What kind of ocean would we like to pass to our future generations? What would it take to do so? Are we doing enough?
This was the challenge raised by Pacific Ocean Commissioner and Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Henry Puna, at the opening of the Pacific Ocean Alliance meeting yesterday.
“My answer is that I envision a future by 2050 where we act as one integrated ocean continent to strengthen integrated ocean management with stronger collaboration and coordination with key relevant sectors such as fisheries, minerals, transport, tourism, energy and the environment.” Puna continued.
By 2050 Puna also hopes to see, “all our maritime borders would be finalised and locked away with keys to it ultimately in our own hands.”
Finally, he said, “I envision our seas will be viewed as more than just a platform of tourism and recreation but rather as an ocean of opportunity and solution.”
The convening of the Pacific Oceans Alliance (POA) meeting comes at a critical juncture as progress has been delayed due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and as Pacific delegates prepare to go to the UN Ocean conference in Lisbon.
The new Director General of the Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP), Sefanaia Nawadra, told the meeting that “we need to pause on setting up new things and look at the work that already exists. We need to strengthen our coordination.”
Delegates to day one of the meeting also heard about the need to share data and form collaboration.
They will begin day two of the POA meeting as part of an Oceans Day march through Suva before returning to the PIF headquarters for more deliberations.