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22 Countries from the world at the Blue Belt Initiative conference

Morocco holds a conference in Agadir on the Blue Belt Initiative, a platform for the sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture in Africa, which is part of the agenda of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change.

Representatives from 22 countries, including 17 ministers, took part in this high-level meeting which brought together several ministers from Norway, Spain, the Russian Federation and Ivory Coast as well as international experts and FAO members.

Aziz Akhannouch, Minister of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests of the Kingdom of Morocco, recalled on this occasion that Africa, which will be responsible for half of the population growth in thirty years, today contributes only 7% of world fish production and only 3% of international trade in fishery products.

Akhannouch also spoke about the strategy of development and modernization of the “Halieutis” marine fishery, which Morocco has been conducting since 2009 and which enshrines the principle of sustainability.

At the end of the conference, the Agadir Declaration on the Blue Belt Initiative was delivered by all the representatives. She reaffirmed the parties’ commitment to the 2030 Agenda, adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015, and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and emphasized “the strategic role of the global economy” of oceans and aquaculture in Africa in terms of food, economic growth, jobs and innovations”, while recognizing “the challenge posed by climate change, its threats to the balance of coastal and marine ecosystems and its impacts on fisheries and aquaculture, sources of employment and food security for several million people in Africa”.

The Agadir Declaration also called for “investing in the blue economy, and more specifically sustainable, innovative and protective fisheries and aquaculture of the oceans”, by “facilitating technological and social innovation, exchange of good practices and social entrepreneurship, thus increasing socio-economic and environmental benefits, such as job creation, training and youth employment, food security, poverty eradication, preservation of marine ecosystems and adaptation to climate change”.

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