Traditional fishers get voice at UN meet

Thiruvananthapuram resident speaks of fisherfolk’s role in sustainable practices

On June 9, delegates from various countries attending the plenary session of the Ocean Conference at the UN General Assembly hall in New York listened to a young woman from Kerala as she highlighted the role of traditional fishing communities in sustaining marine resources.

The daughter of a fisherman from the Pulluvila coastal village, near Thiruvananthapuram, Lisba Yesudas was one of the three delegates to the conference representing Friends of Marine Life, a local NGO. In her presentation at the UN headquarters, later e-mailed to the media, Ms. Yesudas spoke of the traditional knowledge of fisherfolk in Kerala, their understanding of seabed ecosystems, coastal and marine biodiversity, and sustainable fishing practices.

Describing how the commercialisation of the fishing industry was affecting critical marine habitats and the livelihood of fishermen, she called for policy regulations and promotion of indigenous practices to conserve marine biodiversity and the coastal ecosystem. An Assistant Professor in Malayalam at St. Xavier’s College, Thumba, Ms. Yesudas is doing her PhD on coastal language.

Sustainable use

The meet focuses on conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas, and marine resources.

Earlier, Friends of Marine Life delegate Johnson Jament addressed the partnership dialogue on sustainable fisheries. Robert Pani Pillai, chief coordinator of the NGO, said the first secretary of the Indian mission to the UN had interacted with the delegation.

The conference concluded on Friday with a call for action to UN-member States to address ocean and coastal acidification, sea-level rise and increase in ocean temperatures, and to target the other harmful impacts of climate change on the ocean.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 4:54:45 PM |

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