February 2023 - Prime Minister Hon. Sitiveni Rabuka reaffirmed Fiji’s commitment to protecting and sustainably managing Fiji’s ocean space through the re-signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Waitt Institute.
PM Rabuka announced his support to sustainably grow Fiji’s ocean industries such as tourism and fisheries while protecting and restoring ocean habitats through a partnership with the Waitt Institute. This program will incorporate community and stakeholder engagement, scientific research, traditional knowledge, and coordination with government agencies and existing NGOs.
Blue Prosperity Fiji is led by the Fiji Government to improve long-term economic stability, livelihoods, communities, and health of ocean ecosystems. The program is supported by Government agencies including the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Fisheries and Forestry, and the Ministry of Finance, and guided by the members of the National Ocean Policy Steering Committee.
The Blue Prosperity Fiji team will provide technical expertise and support collaboration between Government ministries and other existing ocean efforts and non-profits. The team includes Arthur Sokimi as Program Manager, Epeli Maisema as Sustainable Fisheries Coordinator, and Andrew Paris as the Environment Coordinator.
The program will also partner with local NGOs and key stakeholders to promote responsible ocean stewardship and community development in Fiji.
Blue Prosperity Fiji will be supported by the Waitt Institute, a U.S. based non-profit that provides technical expertise, capacity, and funding. The Waitt Institute partners with governments and local stakeholders to create and implement sustainable ocean plans to beneﬁt communities, the economy, and the environment. They currently have partnerships within the Paciﬁc region with the Governments of Samoa, Tonga, Federated States of Micronesia, and other global partnerships in the Azores, Barbuda, Bermuda, and the Maldives.
“We are honored to support Fiji’s leadership in implementing holistic ocean management. Fiji has long been a leader in marine protection, and the world looks to Fiji’s action for guidance on ocean sustainability,” said Ted Waitt, Founder and Chairman of the Waitt Institute.
The ocean is inextricably linked with the people of Fiji’s past, present, and future. With an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) that is 70 times larger than its landmass, making up 1,290,000 km2, the ocean plays a large role in building a better future for the people of Fiji. Securing and sustainably managing all of Fiji’s ocean and marine resources will ensure prosperity for generations to come.