There is a pressing need to usher in concrete actions to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined in Agenda 2030 and to advance the sustainable development of the oceans.
The ocean represents a significant reservoir of vital resources providing food and livelihood to the world’s population. In fact, 50% of the fish humans consume comes from aquaculture, and 350 million people worldwide are employed in the fishing industry. Furthermore, 80% of commodities are transported by sea for global trade, greatly impacting economic growth. The marine and coastal environment also constitutes a key resource for the important global tourism industry, supporting all aspects of tourism development. However, marine and coastal environments continue to be extremely vulnerable to climatic change, weather extremes, waste management, and human development activities.
To address the growing concerns, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia and Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia in collaboration with IORA will be hosting a Workshop on Coastal and Marine Protection and Conservation Issues and its importance to the Blue Economy from 31 October – 2 November 2023 in Malaysia.
The workshop will contribute to the implementation of Objective A3 of the Work Plan of the Core Group on Tourism (CGT) on “Encouraging the sustainable development of community-based tourism and eco-tourism” more specifically under Activity A3.1 on “Workshop to raise awareness of coastal and marine protection and conservation issues and its importance to the Blue Economy, including areas such as cruise tourism”. The overall objective of the workshop is to provide a platform for IORA member states to share scientific research findings and measures to strengthen policy, legal, and institutional framework for coastal and marine resource conservation and sustainable use.
The organisers will first carry out a study among IORA Member States on the research being conducted on climate change, jellyfish bloom and marine debris in coastal and marine environments; citizen science approaches to raising the awareness of coastal and marine resource conservation and sustainable use, and policy best practices on governance and regulation relating to coastal and marine conservation and tourism. Following the completion of the study, a 3-day international workshop will be organised which will include keynote presentations from experts on topics such as sustainable coastal and marine tourism, the vulnerability of coastal areas to climate change, the impact of jellyfish occurrences on the coastal socio-economy, and policies for coastal development.
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