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MONDAY, 21 August, SUVA: A two day high level conference which will provide a knowledge platform on the blue economy for the Pacific Islands and explore lessons learned, innovations and emerging industries based on ocean resources will be held at the Grand Pacific Hotel, Suva from the 23-24 August, 2017.

The Conference, with a theme of Sustainable Oceans in a Changing Climate, will build on the outcomes of the June 2017 UN Conference on SDG 14 and on existing Pacific commitments and frameworks, to provide a roadmap for refining the concept and implementing a Blue Economy in the Pacific. Organised by the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF), in collaboration with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the Governments of Solomon Islands and Fiji, the discussions from this conference endeavours to provide a comprehensive roadmap for developing the concept of the Blue Economy in the Pacific.

The Pacific Blue Economy conference is supported by a number of other partner organisations such as the Global Island Partnership (GISPA), Conservation International (CI), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Pacific Community (SPC), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Conservation Society (WCS), Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), LMMA Network, Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and the Government of Kazakhstan.

“The Pacific Blue Economy Conference seeks to facilitate an 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,” said PIDF Secretary General, François Martel.

While there is no universally agreed definition, the concept of a blue economy is generally understood to be a coherent, integrated, science-based approach to managing the economic development of the ocean and its resources, while improving human well-being and social equity, and preserving the environment and the integrity of marine and coastal ecosystems.

“Implementing a blue economy will require a move away from business-as-usual practices to embracing more inclusive, equitable and integrated approaches to the way in which marine resources and ocean ecosystems are valued, used and managed,” further added Secretary General Martel.

An array of globally recogonised contributors towards the development of Blue Economy will also feature as guest speakers in this conference which includes Professsor Gunter Pauli, former President of Seychelles James Alix Michel and Jean Michel Cousteau amongst others.

The programme sessions for the conference will have plenary and parallel session discussions on the challenges, opportunities and priorities associated with the Blue Economy for the Pacific Islands, with linkages to the outcomes of the recently held UN Conference and with the SDG13 to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Approximately 200 participants are expected at the conference, coming primarily from PIDF member countries in the region, delegates, representatives of multilateral institutions, the UN, and other development partners, international and regional organizations, representatives of private sector, representatives of philanthropic organizations, NGOs and other member of civil society, including the public as well as representatives of research institutes and academia.

The conference will also be livestreamed with access available from the PIDF weblink: