President Hage Geingob yesterday launched the Transformations Document for a Sustainable Ocean Economy. The transformations document sets out a vision for good ocean management and a headline commitment to establish and enact Sustainable Ocean Plans by 2025, of which Namibia has already indicated willingness to participate in and to develop.
Said Geingob: "As our understanding grows of the significance of the oceans to life on this planet, so too do our responsibilities to value and protect this immense natural environment. Furthermore, as we consider the unparalleled value that oceans and the blue economy offer humanity, we must also be keenly aware of the biggest threats that humans pose to the oceans, and our responsibility to act quickly and collectively to redress them. This duality is the core of the blue economy concept."
At the launch, the President explained that in 2018, 14 countries, including Namibia, agreed to work together to devise a mechanism to protect the ocean in order to continue to derive maximum benefit from it. These countries formed a High-Level Panel (HLP) for a Sustainable Ocean Economy to devise plans and identify pragmatic solutions across policy, governance, technology and finance, and ultimately to develop an action agenda for transitioning to a sustainable ocean economy.
The ultimate aim is to deliver a sustainable ocean economy, where effective protection, sustainable production and equitable prosperity go hand-in-hand.
"Each country is expected to identify and implement critical areas and their corresponding themes. Given our current policies and considering our technical and financial capacities, Namibia has decided to choose three critical areas and their corresponding themes due to existing policies and programmes implemented by various ministries," Geingob stated.
The three areas are Ocean Wealth, Under Ocean Health and For Ocean Equity. Ocean Wealth includes sustainable ocean food, sustainable ocean transport, sustainable ocean energy, sustainable ocean tourism and precautionary approach to seabed mining. In the Under Ocean Health category, Namibia commits to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect and restore marine and coastal ecosystems and reduce ocean pollution while For Ocean Equity entails a sustainable ocean economy that puts people at its centre, works for everyone, enables human rights, facilitates the equitable distribution of ocean wealth, and ensures equality of opportunity for all.
"Given her natural endowments, Namibia is uniquely positioned to leverage her oceanic assets to benefit her people and the globe at large. We are determined to develop a green and blue economy that will ensure that our natural resources are at the centre stage of our drive to deliver economic prosperity," Geingob elaborated.
In closing, the President urged all Namibians to work together to ensure healthier oceans, to safeguard global food security and to cede a sustainable and vibrant ocean economy to future generations.