Saving our oceans – A balancing act
“It is only through finding the exact balance between economic growth and protection of our marine environment that we can hope to truly save our oceans,” secretary of state for Foreign Affairs and the Blue Economy, Ambassador Barry Faure, said in a keynote address yesterday.
Ambassador Faure was invited by the head of the Delegation of the European Union, Ambassador Vincent Degert, to deliver the keynote address on World Ocean’s Day.
The address was delivered virtually during a Webinar themed ‘Innovative actions for the Sustainable Conservation of the Marine Resources’.
Ambassador Faure began his address in stating that “Humanity’s fate has always been intricately tied to that of the ocean. Seychelles has always attached great importance to the ocean as our people have a direct dependence on the ocean resources for their identity, sustenance and livelihood. Both Tourism and Fisheries, our traditional economic pillars, have thrived on the ocean.
“But, with Tourism brought to its knees in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are forced to give greater attention to the ocean in ways which will maximise greater benefits and minimise the risks to the ocean – an ocean which is already under pressure from overfishing, illegal fishing, threats to maritime safety, and the impacts of climate change.
“As responsible members of the global community, it is incumbent upon us to take bold and innovative actions to coordinate our actions to promote, develop and implement a sustainable conservation of the ocean and its marine resources. Whether it is within national jurisdictions, the borders beyond national jurisdictions or on and below the sea bed. We need to be coherent in our actions,” added Ambassador Faure.
In his address, Ambassador Faure also emphasised on how Seychelles has shown the world that it is possible to achieve a critical balance between marine conservation and development, especially in actively promoting the blue economy concept and at the same time “continue to exert our role as custodians of the marine ecosystem”.
“Seychelles has banked on innovation, with the Seychelles Debt-for-Nature Swap and the Seychelles Blue Bonds, being two unique financing mechanisms to drive our Blue Economy since its naissance.
“It is only through finding the exact balance between economic growth and protection of our marine environment that we can hope to truly save our oceans. Bridging the gap between the needs of our people and clean and sustainable oceans should therefore be the commitment of our governments. As the ocean has been instrumental in our sustenance and growth, we should now strive to ensure its preservation,” added Ambassador Faure in his concluding remarks.
Press release from the department of Foreign Affairs