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2023 Wrapped: Blue Prosperity Edition

In 2023, Blue Prosperity partners around the world were at the forefront of advancing sustainable ocean management, laying the foundation for a healthier ocean, thriving communities, and a brighter future. Some highlights from this year include:

Our partners led on the global stage at COP28 and Our Ocean Panama.

World leaders from Fiji, Tonga, and Vanuatu gathered at the Our Ocean Conference in Panama to celebrate bold leadership and shared action toward the collective goal of protecting at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030. 

At COP28, our partners stood out as leaders calling for bolder action on climate and emphasizing the importance of ocean-climate action. Representatives from the Azores, Bermuda, FSM, Fiji, The Maldives, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu were present at the conference.

The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), representing 39 countries, which is led by Samoa and includes FSM, Fiji, The Maldives, Tonga, and Vanuatu pushed for bolder climate action. 

“We are on the front lines of climate change, but at the same time islands are determined to meet the challenge.”

- Hon. Deputy Premier and Minister of Home Affairs, Walter H. Roban for Island Innovation's Ministerial Keynote at COP28

The Waitt Institute also congratulates Pacific Islands State Leaders on launching the Unlocking Blue Pacific Prosperity initiative with the Bezos Earth Fund to advance sustainable ocean management in the region.

"We understand that, because of its vast size, what happens to our Pacific is make or break for the planet. That's why we have committed to protecting 30 percent of our Blue Continent as we strive to protect and sustainably manage critical ecosystems." 

- Hon. Hu'akavameiliku, Prime Minister of Tonga

Community consultations and events held in the Azores, Bermuda, Samoa, and The Maldives.

Blue Azores completed a public consultation period for the offshore MPA network. 

Seven focus group sessions were held by the Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme to inform the updated Blue Prosperity Plan. 

Samoa integrated extensive community consultations and legal advancements as key components of their Samoa Ocean Strategy. 

The Noo Raajje team hosted and participated in six events to engage with youth, NGOs, resorts, and community members.

Image: Community consultations in Bermuda, the Azores, The Maldives, Samoa.

Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) signed with Vanuatu and Fiji

Vanuatu affirmed and Fiji reaffirmed their commitment to 100% sustainable ocean management and full protection of 30% of their ocean by signing MOUs with the Waitt Institute and establishing Blue Prosperity initiatives.

Three nationwide science expeditions completed in Fiji, Vanuatu, and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).

Blue Prosperity Fiji, Government Ministries, NGOs, partners, communities, CRIOBE, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography completed the largest nationwide assessment of Fiji’s coral reefs and gained permission from more than 100 communities to conduct research in their waters. 

Blue Prosperity Vanuatu, Government Ministries, partners, communities, CRIOBE, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography conducted the largest nationwide assessment of coral reefs and marine life across Vanuatu’s waters, spanning all 6 provinces. 

Blue Prosperity Micronesia partnered with National Geographic Pristine Seas to complete a nationwide expedition to study the health of the FSM’s ocean and impacts of climate change on the nation's outer atolls.

Image: Expedition photos from Fiji, Vanuatu, and Federated States of Micronesia.

Fiji, Vanuatu, and the Blue Prosperity Coalition held workshops to advance collaboration in Marine Spatial Planning. 

Blue Prosperity Fiji, in collaboration with the Natural Resource Owners Committee and iTaukei Affairs, hosted a nearshore resource management workshop. 

Blue Prosperity Vanuatu held a workshop to convene government officials and other key stakeholders to review and discuss the draft Marine Spatial Plan.

The Blue Prosperity Coalition hosted a workshop bringing together MSP practitioners from more than 10 states and nations to find innovative solutions to common challenges and identify opportunities for future collaboration.

Upcoming Events

Save the date: the Waitt Institute team and partners will be attending the Our Ocean Conference from April 15 to 17, 2024 in Athens, Greece. We hope to see you there!

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