The inaugural Sustainable Blue Economy Conference has officially begun in Nairobi. The three-day Conference which is being held at the KICC, and is hosted by Kenya, with Canada and Japan as co-hosts, brings together delegates from all over the world-more than 180 countries-including Heads of State and Ministers to discuss ways of improving lives and economic stability globally through harnessing the potential in oceans, seas, lakes and rivers. The maritime sector has been neglected for a long time, despite the fact that the earth’s suitability to support life is greatly affected by the oceans.
Climate change is the problem of the hour, which is steadily destroying the eco-system and has been propelled by a lack of attention to the world’s water bodies, with plastic pollution on the oceans just an example of how the situation is daily deteriorating. The oceans help slow down climate change by absorbing 30% of carbon dioxide emissions. Oceans serve as the highway for around 90% of internationally traded goods and according to GDP rankings, it would be the seventh globally given the trillion dollars per economic activity annually. Fishing is the main activity supported by water bodies globally, with small-scale fishing providing about half of the world’s harvested seafood.
Not only will ways of harnessing the economic potential of the blue economy be discussed, but other issues will be discussed including; Showing how economic development and healthy waters are interdependent, capture commitments and practical actions that can be taken today. More than 50 nations have already made a commitment to a global sustainable blue economy and they include Kenya, Canada, Japan, Seychelles, Somalia, Zanzibar, Uganda, Mozambique, Norway, China, Egypt, Gambia, Senegal, Morocco, France, USA, Philippines, Jamaica, Greece, Costa Rica, Liberia, Cambodia, Brazil, Australia among others.