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Developing sustainable island economies

Pingtan International Forum on Island Conservation and Development 2017

22 - 23 September 2017
Pingtan of Fujian Province, China

This forum held on the beautiful island of Pingtan was organised by the Pacific Society of China, China Association of Oceanic Engineering, the Island Research Center of the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), Pingtan Comprehensive Pilot Zone Admistrative Committee, and the Fujian Provincial Department of Ocean and Fisheries in collaboration with the APEC Marine Sustainable Development Center.

The forum served as a platform for experts in ocean fields from all over the world to discuss island conservation and sustainable development. Themed ‘21st Century Islands: Blue Economy and Ecological Management’, the forum comprised the three thematic areas of Coastal Tourism Economy, Island Ecological Protection, and Island Disaster Prevention and Mitigation. Held in conjunction with the China-Island Countries Ocean-related Ministerial Roundtable 2017, it brought together more than 100 participants from within and outside the region.

PingtanInternationalDuring the meeting

With their wealth of resources, islands are becoming key factors in the marine economy through the development of the tourism, fishery, and renewable energy sectors in line with the development of blue economy. However, island ecosystems and environments are also vulnerable due to continuous impacts from global climate change and human activities. Along this line, ecosystem-based integrated island management is emerging as a new trend for global island conservation and management and was the main subject of discussion at the forum.

MIMA Head of the Centre for Coastal and Marine Environment (CMER), Ms. Cheryl Rita Kaur presented on ‘Promoting Sustainable Coastal and Marine Tourism’ where she elaborated on the need to promote tourism and sustainable economic returns while maintaining and preserving natural features in the coastal and marine areas. She also emphasised on some of the major issues and challenges in this area and suggested management strategies for the promotion and development of sustainable coastal and marine tourism development based on available lessons and experiences in the region. Her full paper on the subject will be published in the Journal of Applied Oceanography.

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Cheryl Rita on Sustainable Coastal and Marine Tourism

She later Co-Chaired a Panel Session on Coastal Tourism Economy with Dr. Zhang Huan, an Assistant Professor at the Zhejiang University in Hangzhou. Panellists included Professor James Randall from the University of Prince Edward Island of Canada, Dr. Swaran Singh from the Jawaharlal Nehru University of India, Dr. Liu Zhenghua from the APEC Marine Sustainable Development Center of the SOA, Mr. Alkadiy Amelin from Russia, Dr. Sun Jiting from the Shandong Academy of Marine Economy and Culture, and Dr. Elena Consiglio from the University of Palermo of Italy. A diverse range of areas was highlighted and discussed at this session with suggestions on ensuring sustainable coastal tourism promotion.

PingtanInternational3Professor Randall and co chairs Dr. Zhang Huan and Cheryl Rita during the Coastal Tourism Economy session

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The forum also provided an opportunity to learn more about the work carried out by the Island Research Center of SOA based in Pingtan, as well as to renew networking with like-minded researchers on areas of common interest.

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