NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya must adopt innovative practices to promote
sustainable management of inland fresh water, conservationists
said on Wednesday, the final day of a three-day blue economy
conference in Nairobi.
program officer at Wetlands International, said that healthy
fresh water ecosystems have a direct bearing on the growth of
blue economy that seeks to promote food security, trade and
water based transportation.
“The inland water
bodies like rivers, fresh water lakes and catchment basins have
a major contribution to the blue economy. They are
interconnected with oceans where the bulk of blue economic
activities take place,” said Nyaega.
She emphasized that
conservation of fresh water bodies is key to maintaining the
ecosystem balance required to enhance growth of blue economic
pillars like fisheries and manufacturing.
“Actions that are
taken at the upstream will impact on the health of oceans. We
should therefore look at the blue economy from a holistic
approach,” said Nyaega, adding that sound policies are required
to promote sustainable water use amid threats linked to climate
change and rapid population growth.
Kenya hosted the
world’s first ever blue economy summit that was attended by
dozens of heads of state or government, ministers, industry
leaders and grassroots campaigners.
The summit sought to
reactivate a global conversation on the prudent use of inland
water sources, oceans and mangroves to achieve food and energy
security as well as climate resilience.
Nyaega said that
Kenya is in a vantage position to become a blue economy
powerhouse on the back of policy reforms and awareness creation.
“We require better
planning and sound policies to enable communities to harness
ocean resources in a sustainable manner. Natural capital
accounting will ensure coastal communities place value on
restoration of mangroves that are breeding site for fish,” said
She urged greater
community involvement to ensure implementation of blue economy
projects is transparent and has minimal risk to the environment.
Maritime security key to growth
of blue economy in Africa: experts
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Securing Africa’s abundant marine resources from
emerging threats like illegal fishing, piracy and dumping of
toxic waste is key to hastening growth of the continent’s
nascent blue economy, experts said on Wednesday in Nairobi.
experts, who spoke at a side event on maritime safety during an
international meeting on blue economy, said that African
countries that are endowed with vast coastlines should intensify
vigilance against man-made and environmental threats.
Kenya’s cabinet secretary for defense, said there is a consensus
among African nations on the need to strengthen their maritime
security as they embark on revitalizing the key blue economy
pillars that include fisheries, tourism and shipping.
“We are convinced
that securing our oceans and other marine resources is critical
to the growth of blue economy. Safety in our sea lines will
facilitate cross-border trade and mineral exploration,” Omamo
harmonization of policies, capacity-building, knowledge and
information sharing to boost safety of oceans and mangrove
forests that are key to food security, climate resilience and
job creation in Africa.
“Coordination of our
coast guards is critical to secure our marine resources and pave
way for the blue economy to take off,” Omamo said, adding that
Kenya’s recently launched coast guard marked a milestone in the
country’s quest to become a blue-economy hub.
Michelle Stallone, a
maritime security expert, said that a motivated coast guard is
key to combating illegal fishing and plunder of mangrove forests
that are a threat to growth of blue economy in sub-Saharan
“Safety in the
oceans will enable governments and local communities carry out
fishing and seabed mining that will support the next phase of
industrialization in Africa,” Stallone said.
Daya Bragante, a
blue economy specialist at the United Nations Economic
Commission for Africa, said robust collaboration among
governments, industries and local communities is key to
strengthening protection of Africa’s marine ecosystem amid
threats linked to population pressure, over-exploitation and
Blue economy summit seeks
curb unplanned deep sea oil exploration
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Participants at the Sustainable Blue Economy
Conference in Nairobi have called for proper planning at sea to
ensure the exploration of oil and gas at sea does not affect
“We have come to an
understanding on the need to work together,” January Makamba,
the Tanzanian minister of State for Environment at the Vice
President’s office, said on Tuesday evening during a special
session to discuss marine spatial planning.
Makamba said the
proper planning and application of the right policies to
allocate resources at the sea was crucial to protect the rich
natural wealth at sea.
“You cannot delink
what happens at sea from what happens inland,” Makamba said,
explaining that his country, Tanzania was struggling with the
challenge of balancing the use of space at sea and acquisitions
of land for oil and gas.
Makamba said natural
resources obtained from the sea required space onshore to
effectively exploit, which justified the need for synchronized
planning of both.
minister said there was need for international rules and
regulations on how to develop and utilize resources obtained
from the sea and how onshore oil would be processed and
The marine planning
specialists are examining how to effectively plan for the use of
land onshore and offshore to balance human activity and
Experts say a focus
is required on how to stimulate sustainable blue economy
strategies through national and regional case studies and
methods. The focus should remain on balancing the use resources
at sea and conservation.
representing various countries from around the world are also
exploring how to attract foreign funding for conservation of
nature at sea.
Wallace Cosgrow, the
Seychelles Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change,
said continuous consultations were required on how to protect
fish at sea.
He said consultation
were required on how to conserve the marine ecology and how new
technologies could be applied in the conservation of nature at
island nation in the Indian Ocean, has largely built its economy
around tourism and the fisheries industries.
Currently, less than
7 percent of the world’s oceans are under any form of protection
which puts the lives of communities, the coral reefs and other
marine fisheries species at risk.
dumping at sea, oil spills and other environmental threats also
threaten large water bodies and communities.
Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed raised concerns about the threats
faced by local communities during the conference.
commonly known as Farmajo, called for protection from hazardous
waste dumping and illegal fishing in a speech at the conference.
The protection of
marine fisheries and other environmental threats which limits
the use of marine resources has been top agenda at the