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Ownership key in sustainable development


Ownership in development amongst Pacific Island nations is necessary for greater sustainability.

Speaking at the Official Opening of the Pacific Island Development Forum (PIDF) inaugural meeting in Nadi, Fiji this morning, Chief Guest, His Excellency Xanana Gusmao, Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste recognised the benefits of taking ownership and in greater cooperation for the success of the green/blue economy.

“We need to ensure ownership over the development process. More than development for all, it is time to talk about development by all.

“Pacific Islands have special importance in terms of the “green and blue economy”, since they own the world’s largest ocean. This entails enormous economic and commercial potential, but also great responsibility, since protecting the oceans is vital for the wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific and for all of humanity.”

Mr Gusmao further highlighted the need for greater adaptation capacity and a joint response through dialogue, tolerance and mutual understanding between Pacific Island nations.

“The imminent global challenges in this century are increasingly diverse with the Pacific Islands being particularly vulnerable, as we all know, to climate change as well as to challenges resulting from security in the areas of energy, food and humanity’s most precious resource: water.”

He said the economic region of the Pacific Islands had great potential to overcome challenges if every country worked together under an integrated plan, with new synergies and strategic partnerships.

Mr Gusmao emphasised that isolated efforts would not assist in overcoming problems faced by countries such as Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu that faced the risk of “permanent and irreversible threat of drowning into the vastness of the ocean.”

“I think that by now we all know that our voices will not be heard if we are speaking alone.”

“Alone we are a drop in the ocean, together we have the power to set a sustainable future for our natural resources, our economies and our peoples.”

The PIDF brings together governments, businesses and civil society leaders form the Pacific to secure the future of the Pacific through the blue/green economy approach.