The Pacific Ocean influences every aspect of life and has done so for millennia—it unites and divides, connects and separates, and sustains and threatens our very survival.
“It is easy to talk about sectors coming together, but getting fisheries, geology, foreign affairs, climate change, and other departments committed to collaboration has been the most difficult part of integrating our approach in developing Vanuatu’s Ocean Policy,” said Mr Toney Tevi from Vanuatu.
Mr Tevi joins environmental managers, industry representatives, development agency representatives, and marine resource specialists from across the Pacific region who gathered in Apia this week at the Pacific Ocean Alliance (POA) and Sustainable Ocean Initiative workshop for the Pacific Islands.
“The workshop begins a journey, learning from each other about how the Pacific can deal with the complicated challenge of the sustainable development and conservation of the marine environment,” said Piers Dunstan from Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
The Pacific Ocean Commissioner, Dame Meg Taylor, facilitates the Pacific Ocean Alliance— the regional cross-sectoral and inclusive partnership established to stimulate effective ocean policy coordination and implementation; facilitate regional cooperation for the high seas; and support national ocean governance and processes.
Dame Taylor said, “The ocean remains a high priority for Leaders, and while Pacific leadership in proposing and ensuring a standalone SDG on the ocean and seas (SDG14) has been globally recognised, we must as a region continue to demonstrate continued leadership and cohesion on oceans at the regional level.”
“One of the ways that SPREP serves our members is through connecting them to experts and to each other to use methods that are effective in the unique Pacific context,” said Mr Roger Cornforth, Deputy Director General of SPREP.