The experts attending the blue economy conference occurring in Nairobi, stressed the necessity for governments and investors to cover attention to the fitness of marine ecosystem while constructing tourism facilities to make sure livelihoods of communities living along Africa’s coastlines aren’t disrupted.
“We must develop our tourism sector in a green and sustainable manner to make sure marine resources that support an incredible number of livelihoods are protected,” Joe Okudo, Kenya’s tourism principal secretary said on the sidelines of the blue economy summit.
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Kenya is hosting the world’s inaugural blue economy conference which has attracted around 10,000 participants from 183 countries to explore innovative methods to harness ocean and inland fresh water resources to spur growth.
About ten Heads of State and Government drawn from Sub-Saharan Africa along with ministers mainly, industry scientists and executives are attending the three-day event.
Okudo noted that tourism, shipping and aquaculture are strategic pillars of the blue economy whose growth is paramount to tackle Africa’s hunger, poverty, disease and ecological crisis.
“Continue, sound environmental practices ought to be embedded in the tourism sector that’s heavily influenced by marine ecosystem to thrive,” said Okudo, adding that Kenya is rolling out policies to make sure investments in beach tourism promote conservation of mangrove forests.
African governments should factor the sustainability needs of coastal communities during usage of marine resources to cultivate tourism, shipping and fisheries.
Rodolfo Lacy, director in the surroundings directorate at Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said that development of tourism ought to be without ocean pollution to greatly help protect livelihoods of fishermen.
“The tourism infrastructure in Africa ought to be enhanced to make sure it withstands undesireable effects of climate change like sea level rise,” said Rodolfo, adding that governments and industry have an obligation to safeguard marine resources during offshore oil drilling and construction of tourist resorts along African coastlines.
African countries should replicate global guidelines to green the tourism sector and ensure economic benefits trickle right down to coastal communities.
Douglas Wallace, an ocean scientist, said that investment in research and public awareness is paramount to promoting climate resilience tourism in a continent with an enormous repository of untapped marine resources,XINHUA.