Recapture and nurture respectful relationship with the ocean: Bainimarama

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama meets former Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull at the High Level Panel for Sustainable Ocean Economies, held in conjunction with the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Picture: SUPPLIED

“WE all must recapture and nurture that respectful relationship we once had with the ocean.”

Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said this while addressing the High Level Panel for Sustainable Ocean Economies, held in conjunction with the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York today.

Mr Bainimarama who called for a new relationship of people with the ocean, one that relies on stewardship rather than exploitation, said the international community needed to work together to find solutions, new strategies and financing to manage fisheries and invest in aquaculture, transform marine transportation systems, prevent pollution, invest in sustainable ocean-based industries and restore ocean ecosystems.

“A sustainable ocean economy is not a choice, it is an imperative,” the PM said.

“We must rethink and transform the way we operate our economies and in one sense, the way we live our lives if we are to roll back the damage being done to our climate and our ocean and become proper stewards of these delicate resources.

“We need a change of heart as well as a shift in mindset about how we will live with the resources we were given.”

Mr Bainimarama who is attending the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, which is taking place from September 25 to October 3, has also called for a global process that aligns local and national commitments with international targets.

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