(submitted by Chile and Australia)
The 12th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum,
Confirming the Declaration of Valparaiso principle adopted by the APPF in 2001 To care for and conserve the Pacific Ocean for the continuity and progress of the [Pacific] Basin. Respect for conservation rules and environmental protection will be priority tasks and its design and diffusion, in agreement with local characteristics, will be coordinated by the respective Legislative Powers.
Recognizing that the biomass of the Pacific Ocean encompasses all living material including plants, ocean birds, mammals and fish stocks, which know no national or international boundaries and recognising the role of the Pacific Ocean as an important part of world trade;
Acknowledging that all countries in the Pacific Basin depend on the protection and sustainability of the Pacific biomass including fisheries as a source of food for their future welfare;
Recognising the multinational nature of the world’s fishing industry and the need for consensus and cooperation to study and protect the Pacific Ocean biomass and considering the need to find new forms of shared management that allows the whole of mankind to gain from the ocean while taking account of sustainability;
Recognising also that the small island states of the South Pacific are heavily dependent on fishing as their major exploitable resource and the vulnerability of these small states to illegal fishing in their exclusive economic zones and by the activities of the distant water fleets of major developed nations;
Encourage all APPF member countries to cooperate in formal and informal arrangements to protect maritime resources for the benefit of all Pacific populations, particularly by support for multilateral agreements protecting and invigorating ocean resources including support for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea;
Call upon APPF member countries to strengthen national and regional capacities to improve our understanding of the ocean in order to establish common norms, and promoting mutual exchanges by their respective legal bodies to other Parliaments which are members of this Forum;
Urge APPF member countries to consider signing and ratifying the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean for the long term conservation and sustainable use of highly migratory fish stocks in the Pacific Ocean; and
Encourage APPF member countries to work with Pacific Island Countries and Regional Organisations to implement the Pacific Regional Ocean Policy, endorsed by the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ meeting in August 2002.