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Mancham, the founding President of the Seychelles, is at the World Ocean Summit

Mancham, the founding President of the Seychelles, is at the World Ocean Summit ( Former President James R. Mancham, who is at the moment attending the World Ocean Summit in San Francisco, USA, has welcomed the declaration of the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, that the US will eventually become a signatory to the law of the sea convention and that meanwhile it will operate within the spirit of the convention.

Opening the World Ocean Summit at the prestigious Ritz Carlton Hotel in Half-Moon Bay, San Francisco, Mr. John Micklethwait, Editor-in-Chief of The Economist, which is hosting the conference with the support of National Geographic, recalled that the first World Ocean Summit was held in Singapore in 2012 with the aim of bringing together the ocean community to explore new ideas about how to manage the growing human impact on the world ocean more sustainably and how to return the seas to health.

In a special tele-address from Buckingham Palace, H.R.H. the Prince Charles told the 320 delegates attending the summit that the latest science is telling us that the oceans and its eco-systems are degrading more seriously and more rapidly than had been previously understood. “Overfishing, pollution, and climate change are largely to blame. Even so there remains much we do not know about the complex interactions of ocean, atmosphere, and Earth eco-systems, and how human-induced changes have further manifest themselves. As we ponder the new evidence, human activity in and around the seas intensifies, government and companies alike are turning to the ocean to drive new economic growth and deliver new sources of food, commodities, energy, and employment. The common mantra is that they will do so in a sustainable way,” the Prince declared.

In two notable interventions during the plenary session of the summit, former President Mancham spoke about President Michel`s vision for the “Blue Horizon.” “Whilst one of the primary objectives of the World Ocean Summit is to develop a `Blue Economy` at a global level in order to ensure the sustainability of the planet, Seychelles` development of a `Blue Economy` is about building a future for Seychelles based on sustainability, resilience, and responsibility. This bold and opportune initiative is proof that Seychelles is online with today`s realities," Mr. Mancham stated. However, he elaborated that if the “Blue Economy” philosophy is to succeed globally, regionally, and locally, it is important for it to be put “within a legal framework" so that laws and regulations are not only made but also practically enforceable. Mr. Mancham, therefore, questioned whether in the circumstances of today there was a need for a World Ocean Body beyond the current structures of the United Nations.
Dr. Lida Pet-Soede, Senior Representative of the Global Marine Program of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), expressed strong appreciation of Seychelles leadership in signing the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) and the desire of WWF to amplify that leadership by joining Seychelles in spearheading an effort towards region-wide ratification of the PSMA.

At a gala dinner hosted by the National Geographic, former President Mancham had long discussions with H.H. Prince Albert of the Principality of Monaco, when he brought up the possibility of Monaco supporting the realization of an Aldabra Centre on Mahe. Prince Albert has confirmed that he will be visiting Seychelles later this year where he hope to meet with the President and other leading figures in the country before taking a Seychelles holiday “en famille."

In a statement issued from his hotel in San Francisco last night, Mr. Mancham praised The Economist for projecting the importance of the oceans in the sphere of global development. “We have started the debate and must recognize that the oceans of the world which are all inter-connected and, therefore, constitute one ocean is man`s last frontier to penetrate and exploit. We must treat the oceans with respect and understanding because it constitutes the most important factor of the Earth`s eco-system.


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