Further support for the Commonwealth’s vital initiative to protect the world’s oceans, seas and lakes will be announced at a side event of the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, on 27 November 2018.
Details of a new action group will be announced, adding momentum to the agreement reached at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London last April. The new group will address marine protected areas.
To date, eleven Commonwealth countries have stepped forward to lead on eight different topic areas relevant to sustainable ocean development and conservation, with a new ninth topic area to be announced.
Current action groups and champion countries include:
|2. Blue economy||Kenya|
|3. Coral reef protection and restoration||Australia, Belize, Mauritius|
|4. Mangrove restoration||Sri Lanka|
|5. Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance (Marine plastics)||UK, Vanuatu|
|6. Ocean acidification||New Zealand|
|7. Ocean and climate change||Fiji|
|8. Ocean observations||Canada|
Priorities and actions are member-driven, led by Commonwealth Blue Charter Champion countries that have voluntarily taken the lead.
Kenya is championing the Blue Economy – an action group focusing on the exploitation and maintenance of a healthy marine environment, and is inviting more than 6,000 participants from around the world to its first global sustainable Blue Economy Conference.
“The enthusiasm we are getting from governments and the public has really far exceeded our expectations,” comments Jeff Ardron, who leads the Blue Charter project for the Commonwealth Secretariat. “Clearly, the Ocean’s time has arrived.”
At the event, each of the eight action groups will report on their activities and progress and a panel discussion on regional cooperation among member countries will follow.