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Integrated Ocean Management: Safeguarding Papua New Guinea’s ocean resources and ecosystems

Papua New Guinea (PNG) is taking bold steps to safeguard its ocean resources and ecosystems to ensure sustainability for future generations.

A workshop for key stakeholders is taking place on 14 and 15 November in the capital, Port Moresby, facilitated by the Pacific Community (SPC), in partnership with the PNG Office of Ocean Affairs (OOA), of the Department of Justice and Attorney General and the European Union.

During this event and through the European Union funded Pacific Solutions Integrated Ocean Management (PSIOM) programme, SPC is supporting PNG  in reviewing existing legislations and policies to progress the implementation of the National Ocean Policy 2020-2030.

Acting Director of the PNG OOA Grace Kaue said the State had a responsibility to plan and manage its ocean space to ensure all its users can sustainably benefit from ocean resources.

"Integrated ocean management is a holistic approach to manage and protect ocean resources, including ecosystems, biodiversity and human activities, in a coordinated and sustainable manner".

"While the National Ocean Policy commits to an integrated approach to ocean management, effective implementation will depend on the harmonisation of sectoral legislation and regulations and improved collaboration between key stakeholders," Ms Kaue said.

She said a key objective of the Ocean Law and Policy Review will be to identify sectoral recommendations to enhance the implementation of collaborative approaches, which the Oceans Office can support and facilitate through its governance committees.

PNG is among several countries to have developed National Ocean Policies (NOPs) to address the increasing challenges of managing the needs of multiple ocean users, including fishing communities, the fisheries industry and the private sector among others.

SPC's Ocean and Maritime Deputy Director Jens Kruger said through the PSIOM programme, SPC is committed to supporting member countries to manage and protect the Pacific Ocean sustainably.

"A common aspiration within national ocean policies in PNG and the Pacific is the growing desire for Integrated Ocean Management (IOM). In the Pacific, IOM recognises that traditional knowledge and culture, advanced science and robust laws and policies are key to understanding the ocean and effectively implementing ocean policies through stakeholder consultation, engagement and participation," Mr Kruger said.

A highlight of the workshop will be the presentation of findings and recommendations of the legal review to the PNG National Ocean Committee (NOC) to establish the implementation status of PNG's Ocean policy, identify gaps and discuss opportunities.

The Pacific Community Centre for Ocean Science is leading the PSIOM programme and works with the Pacific Island government, sub-national authorities and regional agencies to implement holistic ocean management practices.

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