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Landlocked Developing Countries urged to strengthen focus on the blue economy

Hon. Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndhlovu (R) yesterday in Lisbon

The Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism, and Hospitality Industry for Zimbabwe, Hon. Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndhlovu yesterday in Lisbon, Portugal during the UN Ocean Conference called on the formation of strategic partnerships to significantly contribute to the development of the blue economy.

He said this during a side event on “Fostering international and regional cooperation in support of the sustainable development of the blue economy in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), and SIDs” organized by International Seabed Authority (ISA) and other partners.

Zimbabwe is a landlocked country that lies in the Southern region of Africa, with a lovely temperate climate.

The panel discussion was looking at how strategic partnerships can significantly contribute to building and developing the capacities necessary for LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDs.

Speaking on behalf of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries representing the Chair of the Group of LLDCs, during the side event, Minister Ndhlovu said that there is a lack of recognition of the relevance of the oceans, seas, and marine resources to the landlocked countries due to their geographical location.

Whilst the landlocked countries are not directly connected to the oceans due to their geographical location, they have the right to access and the right to use the ocean space including the marine resources.

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) confers these rights. The UNCLOS states that the Area and its resources are the common heritage of mankind and activities in the Area are to be carried out for the benefit of mankind as a whole irrespective of the geographical location of the States.

The Minister concluded his remarks by thanking the International Seabed and OHRLLS for their continued efforts to raise awareness among the LLDCs Group and for capacity-building opportunities including focusing on women’s participation in marine scientific research.

Some of the panelists were the Vice President of Tanzania Hon P. I. Mpango, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Tonga, Under-Secretary-General, United Nations Mr. L. Zhenmin, Secretary and Head of Maritime Affairs Unit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh Hon R.A.M. Alam and many others from different countries.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende