Hon Raphael G.C. Trotman, Minister of Natural Resources delivers address to Plenary Meeting of the UN Ocean Conference

image1(1)NEW YORK, USA – Honourable Raphael G.C. Trotman M.P., Minister of Natural Resources, told a United Nations Ocean Conference being held in New York, USA that the health of oceans is a concern to all given the fact that oceans and seas cover nearly three quarters of the earth’s surface and play an important role in sustaining both life on the planet and the livelihoods of many of its inhabitants.

Minister Trotman was addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York during the Ocean
Conference on June 7, 2017. The conference concludes on June 9, 2017. The conference is a call to action in support of Sustainable Development Goal 14, which is to conserve and sustainably use oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Recognising the unalterable objective of achieving a “green state” set by H.E. President David Granger, Minister Trotman told the Assembly that “Oceans and seas produce half of our oxygen, regulate global climate, and provide employment, food and other valuable resources for our populations…We note with alarm the unsustainable levels of overfishing and destructive fishing practices, much of it illegal, unreported and unregulated, as well as the effects of pollution on marine life, fish stocks and on the use of the oceans for recreational purposes”.

Minister Trotman said that Guyana welcomed the focus by the international community first time, on the critical role of our oceans in sustaining life on Planet Earth.

The Minister said that Guyana is conscious of the linkages between SDG 14 and all of the other goals and targets set out in Agenda 2030. He said too that these goals have therefore all been integrated into Guyana’s national development plans and strategies.

The Minister said that as a low-lying coastal State, Guyana is particularly concerned with the impact of rising sea levels on coastal erosion, which destruction of the mangrove forests can exacerbated.

In this regard, Minister Trotman reported that with the assistance of the European Union and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Guyana is engaged in a robust programme of mangrove management “to protect our nearly 480 kilometers of Atlantic coastline from coastal erosion.”

The Minister also reported that Guyana is also in the process of developing a complement of inter-related services to better manage its coastal ecosystem, including data gathering, social mobilization and capacity development under its recently launched Green State Development Strategy.

image2Minister Trotman in concluding his presentation announced that Guyana will register as a Voluntary Commitment its plan to undertake a series of initiatives “designed to achieve and maintain healthy waterways and the Atlantic Ocean, as our contribution to Sustainable Development Goal Fourteen (SDG 14), targets 14.1 and 14.2.”

The Honourable Minister and delegation were able thus far to meet bilaterally and, in a number of cases, to have discussions with the Heads of several other participating delegations, including those of Italy, Denmark, Jamaica, Barbados, and Kenya.

Minister Trotman also had a brief and informal discussion with the Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Legal Affairs and Legal Counsel of the United Nations, Mr. Miguel de Sherpa Soares.


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