enb.iisd: Sustainable Blue Economy Conference
The third day of the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference opened with a second session of Leaders’ Commitments. A series of side events were held throughout the morning. The side event on harnessing global action to tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing emphasized the importance of joint efforts in combating IUU fishing, considering it involved other crimes such as corruption, money laundering, and drug trafficking.
In the afternoon, all participants gathered for the Ministerial and Heads of Delegation Leaders Circle and heard a summary of the conference report. Presenting highlights from the Nairobi Statement of Intent, Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, said that implementing the commitments would require investments that translate into bold actions.
Leaders’ Commitments included pledges on:
- marine protection, €40 million to protect corals and reefs and €60 million for the protection of marine areas in African countries (EU);
- plastics and waste management, US$100 million earmarked for better oceans management and against dumping, and US$200 million over the next four years for the development of initiatives to combat marine litter and microplastics (Norway);
- maritime safety and security, €250 million for naval vessel replacement and the purchase of two marine patrol aircraft (Ireland);
- €40 million to support aquaculture value chains in African countries (ACP-EU);
- infrastructure, 600 projects leading to an investment of US$120 billion (India - Sagarmala Programme);
- biodiversity and climate change, a US$10 million investment in the Pacific Initiative for Biodiversity, Climate Change and Resilience together with the EU, New Zealand and Australia (Canada);
- technical assistance and capacity-building, US$20 million in increased technical assistance and capacity development in small-island developing States (Canada); and
- private sector support, US$150 million by the Government of Canada and the private sector to build a knowledge-based ocean economy (Canada).
In a discussion on the enablers of the Blue Economy, Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Canada, identified leadership and political will as a fundamental prerequisite for finding technical solutions to end plastic pollution.
Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, stressed that the truly global representation and the far-reaching and collectively beneficial outcomes of the conference demonstrated the transformative power of multilateralism. The conference was declared closed at 4:53 pm.