With its independence in 1980, Vanuatu set sail to manage its vast area of nearly 700 000 km2 of ocean.
During the voyage the country recognized the increasing need to coordinate and manage marine resource use, ranging from subsistence and commercial fisheries, over marine transport, deep sea mineral exploration to tourism and marine biodiversity conservation.
In 2013, the regional MACBIO project got on board, to assist the Vanuatu Government in its efforts to value its rich marine ecosystem services, as well as towards developing an inaugural Ocean Policy. The policy was endorsed by the Council of Ministers earlier this year, as a holistic, integrated framework for sustainable management of Vanuatu’s ocean.
Last week, on the 23.11.2016, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade, Hon. Bruno Tau Lengkone used the opportunity of the Sustainable Ocean Initiative Workshop, to thank the CBD Secretariat and CSIRO for their facilitation of the workshop, as well as for the contributions by the MACBIO project and its ongoing support towards the implementation of the Ocean Policy.
The project, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Environment, jointly implemented by SPREP, IUCN and GIZ, is looking forward to further assist the Government of Vanuatu in the coming years. The national focus on integrated ocean management will be supported through multi-sectoral marine spatial planning and the documentation of current effective marine resource management approaches that seek to balance ecological, economic and social objectives.