Safeguard ocean for future generations-VP

THE Vice-President Philip Mpango has issued several directives to ministries and communities to work together to safeguard the ocean for future generations.

Dr Mpango said the available information shows that if effective measures are not taken now, especially to control plastic waste pollution, the sea will be burdened by 2050.

He made the remarks yesterday in Dar es Salaam at an event commemorating ‘World Ocean Day’ organised by the Marine Parks and Reserves Unit (MPRU) of the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries.

“Let us forge new partnerships, combining our diverse perspectives, knowledge, and resources to protect our ocean for future generations. Our success in protecting and conserving the ocean and its resources will be based on our ability to deal with emerging challenges,” Dr Mpango said.

Dr Mpango gave directives to the Ministry of State (Union and Environment) office to complete the blue economy policy and its implementation plan as soon as possible, and as well speed up the guidelines for environmental protection in the blue economy.

He also directed the Ministry of Fisheries to manage marine resources sustainability.

“I realize that the ministry is reviewing and revisiting the Fisheries Act and the Marine Parks and Reserves Act. These acts have shown systemic, structural and operational deficiencies in managing and implementing the national fisheries policy declarations of 2015. Make sure this is done quickly and that everyone is involved,” the VP said.

Dr Mpango further instructed the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism to work in conjunction with the Ministry of Fisheries and institutions conducting marine research to make sure that in-depth studies are conducted to improve understanding of marine science and the effects of the problems that have emerged on society and ecology.

Furthermore, he directed them to use a variety of methods to visualize how the blue economy can benefit society and the nation as a whole. In addition, he called for the attention of the team of experts in the Ministry of Finance and Planning who are preparing the national development vision 2050 for an in-depth analysis of the area.

“As part of the protection of marine resources, coastal and lake communities must be involved and participate fully”, said Dr Mpango. The marine environment is of particular importance to them since they are their first beneficiaries and victims.

To secure food security, combat poverty, and address climate change, he added, “These communities should also be involved in designing and preparing marine environment conservation projects.”

The vice president also urged some fishermen to quit utilising illegal fishing techniques and for those communities to serve as the primary stewards of the marine resources in their areas for the benefit of current and future generations.

“Young people should keep inspiring one another and join different environmental care groups, including protecting the sea, stepping up efforts to plant trees, cleaning beaches, teaching your peers at school, and being environmental guardians,” he stated.

World Ocean Day is an international day that takes place annually on 8th June. The concept was initially proposed in 1992 by Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development and the Ocean Institute of Canada at the Earth Summit – UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Earlier, the Chairman of the MPRU Board Dr Boniventura Baya said the ocean is important because it covers over 70 per cent of the planet.

“It is our life source, supporting humanity’s sustenance and that of every other organism on earth,” he said.

He added,” According to UN data, just 2.8 per cent of the world’s seas are adequately protected, while global population expansion and development activities have continued to harm and affect the oceans.”

“Planet Ocean: tides are changing”, is the theme for World Oceans Day 2023 – the UN joined forces with decision-makers, indigenous leaders, scientists, private sector executives, civil society, celebrities, and youth activists to put the ocean first.

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