NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 5 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced an intent to host a global conference on the blue economy in the last quarter of next year.
Speaking at the official opening of the third session of the United Nations Environment Assembly on Tuesday, President Kenyatta said the conference would serve as a build-up to the 2020 United Nations Oceans Conference which Kenya has expressed interest in hosting.
“Earlier this year, in June, all our countries attended the first ever United Nations Conference on Oceans in New York. Following the conference, we all came to better realise the pivotal importance of oceans and seas to our people, our planet and our prosperity.
“Oceans, we now know, not only provide great value in maintaining life sustaining climatic conditions for all of us, but also provide enormous value in the form of the blue economy that can be tapped to help accelerate economic growth and fight poverty in all our nations,” he gave by way of motivation for the blue economy conference.
In the interest of a global meeting of the minds on the blue economy, President Kenyatta has invited the UN and other member states to share in the vision.
“It is our intention to work with interested nations, as well as the Special Envoy on Oceans of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and United Nations organisations,” President Kenyatta said.
The UN meet which concludes on Wednesday, has brought over 4,000 government representatives, UN officials, business leaders, scientists and civil society representatives together in pursuit of a sustainable solution to pollution and the threat it poses to life on the planet.
The Government has intensified efforts to harness the blue economy, which includes fishing, by setting up exclusive economic zones within the countries aquatic boundary.
The Ministry of livestock and fisheries estimates Kenya’s maritime economy to be worth over Sh90 billion.