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Blue Economy Conference


Cook Islands delegation attending the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi, Kenya from 26 - 28 November 2018.  Left to right: Alanna Smith (Kōrero o te `Ōrau Member), Louisa Karika (Cook Islands National Environment Service), conference attendee, Rangi Mitaera-Johnson (Kōrero o te `Ōrau Executive Member), and Paul Napa Lynch (Cook Islands Seabed Minerals Authority).

The Blue Economy Conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 26 - 28 November 2018, giving opportunity for NGOs, Government, and the private sectors from around the world to share ideas on how nations can sustainably manage a blue economy, which includes not just the oceans but lakes, rivers, and smaller bodies of water.  I attended this conference with fellow Kōrero o te `Ōrau Member, Rangi Mitaera-Johnson.


This conference was an introduction on the blue economy concept, and various seminars were available to  participants to pick and choose from for capacity building.  Seminars were comprised of panel discussions from NGOs, Government, and the private sector who discussed different issues from fisheries management to seabed mining and plastic pollution.


For me personally, I was very interested in the Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) seminar as it is a new concept which Marae Moana is wanting to coordinate on all of the Cook Islands to assist with the sustainable management of our marine park.   I was recently involved with the consultations of Marae Moana's first MSP on Palmerston, so the MSP seminar was a good opportunity to hear about some of the challenges faced by MSP designs as well as the benefits of having one in place.

Writer Alanna Smith is a member of Kōrero o te `Ōrau.  For more information on the NGO and to support their work, please email

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