Build unified sustainable blue economic belt: PM

Women BD Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday called upon the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) member states to build a unified sustainable blue economic belt in this region by making best use of the untapped resources of the sea.

“There are great opportunities to accelerate the sustainable development process of the respective countries of the region through Blue Economy approach making best use of the unused or untapped resources of the sea,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina added: “We can tackle the challenges of poverty, food insecurity, energy crisis and ecological imbalances and create huge employment opportunity.”

The prime minister was formally inaugurating the 3rd IORA Blue Economy Ministerial Conference at Hotel InterContinental Dhaka this morning.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in association with IORA has organised the two-day conference.

The prime minister also urged the IORA member countries to build on a consensus agreement to achieve the Goal-14 of the SDGs of the UN through a sustainable approach of management of the sea resources in this conference.

She said in pursuit of making the best outcome of a unified sustainable Blue Economy, there is no alternative to cooperation and coordination among the stakeholders.

“Therefore, I would urge you all to build on a consensus agreement to achieve the Goal-14 of the SDGs of the UN through a sustainable approach of management of the sea resources in this conference,” she said.

Only then, she added, the Blue Economy would play a pivotal role to contribute to the life of 9 billion people by 2050.

Pointing out that there is an intricate relation between peace, security and sustainable development, Sheikh Hasina said: “We have to keep it in mind that we cannot sacrifice the marine environment in pursuing economic growth.”

The premier went on saying: “We should simultaneously look Blue Economic Growth and think blue.”

She said a properly coordinated, profitable and overall a protective policy to the ocean has to be adopted and to act accordingly to achieve the goal.

Sheikh Hasina said the oceans and seas are the potential and versatile resource frontiers for mankind, which are still remained under-explored mostly.

“Ocean-based industries such as shipping, fisheries, energy and minerals, seaports, tourism and marine biotechnology are contributing as key driving forces to the flourishing global economy,” she added.

Realising the importance of the sea and its potential maritime resources, the prime minister said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman first adopted ‘The Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act, 1974’, to set the limit of the ‘Maritime Zones’ of Bangladesh and extract sea resources.

She mentioned that her government formulated short, medium and long term “Plan of Actions” with a view to conserving, controlled harnessing, managing and development of fishes in the Bay of Bengal.

About the IORA, Sheikh Hasina said the association has become a platform for cooperation in the areas of maritime safety and security, trade and investment facilitation, fisheries management, disaster risk management, science and technology cooperation, tourism and cultural exchanges and blue economy.

She hoped that this spirit of cooperation and momentum of collaboration among the IORA members will be augmented in the days to come.

In this connection, the premier said Bangladesh is going to take charges as the Vice-Chair on the 1st of next month for two years and the Chair on 1st October in 2021 for next two years of the IORA.

Daily Women Bangladesh/BH

Comment here