Minister Edna Molewa launches National Marine Week
05 October 2015
Today, the Minister of Environmental Affairs Ms. Edna Molewa, accompanied by MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Limpopo, Mr Seaparo Sekoati, launched the National Marine Week campaign, in Polokwane, Limpopo. National Marine Week is an awareness marine campaign that is celebrated annually during the second week of October.
The objective of the campaign is to create awareness of the oceans and coastal environment in order to promote sustainable use and conservation for the benefit of present and future generations.
This year’s campaign is celebrated under the theme: “Oceans 70/20: Decoding Mysteries, Maximising Opportunities.” Oceans are often mysterious, unexplored and full of wonder. There are many discoveries waiting to be made – benefits and influences, scientific discoveries and innovations. These mysteries need to be deciphered and uncovered, in order to show ordinary citizens, how they can play a role in their daily lives.Our oceans serve as a vast natural resource and South Africa as a developing country needs to utilise marine resources sustainably. It is for this reason that the South African government launched the Operation Phakisa: Ocean Economy initiative, roughly a year ago during the National Marine Week. National Marine Week is also an opportunity to advocate and educate the public of this important initiative.
Speaking during the launch, Minister Molewa highlighted that “For the first time this year we are taking National Marine Week out into the inland provinces: because we want all our people to know – and especially the youth to know- that the ocean is also a major source of economic development. Though many of you here today will have heard the term “Oceans Economy” or “Blue Economy” – I would like for a minute to decode these terms. Realising as we do that oceans have a major role to play in humanity’s future: the Oceans Economy or Blue Economy offers an approach to sustainable development. We see the marine and coastal environment as a key resource that doesn’t only provide food, but also livelihoods, means of transport, tourism, and energy. Day after day, new frontiers are being opened up in marine resource development; ranging from energy exploitation, to the bio-prospecting and mining of the seabed for mineral and other resources. Harnessing the potential of the Oceans Economy or Blue Economy is the start of a new era in our country’s development. And we are here today to tell you that you, each and every one of you – can be part of this,” said Minister Molewa.
Members of the public are invited to visit the Department’s exhibition thatshowcases the wonders of the ocean and its opportunities. The week-long exhibition begins today, 5 October 2015 and end Saturday, 10 October 2015.
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