SUVA, (IUCN) – Oceans play a major role in the lives of all Pacific islanders and the future of the Pacific lies in her oceans and the future of the oceans lie with her youth.
The United States Embassy in Fiji in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) yesterday opened the Our Oceans, Our Responsibility Conference for Pacific Emerging Leaders Ocean Conservation in Novotel Hotel in Lami.
At the opening, Regional Director of the IUCN Oceania Regional Office, Taholo Kami said, “the Oceans conference is intended to provide an opportunity to discuss and address some of these real world challenges facing our youth.”
Kami added that the conference will target regional youth’s priority ocean management problems, teach them about how to overcome those problems in the real world and partner them with experienced professionals in the field who will continue to mentor them in the future.
In her address, US Ambassador Judith Cefkin highlighted the work her country has done and is doing to protect our shared oceans.
“Together with our Pacific partners, we are working to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing through a variety of initiatives, be it strengthening regulation of deep sea fishing vessels, forming ship-rider agreements permitting our partners to avail themselves of US assets in better patrolling their waters, or in promoting inspection and security measures at ports where commercial vessels land their catch.”
“We want you to meet, network and take the lead in conservation efforts and advocacy; we want you to become environmental leaders of tomorrow.”
The Oceans conference will host a cocktail function this evening that includes the launch of the Pacific Centre for Environmental Governance, and then continues on Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 February 2016.