Africa is hosting a historic conference that has to do with environmental protection. The first ever Sustainable Blue Conference starts today in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
The three-day conference has high global support with over twenty world leaders in Nairobi for the event. A number of environment friendly civil society organizations are also in attendance.
As part of our coverage of the conference, Africanews provides major highlights of what is to be expected especially on Day 1 as leaders converge in the Tsavo Hall of the Kenyatta International Convention Center, KICC.
- After years of advocacy in the area, this is the first conference on Sustainable Blue Economy.
- It is taking place across three continents. Kenya is hosting it with Canada and Japan as co-hosts.
- There are 17,000 plus participants from some 184 countries involved in the conference.
- It is under the theme: ‘The Blue Economy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.’
- It pools under one roof political leaders and government representatives from across the world, the African Union, United Nations organs and Commonwealth are also participating.
- Other interested parties are: The World Wildlife Fund, WWF; International Maritime Organization, IMO; International Seabed Authority, ISA; the World Bank; AFRIEXIMBANK; Ocean Foundation etc.
The Blue Economy and its importance
The Blue Economy is the economic benefit and value we realize from the Earth’s coastal and marine environment.
Sustainable Blue Economy is a marine-based economy that provides social and economic benefits for current and future generations, restores, protects and maintains the diversity, productivity and resilience of marine ecosystems, and is based on clean technologies, renewable energy, and circular material flows.
The website dedicated to the conference said: “The world has rallied around the enormous pressures facing our oceans and waters, from plastic pollution to the impacts of climate change.
“At the same time, there is international recognition that we need to develop our waters in an inclusive and sustainable manner for the benefit of all.
“The Sustainable Blue Economy Conference builds on the momentum of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris and the UN Ocean Conference 2017 ‘Call to Action.‘”
The multi-pronged conference will primarily:
1. Identify how to harness the potential of the blue economy to create jobs and combat poverty and hunger.
2. Show how economic development and healthy waters go hand in hand.
3. Capture commitments and practical actions that can be taken today.
4. Bring together the players needed to transition to a blue economy
“Overfishing and its ecosystem impacts is increasingly becoming an equity and humanitarian issue; global leaders must urgently act together – with a strong sense of urgency –
“… to take the necessary, tangible steps towards an inclusive, sustainable blue economy, in the interest of the people of the region and the environment that supports them,” Frederick Kwame, Regional Director WWF Africa has stressed.