• This is achieved by striking a balance between the exploitation and care of the environment, he said.
  • He asked everyone to become involved in the use and care of the seas to remain bold, committed, determined and enthusiastic.
  • Mexicans are heirs to ancestral cultures that had a deep spiritual relationship with nature. Inspired by that past, we are working towards a more harmonious future between development and nature conservation, he said.
  • Today's Mexico is proud that more young people can undertake and achieve their projects, and that women have greater access to development opportunities; Mexico today is proud of its natural heritage and committed to caring for the environment, he declared.

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".

“The oceans and seas are an invaluable source of food and wealth, and their conservation and sustainable use for the benefit of the people is a task that commits us all,” he said.

The president said that, “In the just over five years of  this government, we have learned many things from our seas and oceans”. He shared 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 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 governments have for conserving biodiversity is the designation of areas where economic activity is restricted or organized”.

"This is how we see things in Mexico. In fact, in recent years we have been able to exceed the commitment to protect 10 percent of the marine area established in the Aichi Target. Today, 23 percent of our marine and coastal areas are under some protection regime”.

"Of all these actions to protect our maritime wealth, I must confess that the one that gives us the greatest pride, and especially this government, is having decreed, in November of last year, the National Revillagigedo Archipelago Park,  the largest protected marine area  in North America”.

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”.

"For example, in order to continue taking advantage of the economic benefits of fishing, avoiding overexploitation, an alternative is sustainable aquaculture. In Mexico, aquaculture has grown 16 percent in the past five years and fishing practices have improved. As a result, 25% of fishing and aquaculture has higher sustainability certification than the world average, which is barely 12 percent.

President Peña Nieto acknowledged, “The outstanding role of the Navy Secretariat due to its surveillance, security and protection of protected natural areas and port facilities”.

"Many congratulations, Admiral Secretary, on the efforts made by the Navy in various areas, one of which is taking care of our seas. Your work has been crucial to achieving the sustainable development of our seas and oceans,” he said.

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”.

“For example, protecting the Monarch butterfly has become a commitment and an emblem of joint work between Canada, the United States and Mexico.   Mexico seeks to be an example in the preservation of the vaquita porpoise, a small cetacean living in the Upper Gulf of California. We are fighting a great battle to conserve this species, which is estimated to have fewer than 30 specimens, and has become an incidental victim of the illegal capture of other species, particularly totoaba”.    

FOURTH: “You must be enthusiastic. To be successful you have to 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 should have the participation and coordination of the various government agencies, and by extension of 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”.

The president urged everyone to become involved in the use and care of the seas to remain bold, committed, determined and enthusiastic. Together we will win this battle for our seas and oceans”.

The president underlined the fact that, “Mexicans are heirs to ancestral cultures that had a deep spiritual relationship with nature. Inspired by that past, we are working towards a more harmonious future between development and nature conservation”.

“Today, you are being received by a country that is changing and being transformed by the energy of over 120 million Mexicans,” he said.

Today's Mexico is proud of the modernization of its education system, of the great advances in access to digital communications, and its renewed infrastructure that connects us better with the world. Today's Mexico is proud that more young people can undertake and achieve their projects, and that women have greater access to development opportunities. Today’s Mexico is proud of its natural heritage and committed to caring for the environment,” he declared.

At the end of the event, President Peña Nieto held a meeting with the President of Iceland, Gudni Thorlacius Jóhannesson.

RECONCILING THE WELL-BEING OF THE PEOPLE WITH THE CARE OF THE SEAS IS THE WORK OF GOVERNMENTS AND NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS: JOSÉ CALZADA ROVIROSA

José Calzada Rovirosa, Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), said that the oceans are a source of well-being, adding that much of the work that must be done by non-government organizations, citizens and governments, through public policies, is to reconcile people’s well-being with the care of the seas.

He said that in order for a public policy on the environment and sustainability to have long-term results, there must be commitment on the part of people and conviction on the part of governments.

He explained that in Mexico one of the most important conservation policies, irrespective of the natural areas decreed by the president, involves aquaculture. 

He said that, “Today, we already have 130 thousand hectares of aquaculture in Mexico,” accounting for 45 percent of the value of fishing in our country.

He said that, “We will continue to promote it, because it seems to us that it is a very effective part of a policy for conservation, on the one hand, but on the other, so that our people will have a good income”.

WE MUST CONTINUE TO PROMOTE THE SUM OF VOLUNTEERS, COMBINING PUBLIC AND PRIVATE RESOURCES TO INCREASE OUR EDUCATIONAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL CAPACITY, INNOVATION AND KNOWLEDGE: CARLOS JOAQUÍN GONZÁLEZ

 Carlos Joaquín González, Governor of Quintana Roo, said that, “We must continue to encourage the sum of wills, combining public and private resources to increase our educational, technological and innovation capacity and knowledge, because that is where the true future of our resilience lies”.

 He stressed that the World Ocean Summit, “is the ideal framework to analyze the role of coastal areas, which pose a permanent challenge of combining economic growth with social equity and environmental sustainability”.

 "I am pleased that this type of meeting you have organized here represents an excellent opportunity to determine the conditions of certainty and sustainable development for our coastal areas and the real possibilities of resilience," he added.