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State of our ocean

Change the narrative, says Pacific expert

JUST under a month from the first-ever United Nations conference on the oceans, a leading Pacific Island expert has called for a dramatic change in the narrative about ocean conservation and management. “Invariably asking for funds and assistance from the global community is kind of disempowering,” wrote Dr Transform Aqorau of Solomon Islands.

He is the former CEO of the powerful rich tuna resourced grouping called the Parties of the Nauru Agreement (PNA) and the former legal adviser at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency.

“It has become a consistent theme now for Pacific Island states at various international forums particularly in discussions on climate change and sustainable development to ask for more funds. “They should advocate a message of self-reliance and independence so that the younger generation can feel empowered, not disenfranchised and apologetic.

The best way of managing the region’s oceans resources and marine environment is to integrate the EEZ regime and the ocean environment into their domestic economies by developing the oceans and using the revenues that are generated from it to manage and enforce conservation and management measures.” 

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