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To Empower Coastal Communities, AIS Forum and Melanesian Spearhead Group Organized a Three-Days Training on Blue Economy and Entrepreneurship in the Pacific

The Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum and Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) organized a training called “Bluepreneur: Coastal Youth Community Training” in Vanuatu, 15 – 17 June 2023. This 3-days training programme aimed to provide learning and knowledge to increase awareness of the blue economy and sustainable maritime activities of the local communities.

The objective of the training was to empower local communities in Vanuatu in the blue economy sector, owing to the fact that Asia-Pacific regional trade is expected to continue growing modestly. Small businesses serve as a key for economic development and contribute significantly to the financial stability of the local community. Therefore, the ecosystem of youth in an entrepreneurial role is essential to supply those needs. Mr Leonard Louma, Director General of MSG Secretariat in his opening remarks addressed his optimism about this very first joint-programme of AIS Forum Secretariat and MSG.

“I warmly welcome you all to this very first collaboration between the AIS Forum and the MSG on the Bluepreneur training. I hope this will be the first of many more future endeavors that the AIS Forum and the MSG will embark on in the future,” said Louma.

The training was attended by young entrepreneurs, mainly youth, and established women entrepreneurs in Port Vila. As one of the side events of the 7th Senior Official Meeting of the AIS Forum, this was the first collaboration between AIS Forum and MSG and conducted under the auspices of the MSG Roadmap for Inshore Fisheries Management and Sustainable and AIS Blue Hub initiative. The training was also attended by Mr Sora Lokita, Director of the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment of the Republic of Indonesia. In his remarks, he stated:

“We need to connect and amass the available capital and skills needed by the entrepreneur in the Pacific to empower the market exposure, business skills, and strategic management skill,”.

Three key experts from Vanuatu, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea were invited to lead the participants at this training. A number of key topics on this training included business fundamentals, business management, planning and setting goals and impact based on the SDGs, marketing strategy, basic bookkeeping and finance concepts for MSMEs, and also given a development session for product formulation.

In response for the training, Ms. Riny Modaso, Project Coordinator of the AIS Forum Secretariat said that this could be the key to success for the communities to boost business growth in the Pacific areas. “The key to success in entrepreneurship is to know that your idea may fail, but never give up on innovating new ideas into reality.”

It is hoped that after the training, the participants will be able to build a sustainable business for utilizing the ocean resources, such as start-ups in their respective countries in the Pacific region, particularly in Vanuatu. These entrepreneurs are set to build in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner, in return to provide them with better livelihood as well as business sustainability through community-based approaches.

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 the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Ocean. The forum has become an influential platform for addressing crucial issues among its member countries since its establishment, and will continue to expand its work to combat certain issues in this regard.

 

Media contact:

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

Ana Tamani, Media & Communications Officer for the MSG Secretariat.

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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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