OCEANS PREPARATORY MEETING
THEMES FOR PARTERNHIP DIALOGUES
H.E Mr. AUNESE MAKOI SIMATI
February 15th - 16th, 2017
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Distinguished Chair and Co-Facilitator, Excellencies and Colleagues
Tuvalu associates itself with the statements made by the distinguished Chairpersons of PSIDS, AOSIS, LDC, through the respective honorable speakers.
We thank the UN for the organization and the documentations availed to us, especially the Background Note of the Secretary General on the SDG 14.
Tuvalu would like to make the following contributions to the thematic partnership dialogue, most of which have been premised by other Delegations:
1. Firstly, for many of us from the Pacific Ocean, the sea is the basis of our livelihoods. Our culture, traditions and spiritual values are intrinsically attached to the Ocean and we are called the Pacific People because of the 27 million sq.km ocean we have been entrusted by God Almighty, to be its inherent custodians.
2. We reaffirm our full support to the seven Themes suggested in the Secretary Generals Background Note, as aligned to the SDG 14 of the Agenda 2030. The partnerships discussions will empower actions on SDG 14 targets, address all cross cutting issues within the SDG 14 and the interlinkages with other SDGs.
3. The thematic dialogues must ensure that individual nations and nations -united, must have legislations, fiscal reforms, robust citizenship participation and effective oversight and accountabilities to the Oceans agenda and the development agenda. Our National Priorities and regional mandates must support the international Oceans agenda of the Agenda 2030 to implement and transform life’s at all levels in all countries.
4. Human induced pollution is accelerating the ravages of our oceans and seas. Ocean acidification and coral bleaching, marine debris particularly from plastics, nutrients, fertilizer and industrial runoff, ghost fishing-nets; are decimating reefs and increasing the vulnerability of coastal states.
5. We are all the solemn voice and caretaker of our one mother-earth, including the 70% of it that is blue, our Oceans. Healthy, productive and resilient oceans are critical for sustainable development, poverty eradication, livelihoods, food security and nutrition security and biodiversity.
6. The bounties of the Ocean are not limitless; more than 80 percent of global fish stocks are now fully or over-exploited. We must reverse the decline of threatened and endangered species through national and regional endeavors including a timely conclusion for a legally binding instrument under UNCLOS on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. Illegal and unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and destructive fishing practices must be eliminated. Unsustainable subsidies that lead to overfishing must be addressed expeditiously by the UN and its relevant Oceans bodies
7. The Oceans fraternity and the science community should continue to ensure that all the impacts are adequately understood by our respective populations and individuals. Accurate and timely information to assist the communities to cope with climate impacts on the migratory patterns and distribution of key target fish species will be an important tool and action agenda.
8. The multiple economic benefits of sustainable management of marine resources and ecosystems is key to eradicating poverty and many of the SDGs; from fisheries and tourism to transportation and climate regulation as well as equalization of income and welfare especially for SIDS and LDCs at the coasts.
9. The Ocean plays a central role in Earth’s climate, absorbing over 90% of the heat added to the global climate system through the greenhouse effect. Anthropogenic climate change is already changing ocean temperature and acidity and the sea-level rise projections are on the conservative end. For small island states like Tuvalu, barely 3 meters above sea level, this is an existential issue, and one that impeaches on all our development pursuits, ALL SDGs.
10. Conservation of coastal and marine areas through more Marine Protected Areas in the lifetime of the SDGs is doable. MPAs would help conserve and restore marine biodiversity and assist in regenerating endangered fisheries and ecosystems, thus regularizing long term dividends. They can be sites for education and research, tourist’s attractions that can provide alternative livelihoods for communities.
11. The Means of Implementation of all SDGs including SDG 14 should be spelt out in our activities, including the financing, capacity building and technology transfer. Partnerships should pay close attention to ongoing programs; successes from the MDG era and to ensure the diversity and specific needs of individual countries on protecting the Oceans are amicably addressed.
12. We must note that sustainability can only be possible if “inclusiveness” pertains to all of nature’s living and life giving biodiversity. Human existence must not compromise the existence of other lifes (biodiversity).