Kenya is once again playing host to a first ever Global High-Level Conference on the Global Sustainable Blue Economy, with speakers calling for conservation of the blue economy due to its economic potential as a pillar of development and growth.
The high level blue economy conference comes amid renewed effort by Kenya to revitalize the sector that has been invariably described as a sleeping giant.
Kenya has been lauded for showing leadership and demonstrating commitment to the world on how to build a Blue Economy by ensuring the success of the first global conference that seeks to build on the momentum of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Monica Juma who spoke on Monday during the opening of the Conference stated that oceans, seas, lakes and rivers are natural capital that can be tapped to accelerate economic growth, create jobs and fight poverty.
She said that the conference is intended to contribute towards the realization of international commitments including the adopted Sendai Framework on Disaster and Risks Reduction, the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the SDGs, and the Paris Climate Agreement among other key global instruments.
Juma underscored the importance of the conference, committing that as a government they are keen on realizing the untapped potential found in oceans, seas, lakes and rivers and are focused on integrating economic development.
Doing so, she added will enhance social inclusion and sustainability which will in turn promote a blue economy that is Prosperous, Inclusive and Sustainable.
“There is international recognition that we need to develop our waters in an inclusive and sustainable manner for the benefit of all, and this calls for combined effort and commitment on the same,” said CS Juma.
The Environment Cabinet Secretary, Keriako Tobiko on his part said that investment in blue economy is bound to spur economic growth, step up environmental conservation and create jobs.
Tobiko observed that the government is keen on its commitment on conservation of the blue economy as this will reinforce growth as well as restore water catchment areas so as to minimize water pollution.
“We are making relevant efforts towards ensuring that the commitment towards sustainable utilization of our resources for our prosperity,” said Tobiko who further observed that there is a huge potential that lies in building maritime fishing capability that can enable us enjoy the benefits of the ocean.
President Uhuru Kenyatta who officially opened the conference said that the ocean system is under immense stress and its ability to act as climate regulator and as a key engine for economic growth and sustainable development is progressively eroded.
By Alice Gworo