Fiji partners with Waitt Institute to launch Blue Prosperity program
The Pacific island nation of Fiji has partnered with the Waitt Institute to launch the “Blue Prosperity” program and implement protections on 30 percent of Fiji’s waters.
The institute and Fiji’s Ministry of Economy, Fisheries, and the Environment have signed a memorandum of understanding to formally launch the program, which will have the Waitt Institute provide technical assistance to the country’s efforts. Fiji is aiming to sustainably manage 100 percent of its ocean and implement protections on 30 percent of its ocean by 2030.
“The Blue Prosperity program will align with and learn from existing ocean management efforts. The program will be science-based, collaborative, and consultative, with input from government agencies, civil society, stakeholders, NGOs, community groups, ocean experts, and individuals,” the Waitt Institute said.
The Waitt Institute is a nonprofit based in Washington D.C., U.S.A., that seeks to partner with governments of island nations to restore coral reefs and fisheries. It is funded by billionaire Ted Waitt, the founder of Gateway.
Fiji Attorney General and Minister of Economy, Civil Service, and Communications Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the partnership is a step toward a “better, bluer, and more sustainable future.”
“We all understand that the greatest good we can achieve in our lifetimes is to protect the Earth, the one home we have, and undo the decades of reckless damage done to the natural world,” Sayed-Khaiyum said. “We have the knowledge and wisdom to do much better by nature and, in so doing, do much better for ourselves and our children. This effort is far too important for any of us to go it alone.”
The partnership will consist of a five-year "Blue Prosperity" program that will be led by the Fijian government, according to the Waitt Institute.
“Fijians know what is best for Fijians’ ocean. We’re humbled and honored to be able to provide the technical assistance to make their visions for resilient oceans in Fiji a reality,” Waitt Institute Founder and Chair Ted Waitt said. “We recognize the immense amount of work that has been done to manage Fiji’s oceans thus far and are proud to support the government, NGOs, and communities in their efforts to protect 30 percent of Fiji’s waters.”
The program will ultimately create a legally-binding marine spatial plan, promote economic growth, and support Fiji’s efforts to strengthen sustainable fisheries management, the press statement added.
Photo courtesy of the Waitt Institute