The consultation will be facilitated by experts from the UK’s leading maritime technical agencies - the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO), the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (UK CEFAS) and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC).
At the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malta in November 2015, the UK announced a £5.6million package of measures to alleviate poverty and support the sustainable economic growth of Commonwealth SIDS within the Caribbean, Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. The Commonwealth Marine Economies programme or ‘CMEP’ aims to improve maritime data and help inform long term strategies to enable safe and resilient marine economies across 19 Commonwealth SIDS. A collaborative approach defined by unprecedented UK interagency cooperation between three UK technical agencies (CEFAS, NOC, UKHO) and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office is at the core of this global initiative to support 19 vulnerable SIDS through scientific data collection and improved hydrographic products.
The Pacific workshop will bring together key stakeholders representing 12 Commonwealth governments as well as regional technical agencies and key donors, in order to identify actions to further enable safe and sustainable marine economies across 9 Pacific Commonwealth SIDS. The Pacific Regional consultation will provide an entry point for discussions between UK Agencies and Pacific Stakeholders to identify key areas that would benefit from UK technical assistance.
British High Commissioner and head of the UK South Pacific Network, Her Excellency Ms Melanie Hopkins said:
I am delighted that the UK is working with our Commonwealth partners in the South Pacific to support collaborative efforts to develop sustainable marine economies. We are keen to show the UKs recognition of the unique profiles of the Pacific’s ‘Large Ocean States’.
The UK is itself a proud island nation and our long term expertise and experience with maritime data collection and management is something this programme will help share. I am excited to host this regional workshop and look forward to learning more about how, together, we can enhance the resilience and ensure sustainable economic potential of the Pacific marine environment.