PM urges marine protection

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Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has called on island nations to come together for global action to protect their communities from ocean damage.
O’Neill attended a Pacific Regional Preparatory High-Level Meeting for the United Nations Conference on Oceans in Suva, Fiji, where he said island nations had valid marine resource concerns that should be taken up by the global community.
“Island nations might be small in terms of geography, but we are many in number, and together we can bring about global change on issues harming our communities,” O’Neill said.
“We are not only the Pacific island nations, but island nations and communities from oceans and seas right around the world.
“Pollution, illegal fishing and climate change destroy ecosystems in island nation maritime areas.
“We did not cause these problems, but these problems cause damage to our communities.
“This meeting in Suva is all about building consensus and establishing a way forward to bring the global community with us to prevent our marine resources being destroyed.” Following  meetings with United Nations representatives and partner Pacific island nations, leaders will attend a high-level meeting today to finalise  actions to move ahead of the UN Conference of Oceans in June.
“All countries, including our own, have a role to play in managing our own waterways, as well as the pollutants that flow to the world’s oceans,” O’Neill said.
“Papua New Guinea’s Vision 2050 is a national development roadmap which further underscores environmental protection as an important pillar.
“Selected areas are being considered as Marine Protected Areas so that nature can replenish marine resources.
“Papua New Guinea already has in place the Strategy for Responsible Sustainable Development, which addresses the integration of the global 2030 Agenda.
“This includes the United Nations Sustainable Development goal 14 incorporated into the national planning process.
“SDG 14 is intended to conserve and manage the sustainability of the world’s oceans, seas and marine resources.”

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