Papua New Guinea now has an Ocean Policy that will act as a roadmap to help develop specific guidelines and policies for various agencies involved in one way or another with the ocean.
Department of Justice and Attorney General worked since last year to come up with the policy that was launched today, starting the long process of consultation with relevant agencies, government departments and authorities.
Increased human activities have put the oceans under stress and the oceans need to be protected for future generations.
Although PNG signed the UN Law of the Sea Treaty in 1997, it has never had a policy in place to guide its use of the oceans.
PNG is an island in the vast Pacific Ocean and many people’s livelihoods depend on the sea.
But with increased populations and human activities, the oceans and its inhabitants have been destroyed, and calls for urgent action to save it from further destruction.
The launch according to the Deputy Prime Minister who is also from an Island in the oceans says is good news to the people.
The National Ocean Policy is inspired by the National Goals and Directive Principles and Mr Steven says it is reassuring to know this.
Ambassador of the United States to PNG, Erin McKee pointed out the importance of looking after the oceans on a local level and how it contributes to the global level.
In congratulating PNG for taking the step to formulate this policy framework, said US has been supporting nations in the Pacific in Climate Resilient programs and Oceans were part of it.
Secretary of the Department of Justice and Attorney General, Dr Eric Kwa explained what they will do next following the launch today.
Theirs is a long journey of consultation with different departments and agencies for them to come up with their own specific guidelines, policies and action plans on their specific areas of operations.
For example, the National Maritime and Safety Authority will now use this policy as a guide to develop their own policies relating to their work with the ocean, the Forest Authority will also develop its own policies in line with the National Ocean policy, etc.
All in all, the National Ocean policy will now guide various government departments, state agencies and authorities and other partners to develop policies of their own.