Pacific island leaders urged to prioritise Ocean Resilience at World Conservation Congress.

Reducing marine debris and plastics in the ocean, and helping achieve integrated planning and management of Pacific islands' ocean resources, was the main focus of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme's Director General, Mr Kosi Latu, when he presented at the Pacific Island Leaders Welcoming Event at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The event was an open reception to welcome leaders of the Pacific, showcase the work being done by the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific agencies towards a sustainable Pacific Ocean, and highlight the key messaging of the Pacific Ocean Summit.

IMG 0173SPREP Director General Kosi Latu speaking at the Pacific island leaders welcoming event at the
IUCN WCC. Photo: SPREP

Mr. Latu stressed the importance of assisting Pacific island countries to sign up for international conventions and policies such as the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) and implementing innovative action to get beyond the current constraints including non-compliance in ocean-based industries as well as on our islands.

He also spoke on the importance of bringing together the ocean conservation community with the development sector, and the need to work closely with the large countries who are influencing our oceans.

Mr. Latu reminded the audience of the three key points that political leaders called for at the Pacific Ocean Summit from the previous day, which included implementing action, being more innovative and smart with our solutions, and using durable and effective partnerships – all critical in creating the much needed widespread change in people's thinking, actions and behaviours.

The IUCN WCC was held from the 1 to 10 September 2016, with the Pacific Island Leaders Welcoming Event taking place on 2 September.
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