President Enrique Peña Nieto urged, “All of us to participate in the mission of protecting the oceans and seas, striking a balance between exploitation and care for the environment".
There are four public policy recommendations to achieve better management of the seas and oceans:
FIRST: “You must be bold. That is, we must set a conservation goal and work to achieve it, and eventually exceed it. In doing so, we will obviously experience resistance and opposition from those whose interests will have to be affected in the very short term, but the result is worth it. The role of governments and civil society organizations is to act with a long-term vision, and one of the most efficient tools that governments have to conserve biodiversity is the designation of areas where economic activity is restricted or organized”.
- In recent years, the commitment to protect 10 percent of the marine area established in the Aichi Target has been exceeded. At present, 23 percent of marine and coastal areas are under some protection regime.
SECOND: “You must be committed. Oceans are a source of enormous wealth on which millions of people depend, and the countries that have the privilege of having coasts should take advantage of them. To achieve sustainable use of marine resources, we must balance the desire to exploit them with the need to protect them. And this means we must have the right incentives and disincentives”.
- In Mexico, aquaculture has grown 16 percent in the past five years and fishing practices have improved. Today it has higher sustainability certification than the world average, which is barely 12 percent.
THIRD RECOMMENDATION: “You must be determined. To protect species and restore their natural habitats, we must give the fight of our lives. Efforts are being made in various parts of the world to save endangered species. Successful cases have one feature in common: the determination with which they act. Saving a species from extinction can only succeed if it becomes a priority commitment to which sometimes significant resources must be allocated, together with the coordinated efforts of society and government, and all available knowledge and technology”.
- Mexico seeks to be an example in the preservation of the vaquita porpoise, a small cetacean living in the Upper Gulf of California.
FOURTH: “You must be enthusiastic. To be successful you must involve all parties and make them share in our causes. In Mexico we have proven that the proper management of our seas is easier and more feasible if we include the various sectors of society. That is why we made the care and sustainable use of our seas and oceans a transversal policy, that is, every public policy, action and decision on the matter involved the participation and coordination of the various government agencies, and by extension, the citizen and productive sectors that each one attends. This is a struggle that involves us all and this Summit, which brings together governments, businessmen, academics and leaders of civil society, is a clear example of this”.