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José Graziano da Silva, FAO director general. (Photo: Renato Araújo CC BY 3.0 BR/FIS)

A 'green economy' requires a 'blue economy', warns FAO

Monday, April 15, 2013, 03:00 (GMT + 9)

"There can not be a real green economy without a blue economy, which prioritizes the sustainable development of oceans and fisheries resources," states the director general of the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO), José Graziano da Silva.

In his view, the rational use of oceans and fisheries will help to put an end to famine and to combat the impact of climate change on the Pacific Islands.

During a meeting with the South West Pacific Ministers to address the issue of food safety, Graziano da Silva ensured "the importance of fishing and of aquaculture can not be disregarded."

"For more than 4,000 million people they account for 15 per cent of the average contribution of animal protein per capita," he added.

According to Graziano, fishing and aquaculture "generate more than 200 million jobs worldwide."

"At the same time, these vital services should not jeopardize the fundamental role the oceans play in regulating the Earth's climate, since they absorb more than 25 per cent of the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by human activities," he added.

As part of the 10th Ministerial Regional Meeting of the Southwest Pacific of the member countries of FAO, held in the capital of Samoa, Graziano da Silva stated that climate change has become "a matter of survival, like famine."

About 15 per cent of the planet's surface is currently occupied by the Southwest Pacific. This area includes about 2,000 islands and atolls, particularly vulnerable to storms and floods, water scarcity and pressure on fisheries and forestry systems, FAO indicated.

The United Nations organization is working together with Pacific island countries to broaden and deepen the implementation of international standards such as the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and its related instruments.

In addition, the entity combats illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and works in managing tuna fisheries and in the management of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction.

The current goal is to reach the Millennium Development Goal of halving by 2015 the proportion of people suffering from famine taking the year 1990 as reference.

Related article:

- UN launches plan to protect oceans and coastal areas

By Analia Murias



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