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27 May, 2024
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Cyprus leads the charge in sustainable aquaculture

According to reports, Cyprus boasts a robust industry with low environmental impact food production, reducing pressure on wild catches

Andreas Karamitas

The Ministerial Conference on Oceans, titled "Our Resilient Shared Ocean: From Cyprus to Samoa," concluded with optimistic messages regarding the future of water resource management. Ministers from 17 Commonwealth countries convened in Paphos to address critical issues concerning sustainable ocean management.

Progress since 2018: The Blue Charter

In her closing remarks, Commonwealth Secretary-General The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC highlighted the significant progress made since the adoption of the Commonwealth Blue Charter at the 2018 Summit (CHOGM). This charter signifies a commitment to protecting and sustainably managing the oceans, with ambitious targets set to tackle marine pollution, climate change, overfishing, and coral reef degradation.The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC emphasized that the dedication of champion countries is fostering a global movement.

Pioneering Countries

Special recognition was given to 16 countries for their leadership in implementing the goals of the Blue Charter:

Patricia Scotland KC made special mention of 16 countries that distinguished themselves for their leading role in implementing the Blue Paper objectives.

Australia, Belize, Mauritius:  Led efforts to protect and restore coral reefs, crucial ecosystems for ocean health and biodiversity.

Sri Lanka:  Focused on safeguarding long-lived ecosystems, essential for coastal protection and carbon dioxide absorption.

UK:  Spearheaded the Commonwealth Alliance for Clean Oceans, aimed at combatting marine plastic pollution.

New Zealand:  Initiated measures to address ocean acidification, a threat to marine ecosystems and fish populations.

Fiji:  Led initiatives to mitigate climate change impacts on oceans, including sea level rise and extreme weather events.

Canada:  Prioritized enhancing ocean observation to understand changes and develop effective management strategies.

Barbados, Seychelles:  Led efforts to protect and sustainably manage marine protected areas, vital for diverse marine species.

Cyprus:  Named champion for Sustainable Aquaculture, boasting a robust industry with low environmental impact food production, reducing pressure on wild catches.

Antigua and Barbuda, Kenya:  Champions for Sustainable Blue Economy, focusing on utilizing oceans for economic development while ensuring resource sustainability.

Kiribati, Maldives:  Champions for Sustainable Coastal Fisheries, working towards sustainable fishing practices for food security and livelihoods.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General emphasized the importance of commitment and cooperation among participating countries in the Blue Charter. The progress achieved thus far underscores the collective power to address the myriad challenges facing oceans.

Inspiring a Global Movement

The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC highlighted that the commitment of champion countries transcends Commonwealth boundaries, inspiring nations worldwide to take action for ocean protection. This marks the inception of a global movement towards responsible marine resource management. The Ministerial showcased the evolution of the Blue Charter from a mere commitment to a dynamic movement for ocean protection. The outcomes of the Summit convey an optimistic outlook for the future of oceans. However, sustained commitment and cooperation are imperative to ensure the health and sustainability of these vital marine ecosystems for future generations.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

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