The five day conference which begins later on Monday at the UN headquarters here, has as its theme “Our oceans, our future: partnering for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14.”
“This is indeed a very important conference. We attach great significance to it, and will be showcasing our policies and activities aimed at balancing food security and sustainable livelihoods with the need to protect and preserve the oceans and seas and their biodiversity,” said CRFM executive director, Milton Haughton, who is part of the CARICOM delegation to the conference.
“We will also be seeking to strengthen our relationships with traditional partners and forging new partnerships.”
Conference organizers want the event to serve as a game-changer that will reverse the decline in the health of our oceans for people, planet and prosperity. A key area of focus will be furthering efforts to make fisheries sustainable.
The Caribbean helps to meet the global demand for fish, upon which more than 3 billion people rely for animal protein, while 300 million people globally rely on marine fisheries for their livelihoods.
CRFM said that in line with its mission, it is also supporting a series of side events. The first, to be led by the African Pacific States (ACP) on Tuesday focuses on harnessing the blue economy to increase economic benefits for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Lesser Developed Countries (LCDs), which include member states of the CRFM.
Haughton will use the opportunity to share regional perspectives at the ACP event, which is aimed at providing a forum for a high-level exchange of views on the ongoing blue growth initiatives in ACP countries.
The forum will also provide an opportunity for the sharing of best practices and the engagement of partners to secure the blue growth momentum. Ultimately, the aim is to work towards the achievement of SDG 14, Target 7. This envisions that by 2030, there will be an increase in economic benefits to SIDS and LDCs from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism.
The CRFM will also make a presentation at a forum on Thursday, June 8, being recognized as World Oceans Day.
Haughton will deliver a presentation on “Advancing Sustainable Fisheries, the CARICOM experience” at the “Achieving SDG 14: Scaling-up Successful Approaches to Sustainable Fisheries Development and Management in the Caribbean SIDS Region through Cooperation and Partnerships” forum.
The forum is being organized by the governments of Belize, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Norway, Iceland/United Nations University – Fisheries Training Programme and the CRFM, in partnership the CARICOM Secretariat and the University of the West Indies.
It is intended to showcase best-case examples of regional cooperation in addressing SDG target 14.4. This target sets 2020 as the timeline to effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and destructive fishing practices, and to implement science-based management plans and to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible.
CRFM Deputy Executive Director, Dr. Susan Singh-Renton, is expected to discuss lessons learned and experiences shared in governance and innovation in the Caribbean region at another forum on Thursday being organised by Iceland, the Faroe Islands and The Nordic Council of Ministers.
- Countries: CARICOM