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Sri Lanka Committed to Setting up Global Aquaculture Fund

21 August 2012

SRI LANKA - The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations held a 'Global Fisheries Leaders' Forum' entitled 'The sustainable use of fisheries products and poverty alleviation' recently in tandem with the mega closing ceremony of the three month long Yeosu EXPO 2012, Korea.

The Forum was chaired by Iceland Fisheries and Agriculture Ministry's Senior Adviser and FAO former Assistant Director General Dr Grimur Valdimarsson, reports DailyNews.

The panelists included Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Lithuanian Agriculture Minister Kazys Starkevicius, UNEP Deputy Executive Director Amina Mohamed and Korean National Fisheries and Research Development Institute chairman Jae-hak Son.

Minister Senaratne elaborated the government's initiatives in addressing food security of the nation while ensuring socio-economic development of the fishing communities with due consideration for resource sustainability.

He also stressed the importance of aquaculture and highlighted Sri Lanka's commitment to setting up a 'Global Aquaculture Fund' as proposed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Meeting held in Colombo. He also highlighted the government's effort in developing fisheries in the North and East as well.

Under the theme of 'Oceans and coasts: connecting our lives, ensuring our future', the United Nations highlighted the various contributions made by marine life to humans, including biodiversity, food security and renewable energy.

Minister Senaratne delivered the keynote address at the special FAO session entitled 'Striking a balance between food security and social responsibilities in the fisheries sector-emerging Sri Lankan scenario' was delivered at the opening ceremony chaired by the FAO Assistant Director General Dr. Arnie Mathiesen. The final day also saw a panel discussion attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Korean Prime Minister Kim Hwang-slk, Tuvalu Prime Minister Willy Telavi, UESCO Director General Irina Bokova and FAO Director General Graziano da Silva.

FAO Director General Graziano da Silva emphasized the role of oceans in providing food and livelihoods to millions of people.

The three month long Expo whose theme was 'The living ocean and coasts', wrapped up with panel participants endorsing the Yeosu Declaration a policy document that aims to promote international cooperation and knowledge sharing in order to improve stewardship of the marine environment.

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