President Tommy Remengesau Jr. announced on Wednesday the postponement of Our Ocean Conference previously scheduled in Koror in December to 2021.
Outgoing president Remengesau said he is still happy that Palau will still be able to host the event next year.
“While we had hoped that the pandemic would abate, continuing public health concerns and travel restrictions have made an in-person conference in Palau infeasible at this time,” Remengesau said in his announcement during the fifth anniversary of the Palau Marine Sanctuary law signing.
Remengesau said the conference will be best help in person “ where commitments and partnership will be made by nations involved in ensuring the health of the ocean.”
“We want the Conference to continue to engage in high-level dialogue, build meaningful partnerships and mobilize ambitious new commitments for our ocean, and this will be best achieved by an in-person meeting next year as opposed to a virtual conference now. We were delighted to have launched our Global Village conference facilities last month, with the support of our partners, and look forward to being able to use these venues next year for its intended purpose to host the Our Ocean 7 in 2021, “ the president said in a statement.
The Our Ocean Conference Secretariat here said the decision has been taken by the Palau in consultation with the OOC Advisory Group. Panama, Norway, USA, Chile, Indonesia and European Union.
Panama has agreed to host it in 2022. The date for the 2021 event has not been announced.
“As we approach the end of the year, we need to bear in mind that the world will not have met the biodiversity targets for our ocean that we set a decade ago in Aichi, Japan under the Convention on Biodiversity. We hope that Our Ocean 2021 can be a moment to build back better and showcase new action coalitions and partnerships in our transition to a sustainable ocean economy,” the statement further added.
New preparatory timelines for Our Ocean 2021 will be launched next year. ( B. Carreon)

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