Mr. Jean-Alexandre EGEA, an Economic Counselor, Economic Department of Colombo, Embassodor of French to Sri Lanka and the Maldives (Ambassade de France a Sri Lanka ET AUX MALDIVES)recently visited NARA with object to build up collaboration with NARA in the discipline of marine researches.He further wanted to ascertain how extent NARAs’ ongoing R & D activities address the SDG goals with pertaining to economic development of the country.Chairman NARA, Prof. M.J.S. Wijeyaratna, Director General, T.D.K.D. Thennakoon, Deputy Director General (Research & Development), Dr. G. Ganegamaarachchi and Principal and Senior Scientists representing each technical divisions have participated to this event on behalf of the NARA.
During the conversation, they extensively deliberated on the concept of blue economic development and its influence on the development of Island nation’s country like Sri Lanka. It encompasses various sectors such as fisheries, maritime transport, tourism, offshore energy, and marine biotechnology of which most of the areas that NARA have been carrying our research presently.
Mr. Jean- Alexandre showed that for Island nations, the concept of blue economic development holds immense significance due to their unique reliance on the ocean as a source of livelihood, food security, and economic opportunities. These nations often have limited land resources, making their marine ecosystems and resources crucial for their economic development.Both parties unanimously agreed that to ensure environmental sustainability while promoting blue economic development through environmental stewardshipwhich should go hand in hand. The conversation might have emphasized the need for integrated coastal zone management, ecosystem-based approaches, and sustainable practices to prevent resource depletion and protect marine ecosystems.