Statement on partnership for sustainable use of the ocean

Statement by Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim at the side event «Nansen Programme - a long-term partnership for sustainable use of the Ocean».

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Excellencies, Deputy Director-General, friends of the ocean,

It is a great pleasure to welcome you all to this side-event. The Nansen Programme has a very special place in my heart. Some years ago, when I was working in the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), I was responsible for the management of the programme.

I took part in the planning of the current phase of the programme and the procurement of the current research vessel, the third Dr. Fridtjof Nansen. I even joined her very first voyage from Bergen to Oslo for the naming ceremony - before she sailed off to the African continent in in March 2017 to fulfil her purpose. 

The Nansen Programme has a history that stretches over almost five decades. It has been the flagship of Norwegian development cooperation in fisheries for more than 45 years, evolving over time to address key drivers of importance for sustainable fisheries management. This makes the Nansen-programme one of the longest running fisheries projects in the world, if not the longest.

Over the years the programme has developed into a unique mechanism for cooperation and knowledge in developing regions, and particularly in Africa. Today, the EAF-Nansen Programme is a partnership between FAO, the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research and Norad, and thirty-two countries in Africa and the Bay of Bengal. 

Accumulated knowledge, access to accurate data, sharing of experience and capacity are the core of Norway’s ocean policy. The Nansen programme supports our efforts to promote sustainable ocean management. It also supports the agenda and the commitments of the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (the Panel). (This shows that the programme contributes in a global context, too.)

The current phase will come to an end next year. The planning of a new phase has already begun.  We strongly value input from partner countries and other relevant actors. We need this to make sure that the Programme continues to provide the best possible assistance to costal developing countries.   

I wish you a successful event.  And give you my best wishes for the Nansen Programme’s future endeavours to support poverty reduction through sustainable management of the ocean.