10-12 April 2017: Mauritius
The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in collaboration with the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) organized the Blue Economy Core Group Workshop on Environmental Sustainability in the Indian Ocean Region. This forum was third in line after the first two forums earlier focusing on Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Ports and Connectivity in the region.
The Hon. Mr. Premdut Koonjoo, Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands, Mauritius officiated the event. The workshop was attended by 18 Member States and 2 Dialogue Partners under IORA.
Delegates at the forum
With the ocean becoming a new focal point in the discourse on growth and sustainable development, the Blue Economy is an important dimension to future growth at the national and international levels. The region is in many ways at a turning point in setting its ocean economic priorities. How this is done in the next years and decades to come, especially in this period when human activities are expected to accelerate significantly, will be a key determine of the ocean’s health and of the long term benefits that can be derived from a healthy ecosystem. A wide array of thinking is being brought on the blue economy, and it is a sure sign of progress that many countries are now adopting or exploring sustainable frameworks for their ocean economies. But the difficult work has only just begun. Defining the blue economy, and articulating how to piece together the enabling legal, governance, investment and financing arrangements and implementing these remains a major challenge. Speakers and experts from the Member States therefore shared their perspectives on the opportunities, challenges and best practices in terms of environmental sustainability and the blue economy in their respective countries and in the region.
Several delegates with the Hon. Mr. Premdut Koonjoo, Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands, Mauritius (2nd from right)
Cheryl Rita Kaur, Head of the Centre for Coastal and Marine Environment represented MIMA and the Malaysian delegation. She spoke at one of the sessions focusing on Environmental Disaster Risk Management during the forum. Speakers at this session elaborated on the growth of environmental disaster risk, increased human and assets exposure and lessons learned from past events, as well as the need to further strengthen disaster preparedness and response. Overall, the importance given to social and economic vulnerability as a rapidly increasing factor of risk in most of the societies underlined the need to encourage the participation of a wide spectrum of stakeholders in hazard and risk reduction and response activities.
MIMA Center for Coastal and Marine Environment Head Cheryl Rita Kaur spoke on environmental risk management during the forum
The workshop proposed a set of recommendations to drive future work and activities on Blue Economy in the region. Following to this, the Second IORA Ministerial Blue Economy Conference will be held in Jakarta from 9-10 May 2017, which will be further focus on identifying potential collaborations in developing Blue Economy in the IORA region.
MIMA is proud to be part of this important endeavor and will continue to support the Blue Economy mechanism towards promoting environmental sustainability at the national and regional levels.