Managing ocean resources a matter of survival for Pacific islanders

President Major General (Ret'd) Jioji Konrote and deputy Director General for the Pacific Community (SPC) Dr Audrey Aumua (left) looks at the portals during the launch of World Ocean Day at Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva on Friday, June 8, 2018. Picture: RAMA

THE World Oceans Day Symposium and the launch of the Pacific Portal was opened by Fiji’s President Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote at the Grand Pacific Hotel (GPH) in Suva today.

During the event, deputy Director General for the Pacific Community (SPC) Dr Audrey Aumua said through the portal, people would have the unique opportunity to learn about some of the ongoing work both here in Fiji and throughout the region.

“Work that is helping us understand, conserve, and responsibly manage our ocean resources, while also building resilience to present and future ocean threats,” Dr Aumua said.

She added as the region’s hub of ocean science expertise, SPC was playing an essential role in supporting its member-countries as they worked to improve their capacity for ocean monitoring and prediction capacity, applied research, and innovative approaches to ocean issues.

“Perhaps this common dedication is not so surprising, given that 98 per cent of our region is ocean. As Pacific islanders, we are custodians of 20 per cent of the world’s ocean space,” she said.

“It is not just our responsibility to be advocates for this precious resource. It is a matter of survival for our people. Working together, we must raise awareness about our oceans and improve ocean literacy across the globe.

“Knowing your ocean isn’t just about understanding the physical processes involved in a tsunami or appreciating the ecosystem services provided by mangroves.”

This year’s World Ocean Day theme is ‘Know your Ocean’.

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