APEC Oceans and Fisheries Working Group Meeting
May 10, 2015
Welcome Remarks of Atty. Asis G. Perez
Undersecretary for Fisheries
Good morning everyone.
First of all, allow me to once again congratulate the Government of Japan and all of the participants of the Workshop on the Climate Change Impact on Oceans and Fisheries Resources for the success of our event yesterday. It was a very comprehensive workshop, which would not have been possible without everyone’s cooperation. It reminds us to always push forth science-based measures to manage and conserve our marine environments, as well as to promote policies that foster sustainable and inclusive growth of economies in the APEC region. The climate change workshop contributes to the attainment of one of our key priorities for the APEC 2015, that is, to build a resilient APEC community.
Secondly, we thank everyone who was present during the welcome dinner for the participants of the climate change workshop. We hope you enjoyed the night which is also a glimpse of Boracay island culture. For our other friends from the APEC member economies who just arrived, we will make it a point that you experience the same brand and level of hospitality all throughout your stay here in the island.
The Island of Boracay is a source of our country’s pride because of its powdery sand and pristine waters. Beyond these aesthetic qualities, however, Boracay also cuddle diverse and rich marine life.
Yesterday, during the opening program of our workshop, I shared that the month of May here in the Philippines is declared as the Month of the Ocean. For this year, our celebration is centered on the theme, “Stand Up, Save Our Reefs,” as it is our advocacy to protect these marine ecosystems where plenty of marine animals depend on. I am sure that you share with us in this call, in the same way that we support you in similar undertakings of your economies.
On our previous meeting in Clark, Pampanga, we suggested the development of the OFWG 2015 Annual Work Plan in which US, China, Japan and, Peru volunteered to assist. This will be the take-off of our meeting here—to discuss its implementation and recommend strategies to the economies’ leaders. Our work plan will include projects and activities working around the issues of food security and blue economy, which will be undertaken individually and collaboratively by the member-economies.
Aside from these, we will continue to discuss policies that will help push forth sustainable development in the APEC region while keeping in mind the protection of our marine environments. Among other matters in our agenda are deliberations on free and open trade and investment as well as high level policy dialogue on blue economy and food security. We will also hear reports and updates from respective economies on some of our projects and other ocean-related concerns.
We were able to accomplish so much during our meeting in Clark. I am confident that with the same dedication, our three-day meeting here in Boracay will be as successful or even better. As we come again to the dialogue table, my aspiration is for us to be in the mind-set of coming up with concrete initiatives that would not only bring impact to our own economy but also to the region and to the world.
Thank you very much and may we have a productive day ahead of us.