The Pacific Islands Development Forum has just published the report of the SDG14 Symposium held on 19th December 2017 in Fiji.
The Symposium entitled “SDG14 Pacific commitments – 2018 Action Agenda” followed the UN Ocean Conference held in New York from 5 to 9 June 2017 and co-hosted by Fiji and Sweden and the Pacific Blue Economy Conference held in Suva, Fiji from 23 – 24 August 2017 and chaired by the Solomon Islands.
The Symposium was held under the patronage of Ambassador Peter Thomson, the United Nations Secretary General’s (UNSG’s) Special Envoy for the Ocean.
The report highlights some important take-away points from the Symposium, including:
- Many of the commitments made at the UN Conference are either fulfilled or in the process of being fulfilled. Countries, organisations or businesses can still add more commitments as the register will remain open. One can register commitments at URL: https://oceanconference.un.org/commitments/register/
- Nine communities of Ocean Action have been established to respond to SDG14. People from the Pacific should register (https://oceanconference.un.org/coa) into those communities that are in their sphere of interest and ensure the Pacific voice is heard.
- We should not be overly concerned by the possibility of duplication of efforts…we should let efforts flourish.
- Fiji is committed to the conservation and management of endangered marine species including groupers, all shark species, all sea turtles and all whales and dolphin species.
- Oceans Pathway Partnership is an attempt at bringing ocean issues into the COP discussions through a soft landing. The expectations were that it would be at COP25 that we could get something off the ground within UNFCCC.
- The outcomes of the Pacific Blue Economy Conference can be used as a guide for the development of regional and national Blue Economy roadmaps. The roadmaps would require regional and national Blue Economy steering committees to steer their implementation, and a Blue Economy Think Tank and Knowledge Hub to support the work of the steering committees.
- The Great Sea Reef needs an investment of $115 million which would give a return-revenue of $849 million by 2030. The investment currently needed is that of USD 360,000 to fully develop the concept, and USD 838,000 to turn the concept to a full proposal.
The report can be downloaded here.