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We transformed an environmental disaster to sustainable community tourism in Bali" says Komang Astika from Yayasan Karang Lestari Teluk Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia - Picture by UNESCAP
We transformed an environmental disaster to sustainable community tourism in Bali” says Komang Astika from Yayasan Karang Lestari Teluk Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia – Picture by UNESCAP

New York 5 June 2017

Komang Astika (36) is a villager from Pemuteran, a village with 4 hours of car driving from nearest Airport in Denpasar, Bali. On June 5th 2017, he sat at UN Ocean Conference Room 11, together with Fiji’s Minister of Fisheries: H.E. Semi Koroilavesau, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh: Mr. Khurshed Alam, Director General, Secretariat of the Pacific Community : Mr. Colin Tukuitonga, and Professor from University of the South Pacific :Ms. Elizabeth Holland.

The event hosted by UNESCAP (UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and The Pacific) has three objectives: i) to identify critical areas of regional and sub-regional cooperation for the implementation of SDG 14; ii) to present the preliminary outline of the assessment and seek inputs with a view to strengthening it; and iii) to establish or strengthen partnerships amongst regional and global partners to support implementation of resolution E/ESCAP/RES/72/9 and SDG 14.

26% of all carbon emissions are absorbed by our oceans" says Prof. Elizabeth Holland from University of the South Pacific . - picture by UNESCAP

Each of the panelists have 5 minutes to express their statement based on questions from the host. “26% of all carbon emissions are absorbed by our oceans” says prof. Holland. “We ask UNESCAP to support capacity development for SDG14 in Pacific” says Fiji minister Koroilavesau. “Bangladesh has introduced strict fishing regulation for sustainable management of Oceans” says Secretary Alam. We need support from UNESCAP to review environmental technologies for sustainable. management of oceans” says Secretary Alam. Annual sustainable yield is key for fisheries and oceans management” says Thai ambassador Kittichaisaree. “We have no baseline data for most SDG14 indicators in the Pacific” says DG of SPC Tukuitonga. We transformed an environmental disaster to sustainable community tourism in Bali” says Komang Astika of Yayasan Karang Lestari Teluk Pemuteran (Pemuteran Bay Coral Protection Foundation).

The panelists have been providing valuable input for UNESCAP on the key elements that should be included in an assessment of capacity development needs in Asia and the Pacific to support implementation of ESCAP resolution 72/9 and strengthen implementation of SDG 14. Further discussions and follow ups will be discussed in internal UNESCAP.

Interesting views at our Oceans Conference event with Fiji & Bangladesh on regional cooperation for SDG14 in AsiaPacific. Picture by UNESCAP

This is the first time Komang Astika speaks abroad and directly with policy makers and scientist at UN Ocean Conference. Komang says “Even though our intention is the same, to save the Oceans, but I feel that policy makers and scientist have different point of view. They need data, numbers, statistic. While we at grass root community are doing what we can to save the ocean. However, I feel that it will be good for grass root organization like us to be involved regularly on national and international event, so we can work together to save the ocean”.

For more information about Yayasan Karang Lestari Teluk Pemuteran you can read here and the Photo Essay by UNDP here.