Two representatives from the Cook Islands, Myria Rongo of Te Korero o te Orau and Cailean ‘Kman’ Henderson of the National Environment Service, attended a 14-day seminar in China late last year. This seminar, focused on Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and Blue Economy (BE) Development and was attended by 40 participants from various island and coastal countries.
The seminar, sponsored by the Chinese government and the Fujian Institute of Oceanography, included lectures, field trips along China’s coast, and visits to six different cities. The goal was to enhance participants’ understanding of MSP & BE, allowing them to address key issues in their home countries.
The seminar provided an opportunity for the representatives to gain valuable knowledge and insights into MSP & BE. Furthermore, it opened avenues for potential assistance from China’s government, which could help address some of the challenges the Cook Islands face in these areas. Moreover, it fostered international cooperation and exchange of ideas, which is crucial for addressing global issues like marine conservation and sustainable development. Overall, this experience will contribute significantly to the Cook Islands’ efforts in marine spatial planning and blue economy development.
Kman noted ‘The Cook Islands is home to one of the world’s largest marine parks, Marae Moana, and continues its commitment to sustainable marine management. Therefore, this seminar has raised awareness on how this strategic initiative aligns our dedication to preserving the rich biodiversity and ecological balance within our Marae Moana’.
The Cook Islands, like other nations, face challenges with MSP & BE, often due to lack of funding or knowledge. This seminar provided an opportunity for countries to seek further assistance from China’s government.
All participants received a certificate upon completion.