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Belize Ambassador to Taiwan, Dr. Candice A. Pitts attends 7th Our Oceans Conference in Koror, Palau

Posted: Monday, April 18, 2022. 10:33 am CST.

Photo Credit: Belize Embassy in Taiwan

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Belize’s Ambassador to the Republic of China (Taiwan) Dr. Candice A. Pitts attended the 7th Our Oceans Conference in Koror, Palau, from April 12-16, 2022 along with Belize’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Carlos Fuller.

“I encourage countries to invest in educational campaigns to inform and educate the populace on the dangers our ocean is facing, so everyone in every country would be able to participate in these important conversations,” said Dr. Pitts to a Palau reporter.

The 7th Our Oceans Conference was held under the title “Our Ocean, Our People, Our Prosperity” was hosted by the President of the Republic of Palau, Surangel S. Whipps, Jr., and the United States of America’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change, Senator John F. Kerry.

According to the Belize Embassy in Taiwan the conference was held under the premise that the OCEAN is the source of all life. The problems the ocean faces are of concern to Belize as these have direct ramifications for small coastal countries.

“The ocean is also the great climate regulator; it absorbs 90% of the world’s heat and 1/3 of the world’s carbon dioxide,” said the Belize Embassy.

“However, this priceless natural capital is at risk due to human-induced threats such as overfishing, plastic pollution, and destruction of ocean habitats. Scientists warn that the ocean will become too warm for coral reefs and marine life by 2050.”

“We cannot solve the problem of the ocean without solving the climate change problem. Likewise, we cannot solve climate change without the help of the ocean,” said Senator Kerry.

“We cannot escape the crisis, but we can escape the worst of the consequences.”

“We need to invest the money now; we are racing against time,” said President Whipps.

President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly Abdulla Shahid said that the world’s countries must invest in solid, reliable, and accessible Ocean science data and information and that the data should be used to inform policies and programmes. Shahid said the decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development is timely and important.

“We must recognize and address the threats facing our ocean. The latest IPCC report us a wakeup call,” said Shahid.

“More carbon dioxide means greater ocean acidification, greater loss of marine ecosystems, and greater loss of marine biodiversity. We must move ambitiously forward in tackling plastic pollution.”

Palau is a country in the western Pacific Ocean consisting of 340 islands. It has a population of 18,100. Koror, where the conference was held, is one of its main islands.

The 8th Our Ocean Conference will take place in 2023 in Panama.

 

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