Press release 29 July 2014
Kiribati recognized and supported the draft Palau Declaration advocating and securing Oceans as a standalone goal under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the global post 2015 development agenda. Kiribati underscores that this complements and strengths the Pacific push to also have Climate Change as a stand alone goal under the SDG. It is very appropriate given that the Pacific Island nations are custodians of one of the world’s greatest natural endowment, the Pacific Ocean, as well as recognizing the urgent vulnerabilities of member states in the face of climate change.
In supporting the Palau Declaration, President Anote Tong underscores the importance and value of the Oceans to the livelihood, the economy and culture of the Pacific nations. Furthermore, through its responsible and proper stewardship, the Pacific Ocean will remain the livelihood of not only future Pacific generations but the future of the whole of mankind.
In this context, President Anote Tong stressed the need to protect and strengthen jurisdictional boundaries and governance, with greater focus on improved monitoring and regulation on illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) fisheries and in the longer term a push to maintain sovereignty over our maritime boundaries in the event that our islands disappear. President Tong also stressed and supported the need to improve Pacific fisheries so as to maximize returns to the people of the Pacific as resource owners through greater participation in the industry particularly through onshore processing and value addition. Sustainable management of the Pacific Ocean is key, with President Tong’s leadership in the preservation of oceans acknowledged in addition to the recognition that there needs to be some compensation for the opportunity cost of conservation measures being implemented by Pacific nations.
SIS leaders committed to further pursue the case for oceans and climate change in the upcoming SIDS conference, in Samoa this September.