Tuesday, 11 December 2012 00:00
The Maldives has called on the United Nations General Assembly to urgently address theeffective management of oceans resources. Speaking at the UNGA plenary meeting underthe Agenda Item on Oceans and the Law of the Sea, the Maldives delegation reiteratedthe necessity of addressing these issues for countries who rely on marine resources as aneconomic staple. Specific to the Maldives, tourism and fisheries, both of which rely onocean resources, are the country’s two largest economic contributors.
The Maldives welcomed ongoing efforts by the United Nations, such as the Secretary-General’s ocean initiative of 2012, and the inclusion of this debate on the outcomedocument of June’s Rio+20. However, the Maldives expressed its concern that “thecurrent international efforts are not enough to meet the target of restoring fish stocksto their maximum sustainable yields by 2015” and that the “world has missed the 2010target to achieve a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at theglobal, regional and national levels.”
Attempting to combat biodiversity loss at home, it was noted that the Maldives declaredthe Baa Atoll as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in June 2011 and that work is underwaytowards making the whole of Maldives a Biosphere Reserve by 2017. These are stepstowards signaling the commitment of the Maldivian people towards the sustainablemanagement of ocean resources.
The Maldives statement appreciated the Secretary-General’s emphasis placed on oceanthermal energy conversion that could be benefited by SIDS. However, it was noted thatmany SIDS, including the Maldives, do not have the necessary resources to pursue thisgoal alone and therefore called on international support and outside investment to aid inthe development of marine renewable energies.
The statement was delivered by Mr. Hassan Shihab, First Secretary of the PermanentMission of the Maldives to the United Nations.
Invest Maldives, the government agency entrusted with promoting, licensing and registering foreign investments in the country, is the first port of call for all foreigners keen to invest in the Maldives.