Vietnam hosts international conference on ocean economy

All countries need to make stronger commitments and take more drastic and effective measures to demonstrate their responsibility for the sustainable development of the ocean economy.

Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh addressed the International Conference on Sustainable Ocean Economy and Climate Change Adaptation held on May 12 and 13 in both online and offline formats jointly organized by the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Thanh emphasised that as marine pollution and ocean plastic waste are urgent global issues, countries should establish a global system to monitor, share data, provide a scientific basis for ocean plastic waste from the national, regional and world scales.

In the coming period, nations need to overcome challenges in their efforts to tackle ocean plastic pollution on a global scale, and sustainably manage resources and activities at sea such as aquaculture, fishing, shipping, marine and coastal tourism, and energy development in oceans, he stated.

Developed countries should be responsible for providing financial support, sharing management experience and transferring technologies, while developing nations need strive to soon master science and technology of the blue economy so as to solve global sea and ocean issues together, Thanh added.

Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Le Minh Ngan stressed that protecting the health of oceans is a sustainable guarantee for economic growth and social prosperity, food security, livelihoods and employment in many countries, especially for vulnerable ones such as small developing island nations, and low coastal states.

Vietnam has always shown its responsibility as an active member in the international community, and is ready to cooperate with other countries and partners to share scientific knowledge, experience, resources and overall management initiatives for a sustainable ocean economy and climate change adaptation, Ngan added.

Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt said, “This conference is addressing some of the most important issues of our time. Norway and Vietnam’s objective is to push the climate and ocean agenda forward.  We live in a time of global turbulence. Global cooperation is more important than ever. We need consequential and immediate action. And it is our responsibility to keep building the momentum."

“The COVID-19 recovery provides the opportunity for countries and communities to ‘re-boot’ their approach to the blue economy. UNDP and the UN family stand ready to help countries shape a sustainable blue economy using innovative, science-based solutions. Working with local communities, and with broad alliances, we will ‘co-create’ new blue economy solutions -- recognising that our greatest hope to build a sustainable future for people and planet lies in human ingenuity and collective commitment to this cause,” stated Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator.

Themed “Solutions for a climate resilient Blue Economy”, the two-day conference attracted the participation of over 400 delegates from 70 countries, including leaders, experts, scientists and representatives from non-governmental organisations and research centres.