Friday, 15 June 2012

Pacific NGO's step up Oceans campaign at Rio+20

By Ms. Makereta Komai, Editor, PACNEWS

Maureen Penjueli, PANG
14 June 2012, Rio de Janeiro - A Fiji based regional non-governmental organisation has used the global platform at the Rio+20 conference to call for urgent action on the sustainable management of ocean resources.

Speaking at the Major Groups press briefing here in Rio de Janeiro, Maureen Penjueli, co-ordinator of the Pacific Network on Globalization (PANG) said the ocean is part of the identity and culture of every Pacific Islander.”

“We are extremely concerned with how slow negotiations have progressed with many parts of the text still bracketed.

“We urge officials to approach negotiations with a sense of urgency given the complexities of threats faced by our oceans including impact of climate change, overfishing, pollution, ocean acidification and emerging new threats from experimental seabed mining. The impacts of which include threatens our food sovereignty, livelihoods which disproportionately affect women and children in the Pacific," said Penjueli.

She urged negotiators to address structural changes needed for implementation.

“To that end we support government’s efforts to push for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to be given more power to respond to the complexities and challengers faced with the management of our Oceans. We owe it to the next generation to leave behind a healthier ocean.

“We are in a state of interconnected crises - financial and economic crises, food and energy crises, the ecological crises including the climate change crises and the resultant impact of growing inequality within and between states which continues to disproportionately affect women and children. It is clear that root cause of the crises is clearly linked to an endless growth model.

Penjueli said there needs to be a clear acknowledgement in Rio of the root causes of the crises.

"Unfortunately there seems to be no political will to confront the endless growth model. The business as usual model is no longer an option if we are to avert imminent disaster.”

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