Minister to promote island’s ‘leading role in creating a blue economy’
Bermuda will be promoted as an emerging environmentally aware “blue” economy at an international conference aimed at protecting oceans, Walter Roban, the home affairs minister, said today.
Mr Roban, who is also the Deputy Premier, is representing the island at the gathering in Lisbon, Portugal.
The United Nations Ocean Conference, which is targeted at highlighting the need to protect and manage the underwater environment, is being jointly hosted by Portugal and Kenya. It began today and runs until July 1.
Mr Roban said: "This is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Bermuda's leading role in environmental initiatives that set the example to others in the Caribbean and globally.
“It will also allow us to strengthen existing relationships and develop new ones with environmental protection and sustainability leaders from organisations and countries worldwide.
"The week-long events and discussions will also allow us to investigate new funding opportunities and showcase Bermuda's leading role in creating a blue economy."
The conference is looking at science-based solutions to problems facing oceans, especially those involving green technologies that will help to preserve marine resources.
Mr Roban said he would use the gathering to promote the Sargasso Sea Commission and encourage other governments to sign the Hamilton Declaration aimed at protecting ocean life.
The minister said he would be showcasing the Bermuda ocean prosperity programme, which is a community-driven initiative aimed at fostering the “sustainable, profitable, and enjoyable use of ocean resources”.
Mr Roban said the programme “involves the development of a ‘blue prosperity plan’ that will outline the pathways for sustainable ocean development that includes the untapped potential in Bermuda among sustainable ocean industries for economic growth, infrastructure development, and job creation”.
He said a key part of the initiative is the designation of full protection for 20 per cent of Bermuda’s waters to restore and grow ocean habitats and fish stocks.
The blue prosperity plan will be released for public consultation later this year, the minister said.