Barbados’ request to join the New Zealand-led Ocean Acidification Working Group has been accepted, and its recent adoption of the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance commitments welcomed.
Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, handed over the official letter during a visit to New Zealand from September 5 to 9, to discuss a range of bilateral and multilateral issues.
Mr. Humphrey was welcomed by Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw, who said: “I am pleased to accept Barbados’ request to join the New Zealand-led Ocean Acidification Working Group, on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Ocean acidification is a serious and urgent global challenge, linked with climate change, that requires international cooperation.”
He added that despite the distance between Barbados and New Zealand, the two countries shared strongly aligned interests in the areas of climate change, small island developing states issues, multilateralism and the rule of law.
“Barbados is a leader in the Caribbean on issues affecting small islands developing states. Many of the issues affecting the islands of the Caribbean are also priority issues for our Pacific neighbours,” the Climate Change Minister pointed out.
The two Ministers also acknowledged the closeness of their views on many issues, and agreed that there was great potential for further growth going forward.
During the visit, they also shared their concerns on climate change, noting that there was a need to take urgent action.
Minister Humphrey said: “We are pleased New Zealand is making efforts towards reducing carbon emissions, and is therefore a natural partner in our fight against climate change.”
During the visit to New Zealand, he also saw first-hand how that country manages its maritime conservation areas and its approach to boat building and maintenance.
Mr. Humphrey will travel on to Samoa for the meeting of African, Caribbean, and Pacific Ministers of Fisheries and Aquaculture.