Thank you for the opportunity to make welcoming remarks at this Blue Talks event.
The Albanese Government recognises that climate change is the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific and an urgent global challenge, and we also know that ocean is at the heart of the Blue Pacific.
Which is why, as a member of the Pacific family, Australia is committed to action to enable a secure, prosperous and sustainable Blue Pacific.
We need to reduce emissions to address climate change and its impacts on the health of the ocean.
The IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate highlighted the importance of the ocean as a global carbon sink and the particular exposure of small islands to climate change-related impacts such as sea level rise.
Together we can take practical action to build the health and resilience of our ocean: supporting the sustainability of our fisheries; protecting and restoring blue carbon ecosystems and our precious coral reefs while ensuring we support livelihoods.
We recognise and respect the diverse uses of the ocean and the importance of engaging with Indigenous communities to draw on and protect Indigenous knowledge and culture, livelihoods and food security.
I wish you all the best for these discussions, in the lead up to the United Nations Oceans Conference, graciously co-hosted by Portugal and Kenya.