Minister Steven Victor

With so many critical priorities vying for attention at the 2022 UN Ocean Conference this past week, Minister Steven Victor of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishery and Environment is hoping that at least three (3) of those top priorities are delivered.

“There are three (3) things, I believe, if delivered, will make a huge change in the trajectory of the climate and the health of the ocean,” said Minister Victor.

One was to ensure that the Ocean-Climate nexus, particularly prioritizing and addressing habitat management, continues to be a key climate action.

The second priority, said Victor, is integrating youth in these conversations beyond Palau Our Ocean Conference to UN Ocean Conference to COP 26 to Our Ocean Conference in Panama next year.

“Palau has been very adamant in integrating youth in these global conversations…Their voices, ideas, and solutions need to be part of these conversations.  It is critical that these youths continue to be part of these global conversations,” Minister Victor asserted.

The third top priority would be better access to financing, especially for Small Islands Developing States.

“There needs to be more access to these financing,” said Victor.  “Not necessarily for new money to come in but for access to be streamlined so that funds can start flowing in and for Small Islands Developing States to have better access to it.”

The overarching theme of this UN Ocean Conference 2022 is “Scaling up ocean action based on science and innovation for the implementation of Goal 14: stocktaking, partnerships, and solutions”.  

The aim is to mobilize action and “propel much-needed science-based innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action.”

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