Genuine partnerships towards blue-green economies
WWF-Pacific and the PIDF Secretariat will seek business, CSO and donor partners to jointly develop, finance and convene the regional business to business forum for the Pacific addressing business practices that contribute to sustainable natural resource management.
The B2B forum will be modelled on the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security Regional Business Forum (CT RBF), also initiated by WWF together with development partners and the six Coral Triangle countries – namely Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Timor Leste.
This event was created as a regional platform to help safeguard the long-term profitability of businesses, the sustainability of the region’s finite marine resources, and the well-being of the millions of people who directly depend on the Coral Triangle for food and livelihood.
Since its inception, this platform has seen fishing companies, seafood retailers, financial
institutions, and travel and tourism operators in the Coral Triangle publicly announce concrete steps to reduce their impact on the marine environment by adopting more responsible business practices. . A number of these industries are global players and operate in the Pacific as well.
WWF-Pacific Representative, Kesaia Tabunakawai is excited about this opportunity to contribute to the development of island economies that are sensitive to the need for sustainable resource management for island food security and enduring livelihoods.
“The Pacific Ocean and Islands support the world’s richest fisheries, most expansive and diverse coral reefs, magnificent areas of tropical forests, and contain many species not found anywhere else on earth,” Tabunakawai said.
“Our health, wealth, history, culture and identity are shaped by the ocean. Much of the financing for development in many PICs comes from the bounty of the ocean, beauty of nature of islands and the surrounding waters, and increasingly the potential from deep sea minerals, oil and gas, and for the larger Melanesian islands, the bounty of their unique forests as well.
“Strategic efforts that provide for building sustainable fisheries, tourism and coastal and marine ecosystems for food security and livelihood and sustainable forest development need to be pursued, tried and adapted in earnest for the region. It is likely many of the business players in the Coral Triangle are players in the extraction and processing of Pacific resources.
“Extending the B2B mechanism to the Pacific for the participation and joined up action by Pacific Islander stakeholders creates the opportunity to sustain the changes in
practices by businesses operating across the Coral Triangle and the Pacific, sharing best practices and lessons with smaller Pacific islander owned businesses and the opportunity for meaningful engagement by 20 Pacific Island governments in protecting the sustainability of the natural systems (biodiversity and ecological systems) that underpin the quality of life we live in the Pacific,” she said.
Tabunakawai said a B2B forum provides the platform for gathering all players including the industry, government, communities, media and academia.
“It provides the opportunity to showcase innovation and best practices by the private sector and to encourage meaningful Public Private Partnerships (PPP) that aim to reduce industry footprint on the environment, better manage natural resources, are inclusive and provide more equitable sharing of benefits – building blue economies,” she said.
The setup of the B2B forum and the Pacific Ocean Future Sustainability Forum are two main outputs of a Memorandum of Understanding for collaborative efforts between WWF-Pacific and the PIDF.
The five years MOU is reviewable annually.