Posted inStory / Fiji

Fiji launches blue prosperity programme to secure healthy oceans & economic resilience

A new partnership with the Waitt Institute will support the implementation of 30 percent protection of Fiji’s ocean and development of a diverse blue economy

Fiji has formalised a partnership with the Waitt Institute to implement 30 percent protection of Fiji’s waters from 0-200 nautical miles and support ocean management in three core areas; Marine Spatial Planning, Blue Economy, and Sustainable Fisheries.

This five plus year Blue Prosperity programme will be led by the Fijian Government and designed in a way to support inclusion, equity, and traditional knowledge to improve long-term economic stability, livelihoods, and ocean ecosystems.

The Ministries of Economy, Fisheries, and Environment have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Waitt Institute to formally launch the Blue Prosperity program, which seeks to assist Fiji’s vision to sustainably manage 100% of its ocean and marine resources while implementing Fiji’s global leadership commitments to protect 30 percent by 2030. The Blue Prosperity programme will align with and learn from existing ocean management efforts. The program will be science-based, collaborative, and consultative, with input from government agencies, civil society, stakeholders, NGOs, community groups, ocean experts, and individuals.

Attorney General and Minister of Economy, Civil Service, and Communications, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said, “The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding is another fundamental step towards that better, bluer and more sustainable future. And we’re grateful to you, Ted Waitt, for putting your time and resources behind a cause that I know means as much to you as it does to any Fijian. We all understand that the greatest good we can achieve in our lifetimes is to protect the Earth, the one home we have, and un-do the decades of reckless damage done to the natural world. We have the knowledge and wisdom to do much better by nature and, in so doing, do much better for ourselves and our children. This effort is far too important for any of us to go it alone.” 

Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is 70 times larger than its landmass, making up 1,290,000 km2. In 2021, the Ministry of Economy released the National Ocean Policy (NOP), a guiding document defining the mission “to secure and sustainably manage all of Fiji’s ocean and marine resources.” 

The Waitt Institute will provide technical expertise, capacity, and funding to assist Fiji in implementing their ocean commitments and elements of the NOP. The Waitt Institute partners with committed governments and local stakeholders to create and implement sustainable ocean plans to benefit communities, the economy, and the environment. They currently have partnerships within the Pacific region with the Governments of Tonga, Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa, as well as other global partnerships in the Azores, Barbuda, Bermuda, Curaçao, and the Maldives.

Ted Waitt, Founder and Chairman of the Waitt Institute said, “Only Fijians know what is best for Fijians’ ocean. We’re humbled and honoured to be able to provide the technical assistance to make their visions for resilient oceans in Fiji a reality. We recognise the immense amount of work that has been done to manage Fiji’s oceans thus far and are proud to support the Government, NGOs, and communities in their efforts to protect 30% of Fiji’s waters.”

The MOU signing launches a six-month work planning process with government agencies to determine key goals, objectives, and collaborators. Upon conclusion of the work planning phase, the Blue Prosperity programme will begin assessments and consultations to ultimately create a legally binding marine spatial plan, promote economic growth, and support Fiji’s efforts to strengthen sustainable fisheries management.

“To truly succeed, Fiji’s commitments must become the worlds. We believe our most lasting contribution to this effort extends far beyond our patch of Pacific because we believe that our example can inspire others. We have seen before that ideas and projects that start in our islands can be scaled up around the world. And we have the plans and the potential to be that beacon for sustainable innovation and for responsible blue development. Thanks to the Waitt Institute, we now have another key partnership as well. And I commend you all for being here, for standing with us, and for helping to make a defining difference for the security and prosperity of countless generations to come.” said Attorney General and Minister of Economy, Civil Service, and Communications, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

This story was produced by Waitt Institute on 3 December 2021, reposted via PACNEWS.

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