Third Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Blue Economy Ministerial Conference Dhaka, Bangladesh September 4 -5 | 06 September 2019
Conference explores ways to promote sustainable, inclusive blue economy activities
The 22 Indian Ocean Rim Association members including Seychelles that took part in the third Blue Economy Ministerial Conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh this week have agreed to deepen cooperation and strengthen activities to assess the untapped potential of the blue economy in the Indian Ocean region.
The Dhaka Declaration adopted by all member states is a document confirming the commitment of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) member states and their partners to further strengthen and deepen cooperation on blue economy priority areas in the years.
The secretary of state for foreign affairs and the blue economy, Ambassador Barry Faure led the Seychelles delegation at the conference which was held under the theme ‘Promoting Sustainable Blue Economy – Making the best use of opportunities from the Indian Ocean’.
Delegates at the conference explored and discussed ways to promote sustainable and inclusive blue economy activities that will have a positive impact on the social and economic development of each of the IORA member states.
Six pillars were identified as crucial to boost development of the blue economy sector, namely fisheries and aquaculture, renewable ocean energy, seaports and shipping, offshore hydrocarbons and seabed minerals, marine biotechnology, research and development as well as tourism development.
Ambassador Faure highlighted the progress Seychelles has made in devising a blue economy policy framework and roadmap that will ease a shift from traditional more commodity-based economy to a value adding, diverse, service-based and increasingly knowledge-based economy.
He also reiterated the leadership role of Seychelles in exploring innovative finances to support the sector and the engagement towards marine spatial planning whereby committing 30% of Seychelles’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as protected areas.
Seychelles supported the Dhaka Declaration which encompasses the establishment of firm commitments by the 22 IORA members.
The other members of the Seychelles delegation were Kenneth Racombo, principal secretary for the blue economy, and Mawess Gabriel, principal information and communication officer in the department of the blue economy.