Blue economy summit concludes with pact to promote utilization of marine resources

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The world's first ever blue economy summit ended in Nairobi on Wednesday with more than 10,000 participants from 170 countries signing a pact to help advance sustainable exploitation of oceans and other marine resources to achieve sustainable development.

Kenya hosted the three-day blue economy conference in the Kenyan capital Nairobi that was attended by more than 10 Heads of State and Government drawn mainly from Africa as well as ministers, industry executive and scientists.

President Uhuru Kenyatta in his closing remarks said it covered a new milestone in global quest to revitalize growth of blue economy in order to secure a green, peaceful and prosperous future.

"The conference will be remembered for highlighting the great potential of our marine resources and moving forward, we have all committed to harness the potential of our lakes, rivers and oceans to grow our economies and expand job opportunities," Kenyatta said.

He said that the blue economy conference revitalized political goodwill that is required to anchor sustainable use of oceans and inland water resources to boost food security, cross-border trade and climate resilience.

"We are committed to strengthen political leadership, promote sharing of knowledge and information on threats to marine life," said Kenyatta adding that scientific research is key to boost management of marine resources.

The pact urges governments and industries to act on ocean pollution, promote smart shipping and sustainable fisheries in order to create vibrant blue economies.

Jonathan Wilkinson, Canadian minister of Fisheries and Oceans said the Nairobi blue economy summit rekindled conversation on viable utilization of the marine ecosystem to advance green and inclusive growth.

Several countries and multilateral lenders pledged financial and technical assistance at the end of the blue economy summit to promote marine protection, plastics and waste management, maritime safety and climate change adaptation to ensure that water based economic activities are an integral part of the sustainability agenda. 

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