President Tommy Remengesau told the virtual meeting of the UN Sustainable Development Goals Moment (SDG Moment) on Friday that healthy oceans are critical in reducing poverty and  meeting the goals of the 2030 Agenda.

Remengesau said seven years ago, Pacific nations have  championed stand alone sustainable goals on oceans, which he said are still relevant today especially in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “ The conservation and sustainable use of our marine resources shapes our efforts to end poverty, reduce inequality and promote human dignity. This is no less true today, indeed it is even more important,’ he said in a speech delivered during the online meeting.

“Turning to the ocean also provides us with solutions on how we can recover development progress lost to this pandemic and how to set us on a new path towards realizing 2030 agenda.”

President Remengesau said now more than ever,  the ocean is an integral part of building back economies better.

He said that as a pathway to development amid the pandemic, saving the ocean and fighting the ocean should be a priority.

Remengesau said Palau’s National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS) is the nation’s biggest contribution to the  global marine protected areas target of 30 percent.

But the president said continued partnership is key to ensuring a global healthy ocean, citing that such targets still have its challenges.

 He said a healthy ocean is key to maintaining food security, livelihoods and access to high-quality protein and nutrition.

The President hopes that other nations get inspiration from the PNMS.

“Our moment to draw upon ocean’s solutions is setting the course for Decade of Action now. We hope that the Palau Sanctuary provides inspiration for biodiversity negotiations, to set the minimal level of ocean ambition through a commitment to  protect 30 percent of our ocean by 2030,” he said.

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