ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on Thursday urged African countries to exert concerted efforts to tackle the adverse effects of climate change on Africa's marine ecosystem.
The statement was made by Said Adejumobi, Director of the ECA's Southern Africa Office, as he called on the African continent to "reap maximum benefits of utilizing its aquatic and marine ecosystems and associated resources for sustainable socio-economic development."
"It is important to address the threats and challenges to our marine ecosystem arising from climate change and man-made environmental pressures and challenges including the dumping of plastic wastes in the ocean and pollution," an ECA statement issued quoted Adejumobi as saying on Thursday.
The ECA, through its Blue Economy Handbook that was launched back in 2016, advocates for "a multi-sectoral approach to the development of the blue economy."
The ECA also emphasized the crucial need to mainstream climate change and environmental sustainability dimensions into existing and new blue economy sub-regional and national policies, plans and relevant legislation so as to realize the full potential of the blue economy in Africa.
The ECA's call came ahead of an upcoming high-level policy dialogue, which is slated from November 18 to 19 under the theme "Blue Economy, Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability."
The high-level meeting, which is said to be a follow-up to a recent study on the nexus between the blue economy, inclusive industrialization and economic development, will focus on "the current threats to the blue economy arising from climate change and environmental issues and challenges, which pose serious risks to the viability, sustainability and economic value of the ocean economy," an ECA statement issued Thursday read.
Senior government officials drawn from Angola, Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles and South Africa will take part in the high-level policy dialogue, it was noted.
It will also bring together representatives of various international, continental and regional organizations including the African Union (AU), various UN agencies, as well as Secretariats of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) as well as the Southern African Development Community (SADC), among others.
The high-level dialogue is also expected to review some of the measures that will enable coastal and small island states to cope effectively, creatively and sustainably with environmental changes as well mitigating impacts and threats to marine ecosystems and coastal resources.