President Tommy Remengesau Jr.  said  COVID-19 offers the opportunity to save the ocean as Palau joins 13 other countries in signing a world’s biggest ocean sustainability initiative.

On Dec. 1, Palau, Australia, Canada, Chile, Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Namibia, Norway, and Portugal committed to action on  global marine sustainability, announcing the initiative called Transformation for Sustainable Ocean Economy: A Vision for Protection, Production and Prosperity Initiative.
At a time when we are already looking to recover from the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, we understand how vulnerable we are to financial shocks and health crises.”

“We need the ocean more than ever to drive a sustainable, long-term recovery. The ocean is our past, our present and our future. We do not have to choose between ocean protection and production; we can have both for a healthy, prosperous and equitable tomorrow if we properly manage our impacts upon it. The Ocean Panel calls on every leader of ocean and coastal states to join us and turn our 100% goal into reality.”

Palau belongs to the  High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, a consortium of ocean-dependent countries.

Remengesau said the initiative is a historic effort and the work of the Ocean Panel is more important now during the pandemic.

The president said there is a lot of work to be done for ocean sustainability, from meeting the minimum target of MPA of at least 30 percent of our ocean by 2030: coming up with ocean sustainability plans by 2030 to  addressing illegal  and overfishing activities .

In a press release, the 14 countries said that the  result is a new ocean action agenda that can produce as much as six times more food from the ocean, 40 times more renewable energy  and could lift millions of people out of poverty.

 The president said for Palau, its already working to implement a sustainable ocean economy with its famed Palau National Marine Sanctuary ( PNMS).
He said it’s a landmark effort that supports economic production through tourism and fisheries.

The president added that the Ocean Panel also  launched the “Give It 100%” campaign to  commit to a 100 percent sustainable ocean  management of national waters by 2025.

Beginning December 3, Ocean Panel countries will host a series of national launch events to build around their commitments.

 Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway and Ocean Panel Co-chair.said ocean management will lead to prosperity among the people.

Humanity’s well-being is deeply intertwined with the health of the ocean. It sustains us, stabilizes the climate and leads to greater prosperity.”

. “For too long, we have perceived a false choice between ocean protection and production. No longer. We understand the opportunities of action and the risks of inaction, and we know the solutions.

Building a sustainable ocean economy is one of the greatest opportunities of our time. The members of the Ocean Panel are united in our commitment to sustainably managing 100% of our national waters by 2025, ” she said.

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