President Uhuru Kenyatta presided over a high-level side event dubbed ‘Sustainable Blue Economy Investment Forum’ held on June 28, 2022 in Cascais, Lisbon. The forum was addressed by the Kenyan leader, H.E Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of Portugal, H.E Ivan Duque Marquez, President of Colombia, Mr. John Kerry, US Special Envoy on Climate, Ngozi Okonjo – Iweala, Director General WTO and Liu Zhenmin, DESA UN Under-Secretary.

The side event themed ‘Promoting and Strengthening Ocean – Based Economies Through Regional Cooperation on Maritime Decarbonization’ discussed key issues related to sustainable ocean principles geared towards investing in a sustainable economy.

President Uhuru Kenyatta in his remarks informed the participants of the need to focus on energy and shipping investments that promote sustainable regeneration of ocean resources and eco systems. He urged leaders to tighten rules and procedures around the harvest of ocean and marine resources.

The US Special Envoy on Environment said that the decline of the oceans is related to the climate crisis experienced in the world, noting that principle drivers of the ocean decline are from heat and gas emissions. This, he said resulted in increased acidification of the ocean as 90 per cent of global warming goes into the oceans and seas. He urged leaders to explore alternatives to reduce emissions, which he said continue to rise despite the recent Climate forum in Glasgow (COP 26).

The Portuguese leader described the forum as an impetus for development, saying that opportunities for wealth and job creation came from the ocean. He informed that the ongoing conference must be about ocean knowledge and ocean innovation economy in order to achieve a sustainable blue economy.