Policy makers to dialogue on challenges confronting ocean
About 300 policy makers, experts and other stakeholders will next week meet in Accra for the maiden national dialogue on the blue economy and how to tackle challenges confronting the ocean.
Blue economy is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of the ocean’s ecosystem.
Named the National Blue Economy Summit, the two-day event would provide the platform for discussion on pollution, marine insecurity, illegal fishing, policy gaps and smart financing and solutions and opportunities for national growth.
It is being organised by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Advisory Unit of the Office of the President and other partners on the theme: ‘Our Ocean‘s health, our prosperity, our planet’s security.’
The summit is in line with the new ocean agenda and country level drive of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy made up of 17 Heads of States and governments across the ocean’s basin, including President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and President Joe Biden of the United States.
At the Press launch of the summit in Accra yesterday, the Special Advisor to the President on SDGs and ocean action, Dr Eugene Owusu said, it was importance to protect the ocean because it contributed more than $1.5 trillion a year to the global economy from fisheries to renewable energy.
However, he said, the ocean was in crisis due to overfishing, pollution, climate change, and other pressures and this threatened the livelihoods and well-being of humanity.
“The narrative that the ocean is too big to fail is therefore a misguided one. The evidence is clear. Ocean health and productivity are declining at an alarming rate and this poses an existential threat to the ocean and humanity,” he said.
To find sustainable solution, Dr Owusu said, the advocacy of the High Level Panel since 2020 had been at the global level, focusing on five key areas; ocean health, wealth, knowledge, finance and equity.
The summit, he said, was meant to raise awareness on the need to urgently address the critical challenges facing our ocean, and to highlight the immense opportunities at the national level.
He said it will be an opportunity to forge new partnerships and collaborations, to build networks and communities of practice, and to catalyse action and investment towards a more sustainable and resilient blue economy.
“Protecting and restoring the health of our ocean is not only a moral imperative. It is an absolute necessity. The ocean is the future when it comes to our food security, our prosperity and our national security,” he said.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR