Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Hon. Jeremiah Manele has highlighted the actions taken by Solomon Islands to sustainably use, manage and conserve its ocean resources aimed at promoting the Blue Economy at the national, regional and international levels.
Minister Manele when addressing the Archipelagic Island States (AIS) Blue Economy High Level Dialogue in Bali said the term “Blue Economy” encapsulates the goal of merging sustainable economic growth with the health and conservation of oceanic ecosystems and biodiversity.
On the national level, the country launched the Solomon Islands National Ocean Policy in 2019. It has 11 aspects to implement and carries the vision of the Government and the people of Solomon Islands to “achieve a healthy, resilient, secure and productive ocean that supports sustainable use and development for the benefit of the people of Solomon Islands now and into the future.
At the regional level, Solomon Islands journey towards a Blue Economy is through its leadership in fostering regional ocean cooperation. The country proudly hosts the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, a testament to its commitment to regional marine resources management.
The Parties to the Nauru Agreement, which includes the Solomon Islands, pioneered the Purse Seine Vessel Day Scheme. This innovative approach allows members to monetise fishing days, promoting sustainable fishing while generating significant revenue for member states.
“Both these initiatives are not mere policy statements, but practical steps we have taken to realise the opportunities and gains of the Blue Economy,” Minister Manele stated.
At the International level, Solomon Islands is among the first countries to sign the Agreement on the Conservation and Sustainable use of Maritime Biological Diversity of Areas beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) recently at the margins of the United Nations General Assembly last month.
Minister Manele said as an Archipelagic Island State, the signing of the BBNJ helps to position the country to promote effective ocean governance, conserve marine biodiversity and ensuring the sustainable use of marine resources
“Furthermore, this would help us to strengthen multilateral cooperation and promote international cooperation towards global conservation efforts,” He added.
The Minister stressed that the Blue Economy represents more than just an economic shift for the Solomon Islands, but is a holistic approach to intertwining the health of its oceans with the prosperity of its people.
He said the road ahead is challenging, but the potential benefits to achieve sustainable, economic growth, and societal advancement are immense.