"Perth Oceans Declaration" strengthens move towards global 'Blue Economy'
The member states of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) have adopted a strong statement on the importance of oceans and the blue economy for development in their region.
The 'Perth Oceans Declaration' underlines the value in terms of biodiversity and economic potential that the member states place on the blue economy.
Speaking at the Council of Ministers Meeting of IORA in Perth, Minister Jean-Paul Adam underlined the blue economy as an opportunity for the Indian
"Seychelles strongly supports the draft "Perth Oceans declaration" which is before us. The 'Blue Economy' is one of the biggest opportunities for our region- and our nations are determined to collectively create sustainable economic economic opportunities through long term investments in sustainable fisheries, responsible exploration of undersea resources and minerals, renewable and affordable energy from the sea and fair trade through reliable sea- routes".
The IORA ministers underlined how important the ocean was to all six priority areas of intervention of the organization which are: 1) Maritime safety and security, 2) Trade and Investment Facilitation, 3) Fisheries Management, 4) Disaster Risk Management, 5) Academic and Science and Technology Cooperation and 6) Tourism and cultural exchanges.
The Seychelles delegation also emphasized the importance of continuing to build partnerships to both fight piracy and build a platform for enhanced security across the Indian Ocean. Minister Adam stated that Seychelles, in partnership with countries from the region and beyond we're looking to build on the Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecution and Intelligence coordination centre (RAPPICC) to enhance ' a shared approach to maritime law enforcement both strategically and operationally'. The IORA council agreed the principle of bringing various centers from across the Indian Ocean into a network though which information sharing could be enhanced.
During the Council meeting, the Seychelles delegation also invited regional states to participate fully in the special meeting being organized on the Blue Economy in Abu Dhabi on 20th January 2014.
The Council meeting also represented an opportunity for Seychelles to enhance its bilateral exchanges with key partners such as India and Sri Lanka through meetings that took place with Minister Salman Kurshid, Minister of External relations of India, and Minister Prof. G.L Peiris, Minister of External relations of Sri Lanka.