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Montreal, Canada - The Republic of the Marshall Islands, a Large Ocean State, believes a healthy, productive and resilient ocean biodiversity should be a global priority.
Hon. John Silk, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Marshall Islands addressed the high-level segment of the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity today in Montreal.
He highlighted the unique conditions faced as custodians of the Blue Pacific Ocean, in their effort to conserve biodiversity and manage related activities. This is due to their geographic situation, limited land and vast ocean spaces.
“Ecosystems and, in particular, coral reefs are crucial for the future prosperity and survival of our nation of remote islands. A robust Island Biodiversity Programme of Work and the Marine and Coastal Programme of Work will be key instruments for us,” stated Minister Silk.
“We strongly urge other countries to ensure that our biodiversity agreement upholds the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, including taking into account their free, prior and informed consent on new measures that will affect their communities, as laid out in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. “
The Marshall Islands is a member of the Micronesia Challenge, along with the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the target of which is to effectively manage at least 50 per cent of nearshore marine resources, and 30 per cent of terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2030.