Panama City, Panama - March 3, 2023 - Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka of Fiji delivered his first international address at the Our Ocean Conference in Panama, highlighting Fiji's commitment to leading the effort towards 100% sustainable ocean management and 30% full protection of its waters to safeguard ocean ecosystems and sustainably build Fiji’s ocean economy.
Hosted in Panama, the Our Ocean Conference builds partnerships between government, industry, science and civil society through bold, measurable, and voluntary commitments toward saving the ocean. In line with the theme of this conference, Our Ocean, Our Connection, the Waitt Institute reestablished its partnership with the Government of Fiji in February 2023.
The Prime Minister expressed his commitment to safeguarding Fiji's ocean for future generations stating, "As custodians of what we call the Blue Pacific, we are united and ready to play our part to help planet earth and ensure our collective survival. This is the very reason for our presence here at Our Ocean Conference in Panama. We must ensure that our people can continue to benefit from our resources through sustainable development.”
Prime Minister Rabuka emphasized that Fiji recognizes the importance of protecting its unique ocean heritage, which has sustained, nourished and healed the people of Fiji for millennia, “We talk about the economy, we talk about the environment, but for us it is survival.”
The Prime Minister also noted that Fiji’s ocean faces threats such as climate change, overfishing, pollution, and habitat destruction and that the nation is committed to reversing these trends. The Government of Fiji recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Waitt Institute to create Blue Prosperity Fiji, a locally-led initiative to build a brighter future for the people of Fiji through sustainable fisheries practices, Blue Economy development, Marine Spatial Planning, and marine protection.
Blue Prosperity Fiji (BPF) is a 5+ year program led by the Government of Fiji to implement 100% sustainable ocean management and 30% full protection of Fiji’s waters. It is designed to support inclusion, equity, and traditional knowledge to improve long-term economic stability, livelihoods, and ocean ecosystems. The Blue Prosperity Fiji team will provide technical expertise, community engagement, and support collaboration between Government ministries and other existing ocean efforts, non-profits, and local communities.
Blue Prosperity Fiji is part of the Blue Prosperity Coalition that currently has partnerships within the Pacific region with the Governments of Samoa, Tonga, Federated States of Micronesia, and Vanuatu and other global partnerships in the Azores, Barbuda, Bermuda, and the Maldives.
Blue Prosperity Fiji
Blue Prosperity Fiji is led by the Government of Fiji in partnership with the Waitt Institute to improve long-term economic stability, community livelihoods, and the health of ocean ecosystems. The program is supported by Government agencies including the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Fisheries and Forestry, and the Ministry of Finance, and guided by the members of the National Ocean Policy Steering Committee.
Blue Prosperity Coalition
The Blue Prosperity Coalition was started in 2019 with a vision to achieve resilient, sustainable, and thriving seas that benefit all, partnering with governments and communities around the globe to sustainably protect and manage ocean resources to benefit people, the economy, and the environment. The Coalition has partnerships with other nations in the Pacific including Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, Federated States of Micronesia, and Vanuatu, as well as Bermuda, Azores, and the Maldives.
Fiji Government Communications
Phone: +679 3306 488
Waitt Institute
Ellen Spooner
Phone: +1 (520) 429-5828
Arthur Sokimi
Phone: +679 732-7333