“We Need To Protect and Sustain Our Oceans”


Nanise Neimila
In Palau, Fiji put across its message on the ocean as an opportunity for a stronger future.

“Sustainable fisheries that produce blue foods, pristine coral reefs that sustain tourism, and ocean energy solutions that reduce our dependence on fossil fuels are more than just a moral imperative, they are also economically sound.”

This was the message made by Attorney-General and Minister responsible for Climate Change Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at the Blue Bonds side event organised at the on the margins of the 7th Oceans Conference held in Palau recently.

The A-G stressed that economic analysis, rather than exploitation, should be used to make the case for ocean management.

“It is our case to make that good oceans management is the economic opportunity of our lifetime. Our Blue Bond, which will be launched later this year, is a financing model for projects that protect Fiji’s ocean inheritance which includes 3.5 per cent of the world’s coral reefs and over 65,000 hectares of mangroves.” “Those vast ecosystems are vital to the wellbeing of all people, not just Fijians. And we’re committed to seeing it protected through the policy framework of our National Ocean Policy.”

Fiji Blue Bonds initiative will feature technical support from the United Nations Development Programme and will focus on raising capital market finance to support projects in four priority sectors:

•‘Blue Shipping’ to reduce carbon emissions from domestic maritime transportation;
•‘Sustainable Fisheries’ to support aquaculture and mariculture that reduces the burden on natural fish stocks, which are already strained by climate-driven ocean acidification;
•A Blue Investment Fund to provide affordable blue debt to non-government organisations interested in establishing and scaling sustainable blue projects ranging from tourism activities focusing on marine protected areas to ocean based renewable energy generation;
•And ‘Sustainable Waste Management’ to establish Fiji’s second sanitary landfill and a recycling facility in Fiji’s western division.

These sites will improve management of domestic and commercial waste, especially waste from the tourism sector. The aim will be to have 80 per cent of the waste recycled and 20 per cent sustainably disposed from these facilities.