The Pacific Ocean Commissioner, Dame Meg Taylor, has congratulated the Government of Palau following the announcement that it will host the 2020 Our Ocean Conference.
“This is big news for the region and recognises Palau as world leaders when it comes to ocean management and conservation. Hosting a prestigious event like this will be an excellent opportunity for Palau and the larger Pacific community to showcase the ambitious vision we have for the sustainable development, management and conservation of “The Blue Pacific” region,” said Dame Meg.
“Coordinating a high level conference of this size is a significant undertaking. One which will require us to work closely together. The Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner stands ready to work with the Government of Palau and other Pacific countries to help make this event a success.”
The announcement came following the 2017 Our Ocean Conference which concluded over the weekend in Malta. The annual conference began in 2014 and aims to showcase the state of the world’s oceans and provide a platform for governments, private sector, non-government and civil society organisations to make announcements and commitments to further the protection of the ocean.
Before Palau hosts in 2020, the Conference will be hosted by Indonesia and Norway in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Speaking at the conference following the announcement President Remengesau said, “That we will be hosting Our Ocean in 2020 is truly an honour that we accept with great pride. We accept this honour on behalf of the entire Pacific Family and we will be reaching out to all Pacific island countries’ to join Palau in this great endeavour. We are confident that the Pacific will be a worthy host to such a prestigious gathering and that each and every one of the participants will be able to escape from the conference rooms and meetings and experience the Ocean in Palau so we can all have a renewed sense of what we are all fighting to protect.”
In 2015 President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. signed into law the Palau National Marine Sanctuary Act (PNMS). The law, which created a no-take Marine Sanctuary covering 80% of Palau’s Exclusive Economic Zone, is one of the World’s most ambitious ocean conservation initiatives and is aimed at not only protecting Palau’s marine resources, but also at protecting the global tuna stocks.