Sweden and EU team up with the Pacific region to protect ocean

Malta - 06 October, 2017 - Today a number of EU projects are launched to support International Ocean governance. A special emphasis is put on the Pacific – European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) programme to be implemented in 15 Pacific ACP countries (worth € 45 million) including the contribution of the Swedish Government (€ 10 million).

The EU programme is launched in the margins of the Our Oceans Conference in Malta, where global leaders are currently meeting to make concrete pledges to new actions in the fields of sustainable fisheries, marine protected areas, climate change, sustainable blue economy, marine pollution and maritime security.

The PEUMP is aligned with the Regional Roadmap for Sustainable Pacific Fisheries and will support sustainable management and development of fisheries for food security and economic growth in the Pacific region. It will be implemented over six years by regional organisations, in close cooperation with competent authorities from the 15 beneficiary countries: Cook Islands, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste.

PEUMP will follow a comprehensive approach, taking into account increasing needs for marine biodiversity conservation and for resilience to climate change Further areas of support will include 1) the provision of scientific and management advice, 2) the development of local employment and inclusive growth through more sustainable management of oceanic and 3) coastal fisheries resources, 4) the fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, 5) sustainable utilisation of the coastal and marine biodiversity; and 6) capacity building throughout the entire programme.

The programme is expected to facilitate sector policy dialogues, involving civil society organisations and non-state actors, including the private sector, at all levels, thus contributing to ownership and sustainability beyond the lifetime of the programme.

In his opening remarks, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica reaffirmed the role of the European Union as a reliable partner of the Pacific, and said: "As the life force that sustains our planet and every person on it, we will continue to support every effort to manage our oceans more sustainably for local communities and for many generations to come."

Swedish Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lövin added: “Marine resources form the backbone of the Pacific economy. The Pacific – European Union Marine Partnership will combine regional and national approaches and put specific attention to promote direct and positive changes for the ones in most need, targeting women, youth and other vulnerable groups."

On behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum, Secretary General Taylor said: “Our fisheries are fundamental to the health and prosperity of our people. For this reason it is vitally important that they are managed and developed in a sustainable way. The signing of the financing agreement for the PEUMP is testament to partnership with European Union that recognises the priorities Forum Leaders have set for the sustainable development, management and conservation of the Blue Pacific region.''

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