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Ministry of Blue Economy & Civil Aviation rolls with the punches at the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference

Posted: Tuesday, July 5, 2022. 7:15 pm CST.

Photo Courtesy: GOB Press Office

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Ministry of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation (MBECA) rolled with the punches at the United Nations 2022 Oceans Conference in Lisbon Portugal participating in several side events highlighting the importance of science-based innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action.

The United Nations 2022 Oceans Conference was held from June 27 to July 1, 2022, and MBECA was in the thick of the action represented by Minister Andre Perez, Chief Executive Officer Kennedy Carrillo, Director of Blue Economy Maxine Monsanto, Senior Fisheries Officer at the Fisheries Department Adriel Castañeda, Project Director for the Environmental Defense Fund Nicanor Requena, and Chairman of the National Fishermen Cooperative Society Paulino Rodriguez.

“Belize’s new blue economy is already hailed globally as a model to follow,” said CEO Carrillo.

“With our approach to conservation financing, sustainable fisheries, and our outstanding marine protected areas system, the UN Oceans Conference in Lisbon provided the best opportunity to showcase and engage in opportunities for further support and collaboration at the global level.”

At the 2022 Oceans Conference, Minister Perez gave an address at the International Caribbean Efforts to Address Organized Crime in the Fishing Industry along with Ministers of Fisheries representing Norway, Jamaica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“The high-level event focused on fisheries enforcement and the international and regional instruments to cooperatively tackle organized crime in the global fishing industry and measures to reduce food security threats using innovative digital tools and inter-agency capacity support,” said a press release by the Government of Belize Press Office.

Before the Minister’s address, CEO Carrillo and Director Monsanto started the ball rolling as they joined in the discussions at the Commonwealth Blue Charter high-level breakfast meeting with other Commonwealth Blue Charter champions, member countries, and senior officials.

Maxine Monsanto made a presentation at the Seabed Mapping and Marine Date Multifunctional Spatial Planning “on the importance of seabed mapping and work conducted in Belize through collaboration with the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute”.

Accompanied by Paulino Rodriguez, Monsanto “also participated in A Sea Change for Small Scale Fisheries: Global Leadership Towards SDG14B: Preferential access for small-scale fishers and inshore exclusion zones, where they discussed sustainable fisheries in Belize utilizing practical solutions such as managed access and management of marine protected areas that support small-scale fishers’ access to resources and livelihood”.

Rodriguez was also present at a small-scale fisheries breakfast where the discussion centered on “a call to action for highlighting how fishers continue to contribute to economies”, said the GOB Press Office.

Castañeda reviewed Belize’s coral reef protection and restoration actions as a Blue Charter Champion Country at the event Addressing the Global Coral Crisis: Working Rapidly with National Governments. He also participated in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development event, Addressing Key Challenges in Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Seafood Trade Policy for Sustainable Development.

The GOB Press Office said the Ministry of Blue Economy & Civil Aviation in conjunction with Small Island Developing States (SIDS) DOCK and GRID-Arendal then hosted the side event Small Island Developing States and Blue Carbon Market.

Maxine Monsanto, along with representatives of Palau, Indonesia, The African Union, and technical experts from Kenya and GRID-Arendal, openly discussed “the development of blue carbon markets within SIDS at different stages of capacity, needs, experiences, challenges, and creating opportunities for a SIDS blue carbon community based on science, equity, and partnerships”.


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