Pacific leaders discuss 2030 Oceans Partnership

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National Broadcasting Corporation of Papua New Guinea, Honolulu, Hawai'i

The Pacific Ocean Summit, hosted by the Governor of Hawai'i at the IUCN World Conservation Congress brought together Pacific Island heads of state, governors and mayors from cities and states on the Pacific Rim and indigenous leaders.

This is to look into the formalization of a Pacific Ocean-wide partnership and coalition for action that will convene every three years to add more partners and track progress on the path towards realization of a sustainable Pacific Ocean by 2030.

Oceans play a hugely important role in regulating the global climate and they are the world’s largest carbon store.

Experts are now encouraging leaders to look at discussions on climate change as a need to reflect and embrace the status and role of the world’s oceans.

IUCN Director General Inger Andesen said "if we don’t ensure that our oceans are healthy and that marine ecosystems are resilient, we will have failed, even if we achieve climate targets."

The path to achieving these aims has already been made clear through the Paris Agreement reached late in 2015 at COP21 in Paris.

It served as a global agreement to address many issues faced by the nations that share the vast oceans. While COP21 served as a platform for national-level action to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, the Pacific Ocean Coalition links the visionary leadership of the Pacific island leaders with like-minded leaders of cities, states, and businesses that are making a difference.

This begins a journey toward 2030 that will continue to bring more countries, cities, states, and businesses to the table for action.

The actions fulfill the visionary commitments of Pacific leaders and will shift the collective impact on the Pacific Ocean towards the global target of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 on Oceans.

It is hoped that at the first UN Oceans Summit in Fiji in 2017 the Pacific Ocean partners will lead a strong call for similar 2030 Ocean partnerships across the globe.