I will attend the third ‘Our Ocean Conference’ in Washington DC, hosted by United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, where I will highlight Australia’s strong commitment to conserve and ensure the sustainable use of the ocean.
The ‘Our Ocean Conference’ is designed to bring together global leaders to find solutions to the challenges and threats facing our oceans. Secretary Kerry has invited me to attend as an Ocean Champion where I will continue to promote innovative solutions to the world’s sustainable development challenges.
I will announce up to $6 million in funding for a fisheries management project supporting livelihoods for over 7,000 people in 28 villages in the Pacific. The Government will also provide around $56 million over four years to ensure Australia’s network of marine reserves – the largest in the world – is well managed and supported.
During the conference, I will announce the winners of the Blue Economy Aquaculture Challenge, which seeks to address food security and ocean conservation, particularly in the Indo-Pacific.
I will also highlight the Government’s commitment to protect the Great Barrier Reef and announce that the ‘eReefs’ water quality monitoring system is now operational. ‘eReefs’ is a world-first system that is delivering vital information about the entire Great Barrier Reef from catchment to ocean, developed through a $32 million public-private partnership.
Since first established in 2014, the Ocean Conferences have produced partnerships and initiatives valued at over $4 billion, as well as commitments to protect approximately 6 million square kilometres of the ocean.
During my visit I will take the opportunity to meet with both the Democratic and Republican campaigns, including their key foreign policy experts.
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