Starting today until the 5th of June, a regional conference will be held in French Polynesia; the Blue Days Project aims to promote economic growth in a sustainable manner while at the same time keeping culture and natural resources in mind.
The five day conference will host around 50 delegates with the aim of constructing a long-term framework that would respect symbolic and vulnerable marine species, local knowledge and traditions, but also bringing about economic benefits for the local communities in their territorial waters.
With the three main focuses on economic growth, respect for natural resources and Oceania culture, the Blue Days project will bring together, practitioners and experts to provide advice and guidance to the South Pacific Tourism Organisation Ministerial Conference which will be held in October.
“Tourism is one of the major engines of economic growth in the Pacific region, and marine species-oriented ecotourism, an undeniably growing sector, will benefit from structured and sustainable guidelines,” said Pascale Salaun, a member of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
The conference will have three main themes which are:
- Culture and Blue Ecotourism
- Blue Ecotourism, Science and Research
- and Structure and Development of Blue Ecotourism
The project is co-financed by the French Polynesian government as well as the Pacific Fund, SPREP and other partners such as GIZ, GIE Tahiti Tourism, and Air Tahiti Nui.
The conference will see participants contributing ideas and showing a range of presentations concerning the growth of marine-based ecotourism in Pacific islands, based on best international practices.
“This is also an opportunity for SPREP to carry out a mid-term review of the Marine Species 2013 – 2017 regional framework for action. We’re very excited by what this conference will bring and the journey ahead for the Blue Days Project,” said Salaun.