8 June, 2017. On Monday, 5 June 2017, the Kingdom of Tonga opens the first official event, on Deep Sea Science for Sustainable Development at the United Nations Ocean Conference in New York.
This event was in partnership with The Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) and IUCN.
Countries from all over the globe have convened at this Ocean Conference in New York, from 5-9 June 2017, to explore how to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 14, which seeks to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
Ocean environments deeper than 200 meters account for more than 90% of the habitable space of the planet. Deep-sea science is the key to conserve and sustainably use ocean resources and maintain the ‘life-support’ functions of the ocean in the face of industrialisation and ocean change. This side-event had highlighted the opportunities to increase international collaboration to: advance and share knowledge of the deep-ocean; develop, deploy and transfer technologies; and lift research capacity for sustainable development.
Tonga’s Head of Delegation, Hon. Semisi Fakahau, Minister for Agriculture and Food, Forestry and Fisheries, in his welcome remarks highlighted the importance of deep-sea ecosystem services as a climate regulator; as well as providing resources, both living (such as fisheries and genetic resources), and non-living (such as minerals) that are important for the economies of States, particularly for small island developing states, such as Tonga.
“The technological and financial requirements to investigate and understand the deep-sea science are too great for one country to address alone,” says Hon. Fakau. “International collaboration is critical to share the costs and benefits of scientific research so that such research can be applied for conservation and sustainable development”.
Hearing from scientists from around the world on the discoveries of the deep-sea may hold, and discuss opportunities to increase international collaboration to: advance and share knowledge of the deep-ocean; develop, deploy and transfer technologies; and lift research capacity for sustainable development.
Accompanying Tonga’s Head of Delegation, were H.E. Mr. Mahe Tupouniua (Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Tonga to the United Nations), Dr. Tu’ikolongahau Halafihi (CEO for Tonga Fisheries), Dr. Tevita Suka Mangisi (Deputy Permanent Representative for Tonga to the United Nations), Ms. Atelaite Lupe Matoto (Director of Environment, Ministry of MEIDECC); and Ms. Rose Kautoke (Assistant Crown Counsel at the Attorney-General’s Office and Legal Advisor at the Permanent Mission).