Mon, 05 March 2018
Former President Michel – who was instrumental in the launch of negotiations for the deal said:
“I feel a sense of accomplishment. After initiating the comprehensive economic reforms, although the world was talking about financing Tools to mitigate the effects of climate change, I realised that the small island states with large marine areas had to take the initiative and design tools to raise financing, while the mechanism for global financing are put in place. It would take time. And Time was not on our side. There was no time to wait.
“At the same time we had to find ways to reduce our foreign debts profile to succeed with the economic reforms. This is when we came up with this innovative tool – which was a first in the world – and started negotiations to make it happen. I had the support of President François Hollande of France.
“Nature Conservancy and Di Caprio Foundation agreed. And we continued to gain support from a few small Philanthropic organisations . We succeeded in putting in place the mechanism to set up the fund.
“Today I am proud that this initiative by a small island state – which is at the same time a large ocean state – has succeeded in setting an example to preserve a large area of our EEZ, ensure the health of our oceans and the sustainability of our vast ocean resources.
“It is a big step forward to implement my vision of the sustainable Blue economy concept.”
A number of fishermen said they all support conservation efforts but regretted when regulations are put in place, law abiding fishers will respect them only for others to take advantage and fish in restricted areas.
Read the full interview here.