean research programme.

Mauritius: Premdut Koonjoo, Minister of Ocean Economy, highlighted his country’s commitment to: restoring degraded coral reefs by increasing the number of coral nurseries from 18 to 30; conducting a sea resources survey to identify new species and their stock potentials; and monitoring and restoring sea grass.

Timor-Leste: Joquim José Gusmão dos Reis Martins, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, announced intentions to: initiate a national awareness campaign on plastics and ocean pollution; approve and implement a sustainable oceans policy; address knowledge gaps and review fishing licenses to combat IUU fishing; develop sustainable tourism guidelines; and ratify treaties to combat illegal trade in endangered marine species.

Morocco: Aziz Akhanouch, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, emphasized Morocco’s commitment to realizing a Blue Economy through partnerships and innovation.

Japan: Masahisa Sato, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, stressed Japan’s commitment to working with Africa and other countries to build a Blue Economy for free, safe and open oceans.

Madagascar: Napetoke Marcel Asoanaivo, Minister of Economy and Planning, announced cross-sectorial involvement to implement Madagascar’s maritime strategy to reinforce security, improve sea transport, value fisheries adequately, and create employment for young people in the Blue Economy.

Djibouti: Abdoulkader Oudoum Abdallah, Minister of Habitat and the Environment, confirmed his country’s commitment to manage marine mineral deposits and offshore oil resources sustainably.

Niger: Issoufou Katambe, Minister of Hydraulics, noting the Niger dependence on water bodies for food, highlighted the 3N Initiative ‘Nigeriens Nourishing Nigeriens’ to combat hunger and poverty as an important mechanism to unlock livelihood opportunities.

Cook Islands: Robert Tapaitau, Minister of Environment, committed to achieving 100% renewable energy by 2020, engaging the private sector, implementing sustainable oceans management, and adopting ecosystem service mechanisms.

Gabon: Clemence Loupdy Matiga, Minister of Fishing and the Sea, committed to take the lead in achieving SDG 14, and to establish fishing areas within its EEZ to contribute to a sustainable Blue Economy.

Tonga: Semisi Fakahau, Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Forests and Minister for Fisheries, committed to: achieving sustainable governance for natural resources; designating 30% of the country’s EEZ as a marine protected zone by 2030; finalizing the Tonga’s sustainable oceans policy by 2020; continuing partnerships with regional fishery organizations; taking measures to prevent IUU fishing; and continued collaboration with different sectors to achieve a sustainable Blue Economy.

Burundi: Déo Guide Rurema, Minister for Environment, Agriculture and Livestock, highlighted Burundi’s adoption of a law to prohibit plastic bag use to combat marine pollution, and the adoption of a national development plan 2018-2027 focused on environmental protection, food security, addressing climate change and promoting renewable energy.

Romania: Ioan Deneș, Minister of Waters and Forests, said that Romania’s blue circular economy approach to tackle pollution from land-based sources and marine litter, but addressing the issue of marine litter would require efforts and coordination at all levels.

Ethiopia: Workneh Gebeyehu, Foreign Minister, emphasized Ethiopia’s efforts to protect oceans and water courses and its investments in sustainable fisheries and mega-hydraulic infrastructure for power generation. 

St Kitts and Nevis: Mickail Liburd, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Post, Urban Development and Planning, said that, in 2019, his country would develop policies, legislation and regulations through a consultative process to ensure combating marine litter and microplastics has civil society buy-in.

UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA): Executive Secretary Vera Songwe, reporting that Kenya loses about US$180 million to IUU fisheries every year, said Africa’s Policy Handbook, guides African Member States to better mainstream the Blue Economy into their national development plans, strategies, policies and laws.

UNEP: Acting Executive Director Joyce Msuya conveyed UNEP’s commitment to supporting sustainable Blue Economy by: leading global partnerships; promoting dialogue among Regional Sea Programmes to protect national, international and regional waters; and reducing marine litter based on circular economy principles.

UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat): Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif, noting that over 50% of the world’s population live in coastal areas, emphasized UN-Habitat’s commitment to support cities in protecting and conserving water bodies, and to address uncontrolled and unplanned urban development.

Republic of Congo: Arlette Soudan-Nonault, Minister of Tourism and Environment, alluded to the Climate Commission of the Congo Basin and its Blue Fund as a powerful instrument to enable its 16 Member States to develop policy frameworks based on a sustainable Blue Economy.

International Maritime Organization (IMO): Secretary-General Kitack Lim emphasized the organization’s pioneering introduction of appropriate measures to protect the ocean and committed to cutting total GHG emissions from shipping by 50% compared to 2008 levels by 2050.

Qatar: Ahmed Mohamed Al-Sada, Undersecretary, Ministry of Environment, expressed his country’s support by creating opportunities to discuss a sustainable Blue Economy and encourage proper marine resource utilization.

Greece: Giorgos Katrougalos, Alternate Minister for European Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, pledged to enhance sustainable infrastructure and renewable energy transportation for island tourism.

Costa Rica: Haydee Rodriguez, Vice Minister of Water and Seas, emphasized the country’s commitment to sustainable fishing, effective marine asset management, developing marine legal frameworks, and strengthening community participation.

Jamaica: Pearnel Charles Jr., Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, highlighted commitments to: ban single-use plastics by January 2019; develop a new fisheries legislative framework; and enhance stakeholder involvement.

Serbia: Vladimir Dzamic, State Secretary, Ministry of Environmental Protection, emphasized the importance of engaging all stakeholders to ensure successful environmental protection efforts.

Venezuela: Yuri Pimentel Moura, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, outlined his country’s efforts to ensure sustainable fishing and said that the Blue Economy should be just and serve the interests of people.

Sudan: Eldirdiri Mohamed Ahmed, Minister for Foreign Affairs, stressed Sudan’s investments in Red Sea port facilities, fishing technologies, tourism, energy sources and biotechnology; and plans to transition from diesel-powered irrigation systems to solar power to reduce pollution of the Nile river.

UN Development Programme (UNDP): Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa, highlighted UNDP’s Blue Economy work in protecting and managing marine and freshwater resources and in supporting sustainable economic activities derived from the oceans, including by supporting SIDS in the management of ecosystems through the Small Grants Programme (SGP); managing large-marine ecosystems, oceanic and coastal fisheries through the UNDP-GEF International Waters Programme; and supporting innovative financing modalities through UNDP’s BIOFIN programme. 

Cambodia: Khut Chandara, Under Secretary, Ministry of Environment, highlighted Cambodia’s industrial development policies to limit pollution and the establishment of its first large-scale marine protected area to protect coral reefs.

Dominica: Gloria Joseph, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Planning, Economic Development and Investment, detailed UNDP’s GEF Small Grants Programme in Caribbean countries by improving their watershed and coastal zone management practices, and emphasized Dominica’s total ban of styrofoam products since 2016.

World Bank: Karin Kemper said that the World Bank invests in blue economy sectors, with a current portfolio of US$4.1 billion and an additional US$1.5 billion planned; creating Blue Economy platforms, such as the West Africa Coastal Management Programme; and mobilizing private sector investments, for instance through the launch of a Blue Bond to raise US$3 billion for SDGs 6 and 14, of which $600 million had already been raised.

FAO: Gabriel Rugalema pledged to fully support the Blue Economy in terms of governance and accessibility, and to ensure continued technical support to member countries to attain a Blue Economy.

African Export-Import Bank: Benedict Okey Oramah said the Bank was fully committed to supporting its member States in developing a Blue Economy and hoped that such financial interventions would assist African coastal countries and SIDS in: developing trade, building shipping infrastructure, port facilities and power plants; creating employment and increasing incomes; and developing the tourism sector, especially eco- and marine tourism.

WWF: John Tanzer, Oceans Practice Leader confirmed WWF’s unwavering support for advancing a sustainable and inclusive Blue Economy, pledging to provide technical guidance to its partners to ensure investments in coastal economies are sustainable.

Fiji: Satyendra Prasad, Permanent Representative of Fiji to the UN, said that Fiji was committed to expanding MPAs, integrated coastal management, managing coastal fishing, promoting gender equality, supporting international initiatives to phase out plastics, ensuring the sustainable exploration of deep-sea resources, and coordinating efforts to create links between climate and ocean actions.

Portugal: Ana Paul Vitorino, Minister of Sea, committed to supporting the establishment of an innovation network to support the UN on ocean-related sustainable development.

African Shipowners Association (ASA): Secretary General Funmi Folorunso pledged to work with all partners to fulfil commitments, commit to safe seas and cleaner waters, and establish a Pan-African ship line. 

African Wildlife Foundation: Kaddu Sebunya emphasized the Foundation’s commitment to ensuring that the Blue Economy was environmentally sustainable and mutual dependence of terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

Bangladesh: Mohammad Khaled Iqbal, Vice-Chancellor, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Maritime University, made three commitments: to designate 10% of its marine territory as MPAs by 2020; to enhance control of IUU fishing; and to control marine pollution caused by land-based acivities. 

Association of African Maritime Administration: Director-General Dakuku Peterside outlined his organization’s objectives to support maritime security, including through automation of surveillance systems.

Cuba: Anayansi Rodríguez Camejo, Permanent Representative of Cuba to the UN, expressed the country’s political will to a Blue Economy and called for further mobilization of blue financing, transfer of technology and knowledge and capacity building in developing countries.

Trinidad and Tobago: Penelope Beckles, Permanent Representative of Trinidad and Tobago to the UN, highlighted priorities for the country’s Blue Economy strategy, including to: engage in research-driven decision making and conservation; transfer knowledge and develop capacity to manage the Blue Economy sustainably; and optimize benefits from the marine and coastal protected areas.

27 November: On Wednesday morning the Leaders Commitment Segment continued, and Firmin Edouard Matoko, UNESCO, pledged UNESCO’s coordinating role in fostering a dialogue among, and providing support to, different stakeholders towards an inclusive Blue Economy.

India: Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, made commitments to build a skills development center, install a recycling wastewater system, and implement strict regulations on land pollution control.

South Sudan: Jemma Nunu Kumba, Minister of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism, emphasized her country’s commitment to sustainably managing its freshwater resources, and banning the use of plastics and charcoal exports.

Nigeria: Dakuku Peterside, Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, highlighted his country’s commitment to domestic and regional instruments on marine transport, which will drive a sustainable Blue Economy agenda in Africa.

Cape Verde: Paulo Veiga, Secretary of State for Maritime Economy, committed to conducting blue economic activities in ways that minimized environmental degradation and biodiversity loss and maximize social wellbeing; and to promoting scientific research, environmental protection, marine and coastal zone management, maritime safety, and food security.

US: Robert Godec, US Ambassador to Kenya, emphasized the US’ commitment to continuing to work with partners to protect the oceans and waterways for future generations, including by supporting efforts to combat IUU fishing and to tackle marine pollution from plastics and abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear.

Australia: Alison Chartress, Australian High Commissioner to Kenya, highlighted her country’s efforts, partnerships and commitments to protect and restore coral reefs, in particular the Great Reef Barrier; protect the Indian Ocean; and tackle ocean plastic pollution by reducing plastic packaging and waste.

Sri Lanka: Sunil de Silva, Sri Lanka High Commissioner to Kenya, committed to adopting sustainable ocean policies, promoting bio-degradable plastics, further regulating fishing activities, and campaigning for mangrove and coral reef protection.

Comoros: Imam Abdillah, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, pledged to better manage the ocean economy so as to contribute to poverty eradication, employment, ensure food and security, and enhancing ecosystem and waste management.

New Zealand: Mark Ramsden, New Zealand Ambassador to the AU, reported on Blue Economy initiatives, including 44 no-take marine reserves and a rights-based fisheries management system. He announced commitments to support the Pacific islands to maximize their economic returns on fisheries; champion the Blue Charter Action Groups: and support a rules-based system in the oceans.

Palau: William Hayas Moses, said Palau’s sustainable Blue Economy commitments included banning certain sunscreens from its waters; protecting 80% of its EEZ from fishing and allowing only local fishing operations in the remaining area; banning single-use plastics by 2025; and working with world leaders to develop and support solutions, policies, technologies and finance for oceans protection.

Myanmar: San O O emphasized Myanmar’s commitments to bring all relevant sectors into a high-level platform to ensure the integrated management of natural resources; more effectively conserve and manage marine and coastal protected areas; and enhance climate change mitigation and adaptation actions.

Malawi: Norman Mwambakulu outlined Malawi’s commitment to work closely with the global community on technology innovation, ecosystem conservation, and promote best practices and scientific advances on sustainable use of water bodies.

Samoa: Tagaloa Sharon Georgina Aiafi emphasized Samoa’s unique geographical role in tuna resource preservation and pledged to ban single-use plastic bags and straws by January 2019, and to continue efforts in plastic management, data collection, monitoring, and regulation of IUU fishing.

Thailand: Cherdkiat Atthakor, Ambassador of Thailand to Kenya, shared Thailand’s policy initiatives to strengthen a Blue Economy agenda and its intention to support ocean clean-up activities.

Tajikistan: Mahmadamin Mahmadaminov, UN Permanent Representative, called for investments to support countries, including landlocked ones, in their attempts to realize Blue Economy principles, stressing the close links between freshwater and ocean management strategies.

Cameroon: Ndoumbe Eboule Jacques Alfred, Ambassador to Ethiopia, highlighted Cameroon’s plans to expand the Blue Economy in sectors such as transport and renewable and wild energy development, and to develop a new national Blue Economy strategy and a national sustainable oceans programme to promote eco-tourism, sustainable fishing and aquaculture, and capacity-building of Blue Economy actors.

Pakistan: Raza Bashir Tarar, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to UNON, stressed the need to create synergies among governments, businesses and civil society to achieve a Blue Economy of benefit to all.

Belgium: Nicolas Nihon, Ambassador of Belgium to Kenya, pledged networking efforts on marine issues, monitoring the environmental and biodiversity impacts of projects such as offshore wind farms, and strengthening efforts to tackle marine litter and microplastics.

Tuvalu: Fakasoa Tealei committed to working with international partners addressing ocean issues, enhancing the country’s ocean fisheries certification system, and pledged to designate 10% of its EEZ as MPAs.

International Seabed Authority: Secretary-General Michael Lodge urged strengthening international ocean governance to ensure universal end equitable access to marine resources, ensuring innovative research, engaging in tailored capacity-building efforts, and including women in all Blue Economy efforts.

Liberia: Abraham Korvah, Deputy Minister for International Cooperation, highlighted Liberia’s commitment to developing a Blue Economy initiative for prosperity and a sustainable management of ocean resources, whose implementation would require international cooperation and partnerships.

Central African Republic: Desirée Julienne Gaudeuille, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, emphasized her country’s commitment to ensuring a sustainable Blue Economy and achieving SDG 14 for sustainable development by developing partnerships through which technological and financial challenges could be overcome.

UNIDO: Emmanuel Kalenzi committed to supporting the Blue Economy through strengthening policy research, and skills and knowledge transfer, particularly on addressing waste streams.

Denmark: Søren Knudsen, Military Advisor to the Royal Danish Embassy and Defense Attaché to Kenya, stressing that without maritime security there could be no sustainable Blue Economy, highlighted Denmark’s commitment to continue providing comprehensive support to stakeholders to ensure maritime security in the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea, in cooperation with regional and international partners.

Libya: Mahmud Eltellisi highlighted Libya’s intention to diversify its national income and decrease its dependence on oil, including through the development of fishing and aquaculture, and to monitor fisheries.


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