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Eritrean Delegation Statement on “Solutions and Dialogue for Ocean Economy in Africa”

Eritrean Delegation Statement on
“Solutions and Dialogue for Ocean Economy in Africa”

Climate Change Conference – COP 22
12 November 2016, Marrakesh, Morocco


Dear Participants

Ladies and Gentlemen

I thank UNFCC Secretariat for organizing COP meeting and the Kingdom of Morocco for hosting this event. On this occasion I feel honored to present an insight into the essence of Eritrea’s coastal economy.

Eritrea enjoys extensive marine resources and fishery along the 1200 km of coastline and its 362 islands in the Red Sea. The strategic location and proximity of the Red Sea to global markets and international maritime routes is also additional comparative advantage. Moreover, the country is also blessed with a united, committed and a hardworking people.

In the above context, Coastal Development Programme has become one of the priorities in Eritrea’s sustainable, all-inclusive and pragmatic development agenda. This fits into the diversification policy of the state and integrates coastal activities into the national economy. The empowerment, improvement in their living condition and role of the people along the coast is also an important goal. In essence, the programme thus promotes integrated, multi-sector and coordinated effort. It also maximizes the utilization and management of the comparative advantages of marine resources and ecosystem.

Accordingly, Eritrea has been able to focus on coastal economic activities that ensure economic growth and economic empowerment and improvement of the people along the coast. The overall intention is, however, to transform Eritrean ports and coast into economic hub for the nation, region and beyond. The progress of the programme in some areas has been limited due to lack of investment and other challenges. Hence there is a long way to go but promising foundation has been laid.

On the other hand, sustainable management of Eritrea’s Red Sea coast remains a major challenge. This relates to the ideals of humanity and considers the needs and human betterment ideals of today and the future. Hence, climate resilience strategies are highly considered in the ongoing expansion of the coastal economy. In particular, measures are being taken to protect the natural safety net for healthy ecosystems, avoid over exploitation, control ecosystem degradation, abolish illegal fishing and protect the marine environment and coast lands where rainwater has been washing into the sea.

In the above context, Eritrea has continuously developed and implemented institutional and legal frameworks and policies to protect the marine environment and preserve its biodiversity. Relevant international instruments are also highly considered. In this vein, enforcement of environmental monitoring is also strengthened. Marine reserves are established and maintaining a pollution free coast line has been targeted. Spear fishing and the collection of live collars is also prohibited and protection of endangered species and corals is a priority. The conclusion of Marine Scientists that the Red Sea water is so warm and could be an ideal place to assess the impact of heat on corals also requires high attention.

Implementation has considered the objective situation of the country. It has entailed developing local capacity, extensive mobilization of resources, asserting the decisiveness of the human factor, and strengthening resilience to reduce vulnerability to the patterns of climate change. Hence, a systemic approach and effort is being consolidated to redouble the achievements gained so far. A major challenge is, however, institutional capacity and investment commensurate to the demands of sustainable coastal development.

In conclusion, Eritrea reiterates its commitment to further strengthen its cooperation with all partners in the realization of its Coastal Development Programme on the basis of its national ownership and priorities. Its goal of strengthening the cooperation among countries in the Red Sea basin is also a strategic dimension. This has remained an important drive in the peace, security and development of the region with implications to the emerging coastal economies.

I Thank You Excellencies!

Source: Shabait
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