Private sector, government should work together to advance blue economy, Seychelles’ VP says
The main objective of the two-day conference, co-hosted by Seychelles and the World Bank, is to advance the agenda of maximising finance for the development of the blue economy. (Gerard Larose)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Sustainable development of the blue economy in Seychelles can be achieved if the private sector joins the government in its endeavours to ensure policies are implemented, Seychelles’ vice-president said Thursday.
Vincent Meriton spoke at the ‘Financing Sustainable and Climate-Resilient Ocean Economies in Africa’ conference being held at Savoy Seychelles, Resort and Spa.
The main objective of the two-day conference, co-hosted by Seychelles and the World Bank, is to advance the agenda of maximising finance for the development of the blue economy.
“Government can set the rules for sustainable development of our ocean territory and ensure they are implemented, but development cannot take place without the strong participation of the private sector,” said Meriton.
The vice president for Sustainable Development at the World Bank Group, Laura Tuck, agreed with Meriton, saying that “combining them is the only way that we can get healthier, more productive and more sustainable oceans.”
Maximising finance for the development of the blue economy can be done by optimising the scarce public resources and crowding in private investment.
The conference is focused on ways to attract private and public sector investment to build the resilience of ocean economies in Africa, given climate change and other challenges. It is bringing together around 150 representatives from African countries, development partners, international organisations, private investors, scientists, civil society and academia.
|Around 150 representatives from African countries, organisations and private investors are attending the two-day conference. (State House) Photo License: CC-BY|
It also aims at enhancing knowledge and highlighting innovative solutions on how Africa can maximise finance to support sustainable blue economy initiatives in select sub-sectors. These include fisheries, aquaculture, waste management, marine and spatial planning, coastal resilience, tourism, energy and transport.
“The traditional role of the private sector is evolving. With the decline of public funding for sustainable development, new partners and alternative financing solutions are emerging,” said Meriton.
He added that “increasingly the private sector is investing in sustainable projects and initiatives, not just because it is ethical, but also because it makes business sense and is the way of the future.”
Tuck said that the private sector can help to address threats such as overfishing, ocean pollution and climate change that the oceans are facing. She added overcoming these threats is possible as there are already existing success stories.
She describes the objectives of the blue economy framework as “to support economic growth, social inclusion, and the preservation or improvement of livelihoods at the same time that we ensure or improve the environmental sustainability of the oceans and the seas.”
“We believe that a blue economy approach is the only way to both provide social and economic benefits for current and further generations and protect the oceans at the same time,” she added.
The conference is a follow-up of an African Ministerial Conference on Ocean Economies and Climate Change, organised by Mauritius in September 2016. The platform brings together experts from African countries, international organizations, private investors and scientists among others.
Field visits will be conducted at the end of the conference.