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AIS Forum and the Pacific Island Development Forum, in advancing blue Economy in the Pacific, organised two training programmes in Bau Island, Fiji

The Archipelagic and Island States Forum (AIS Forum) held two training programmes fin Bau Island as part of the side events of its 7th Senior Official Meeting in Suva, Fiji. The Forum co-partnered with the Pacific Island Development Forum (PIDF), an international organisation focusing on progressing sustainable and inclusive development of Pacific island countries. Emphasising its focus on blue economy, the two training programmes given were Implementing Floating Net Cage (FNC) and Showcasing Innovative Electric Engine Technology for Boats.

The side events started on 5 June 2023 in two separate locations in Bau Island, a small island alongside the coast of Fiji’s main Island of Viti Levu. The Floating Net Cage (FNC) training was carried out to empower the locals with innovative methods and techniques for marine and fisheries environment, to practice for sustainable aquaculture based on a traditional farming system through the technique showcased. They were introduced and given the chance to practice on how to apply the new approach in aquaculture technique ranging from managing the cages, making nets and frames, placing, and observing the seeds and the fish, and other knowledge about sustainable fisheries management.

Meanwhile for the Innovative Electric Engine Technology for Boats, the forum invited Azura Indonesia, a winning startup of AIS Innovation Challenge program with its technology called MantaOne. The technology was developed to replace the conventional four-stroke petrol engines that is known to produce higher emission. MantaOne is seen as an advanced way for providing equipment for fishing, as it requires no fossil fuel and needed minimal maintenance. This engine is fit for smaller boats, which is also suffice for the local communities and the small-scale fishing activities.

Ms Nadea Nadilla from Azura Indonesia during the training expressed her hopes that the training will equip the local to apply a new approach for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly fishing activity. “We wanted to reinvent the way to save our ocean, (with) one engine at a time,” said Nadilla.

In addition to that, Ms Arpana Pratap from the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) expressed her appreciation to the AIS Forum for this collaboration and mentioned that these training programmes would benefit the local communities and would address the issues of food security.

“The aquaculture industry for Fiji will contribute significantly to food security and minimize the pressure on natural fish populations in the ocean. It can also contribute to poverty alleviation and import substitution. There are adequate land and water resources in Fiji which can be utilized for aquaculture development,” said Ms Pratap.

The slow development of aquaculture for contribution to domestic food supply is identified as one of the major constraints facing the fisheries sector in the Pacific and needs to be addressed adequately. Blue economy development in the Pacific is one of the main focusof the PIDF and it fully supports initiatives such as these.

The Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum was established following the UN Ocean Conference in 2017, with the aim of fostering collaboration and concrete development cooperation among archipelagic and island states across Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Ocean. The forum has become an influential platform for addressing crucial issues among its member countries. The Forum will hold its 7th Senior Official Meeting in Suva on June, 7th 2023(*).

Media Contact:

Thomas Benmetan, Head of Marketing & Communication for AIS Forum (thomas.benmetan@undp.org)

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After a sideline discussion at the Ocean Conference 2017 in New York City and a follow-up Conference on the Archipelagic and Island States Forum in Jakarta in 2017, a common understanding among AIS participating countries was born. The Archipelagic and Island States Forum was then formally established through the adoption of the Manado Joint Declaration during the first Ministerial Meeting of the participating countries on 1 November 2018.

The Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum is a platform designed to include island states and archipelagic countries regardless of their region, size, and development level. A global initiative that brings together 51 archipelagic and island nations to take part in a collective forum addressing challenges of ocean resource usage for sustainable economic growth, climate change resiliency, ocean pollution, emergency management, and the enhancement of sustainable fisheries.

 

The Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum stands as a visionary platform, purposefully crafted to encompass the participation of 51 diverse archipelagic and island nations from across the globe. Its overarching mission is to facilitate a collective forum aimed at addressing the pressing issue of sustainable development. Within this forum, these nations come together to forge international partnerships and foster cooperation in their shared commitment to sustainable development. By uniting their efforts and expertise, the AIS Forum plays a pivotal role in harnessing the collective power of these island states to tackle the environmental, economic, and social challenges they face while striving to build a more sustainable and interconnected world.
Five years after the establishment of the AIS Forum, leaders from AIS countries have agreed to strengthen commitment for collaboration among nations. On 11th October 2023 in Bali, Indonesia, at the First High Level Meeting of the AIS Foru,, 32 AIS countries agreed to adopt the Leaders’ Declaration on the Solidarity of the Archipelagic and Island States. The adoption of this declaration marked a significant step for the AIS Forum to further elevate its position in the global scheme. The Declaration focuses on four collaborative areas, which are:

Our Team offers an insightful glimpse into the exceptional individuals who comprise the driving force behind the Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum. These dedicated professionals work cohesively to realize our mission and objectives. The AIS Forum, as a platform, is thoughtfully designed to incorporate the active participation of 51 archipelagic and island states from various corners of the world, uniting them within a collective forum to address the critical concerns of sustainable development.

The AIS Forum’s role is to facilitate close cooperation between archipelagic and island states in its four working areas. The forum has fostered connections and collaborative projects through its partnerships with private enterprises, government authorities, universities, NGOs, media and global or regional organisations. This approach aims to create a network of experts, researchers and policymakers who can provide insight and support to the AIS programme.

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