1.The Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF), jointly with the government of Solomon Islands, will host the 1st high level Pacific Blue Economy Conference (PBEC) on 23 and 24 August 2017 in Honiara, Solomon Islands, promoting Healthy Oceans with the theme ‘Our Oceans , our Future: A Pacific Perspective’.
This Forum will improve ocean knowledge, planning, measuring and restoring, and inform policies and sustainable management and conservation of our Oceans and its resources for the people of the Pacific Islands. It will also look at fostering private and public partnerships and promoting key sustainable maritime sectors like renewable energy, aquaculture, tourism and Blue biotechnology, providing adequate tools of financing and improving cooperation between countries, but also between stakeholders at the local level.
While oceans play a key role in everyones lives, Oceans are central to the sustainable development and the poverty eradication of Pacific Islands. The Ocean brings great wealth with only a small fraction of that wealth already translated into economic terms. In addition to the present economic prospects, the ocean provides inherent supporting, regulating, and socio-cultural ecosystem services. But Oceans should remain healthy, safe and sustainably managed. Issues and challenges, from collapsing fisheries to plastic pollution, including climate change impacts like ocean warming and ocean acidification, threaten the integrity of marine ecosystems and the subsistence of Pacific people.
The Blue Economy opens to a new area of opportunities for the Pacific Big Ocean States. It can be transformational at local and national levels. While a lot of attention is given to economic, social and environmental sustainability aspects of the blue economy, more should address specifically to clean technologies, renewable energy and circular material. In addition, central aspects of the blue economy such as innovation and job creation may require further attention.
3. Goal and Objectives
The overall goal of the Conference is to provide a knowledge platform on the blue economy for the Pacific Islands and explore lessons learned, innovations and emerging industries based on ocean resources.
Other Objectives include:
To inform Pacific senior officials and stakeholders on emerging ocean resources management issues and opportunities and assist the Pacific in defining the blue economy concept.
To support the Pacific by debating the complex issues surrounding the blue economy.
To facilitate exchange of experiences, lessons learned and good practices in the region and other parts of the globe on the concept of blue growth and the blue economy that are adapted and aligned with Pacific Islands perspectives, priorities and solutions.
More specifically, the objectives of The Pacific Blue Economy Conference will be to use the outcomes of the UN Conference on SDG 14 to provide an interactive and multi-sectorial platform for the Governments, Private Sectors and the Civil Societies to deliver:
i. a Roadmap for mainstreaming blue Economies in the Pacific.
ii. the Honiara Declaration on Ocean and Climate Change.