National Ocean Policy to be enshrined into law

February 11, 2021 12:55 pm

Fiji’s National Ocean Policy will be enshrined into law through the upcoming Climate Change Bill.

Speaking in Parliament, Economy Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says the ocean health cannot be compromised as it’s critical for the economy, Fijian livelihoods and culture.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the ocean needs to be protected along with the bounty it provides.

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“Given that 20% of the Fijian population lives within 1km of the coastline and 76% within five kilometres. NOP recognizes the intrinsic connection Fijians have with the marine biosphere. In doing so, it places consistent community engagement and correlation at the heart of its implementation plan. This is exemplified by the establishment of the annual Talanoa dialogue on oceans which will be a forum to discuss matters of importance in the ocean sector and provide accountability to the public.”

He adds the Ocean Policy has a government structure in recognizing the complexities of our ocean sector.

“Two flagged outcome of NOP are to declare 30% of Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone as Marine Protected Areas with 100% sustainable management of our EEZ by 2030. These targets are consistent with Fiji’s global commitment such as SDG 14, life below water and the 30×30 initiative lead by the Government of the United Kingdom.”

The Ministry of Economy commenced with the compressive drafting process of NOP in 2019 which took over a year to complete.