Pickering Talks Environment Protection In NY

Melissa Edwards, Senior Reporter | 1 Opinions
Published: June 15, 2017 12:42 pm AST
Flamingos on Necker Island.
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
A high-level United Nations Ocean Conference in New York, was told how important marine life and the sea is to the BVI, as a small island.

Hon. Dr Kedrick Pickering, Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Resources and Labour, said that during a presentation on the General Debate of the conference in plenary, the BVI set out its position on the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14.

"We highlighted how important the sea is to us as a people, who for many years depended on our waters for a livelihood. We also pointed out that today, we are even more so an ocean-based economy, as one of the premier yachting capitals of the world," he told the House of Assembly this week.

He added, "It is important to point out Madam Speaker, that the leisure of our tourists who enjoy sailing in our waters, does have an impact on our marine environment that cannot be ignored. Thus, the levy not long ago approved in this House was essential to capture additional resources to address the impact of the tourism sector on the marine and terrestrial environment."

The purpose of the conference, which was held from June 5-9, was to catalyse support for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, which calls for the conservation and management of the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Dr. Pickering, who also has responsibility for the environment, said that the conference provided a meaningful forum in which to engage internationally on the central issue of the sustainability of the oceans, but also other related issues such as climate change and biodiversity, that are key to the health of the planet and the well-being of all in it.

He explained that the participation of microstates such as the BVI was essential, as the UN and partners around the world are grappling with how to address a number of challenges which they face as a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) and microstate.

"As we are among the most vulnerable societies, our input is essential on issues such as marine sustainability, climate change and biodiversity. One of the biggest challenges Madam Speaker, is the ability of islands and small countries that are large oceans states, to govern their marine space with limited resources."

He said, "It is clear that partnerships, technical assistance and other measures will be key to addressing this challenge."

Mr. Benito Wheatley, the BVI's London Office Director and UK and EU Representative, accompanied the Minister to the conference.

Readers' Opinion

Please note that the opinions posted are the opinions of its author and does not reflect the views of the management, staff, parent company or sponsors of Virgin Islands Platinum News.