Minister Orlando Jorge Mera with US special envoy John Kerry during the Oceans conference at Palau. Image: elnuevodiario.com.do
Santo Domingo.- The Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Orlando Jorge Mera, is attending the seventh “Our Oceans” conference, sponsored by the Republic of Palau and the United States of America.
According to a press release by the environment ministry, 75 national delegations will be attending the event which will take place from Wednesday 13 to Thursday 14 April. Palau is an archipelago with over 500 islands located in Oceania, which is part of Micronesia in the western Pacific Ocean.
Jorge Mera will represent President Luis Abinader in one of the world’s most important events concerning the oceans, which are threatened by climate change and plastic pollution.
“The Dominican Republic’s presence at this ocean summit follows on from the stance the country adopted at COP26, where we took the lead in the Caribbean islands, which are significantly affected by the effects of climate change and plastic pollution, and, therefore, we have to make our country’s voice heard and establish a shared position with small island states, like our own,” he stated.
The “Our Ocean, Our People, Our Prosperity” conference represents a significant moment to protect this important resource, as well as the planet’s climate.
Orlando Jorge Mera said: “We need to reclaim and rescue the Dominican Republic’s marine biodiversity, for our coasts, our people, and for present and future generations.
During the conference, the Minister will meet with John Kerry (the Special Envoy of the United States to Climate Action) and the President of Republic of Palau.
A major cross-cutting theme of this year’s conference will be the decarbonization of shipping, marine renewables, and marine-based nature solutions.
“The ocean-based climate initiatives to be discussed include scaling up marine renewables, decarbonizing the shipping sector, and protecting and restoring coastal and ocean ecosystems to help us keep the 1.5 degrees Celsius target within reach and build resilience to the impacts of climate change,” says a Ministry of Environment press release.
Further funding and concrete commitments are required to protect the oceans and address the climate crisis. The identification or support for innovative funding mechanisms to support inventories and restoration, conservation, and sustainable managing of blue carbon ecosystems is a key component of this initiative.
Plastic pollution is a global problem. Each year, more than 8,000,000 tons of plastics endup in the ocean. “This kind of pollution does not respect borders. Progress must be made on this issue and efforts must be redoubled as soon as possible,” concludes the statement.