In October, Kirsty Woods (Tai Moana/Senior Policy Analyst) attended the Pacific Ocean Alliance Forum in Fiji. The purpose of the hui was to encourage a collective approach to managing the Pacific Ocean and support development of a 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. Endorsed by the Pacific Islands Forum, this long-term strategy seeks to provide the Pacific with a united voice in the face of major challenges such as climate change and management of the regions’ oceans generally.

The Pacific Alliance Forum in Fiji brought together national representatives, NGOs and private sector interests from around the Pacific, engaging a wider group of stakeholders in the conversation. They discussed issues facing the Pacific and key priorities for regional cooperation.

“Some of the key issues raised during the workshops included managing waste, climate change, deep sea mining, fisheries and marine spatial planning – including marine protected areas.  Participants had different perspectives on some of these issues which is to be expected when different sectors come together,” says Kirsty. “For example, there were different perspectives on marine protection, the role of large marine protected areas and how marine protection targets should be defined.

There were parallels to the work we’ve been doing at Te Ohu Kaimoana in relation to Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction. Particularly around the significance of consulting Iwi, or indigenous people, and acknowledging the role that traditional knowledge plays in our on-going relationship with the ocean, including conservation and utilisation.”

Te Ohu Kaimoana will continue to take a keen interest in matters in the Pacific.