Minister of Education, the Hon. Cole Simons JP MP and Permanent Secretary Marva Jean O’Brien attended the Third Joint Meeting of the Sargasso Sea Commission and the Signatories to the Hamilton Declaration on Collaboration for the Conservation of the Sargasso Sea in Horta, Azores last month.
The Government of the Azores, one of the original signatories, hosted the meeting. Co-chairs were Dr. Felipe Porteiro, the Regional Director for Sea Affairs and Minister of Education (formerly Minister of the Environment), the Hon. Cole Simons JP,MP.
The Hamilton Declaration now has nine Signatory Governments – Azores, Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Monaco, U.K. and the U.S. Minister Simons was instrumental in encouraging Bahamas, Canada and the Cayman Islands to sign the Declaration over the past year. There were six signatory governments represented as well as the full six-person Sargasso Sea Commission (which includes Bermuda’s senior marine resources officer, Dr Tammy Trott), Secretariat staff and invited experts.
Participants listened to expert presentations from the University of Edinburgh, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Duke Marine Geospatial Ecology Laboratory, and discussed opportunities with the Convention on Migratory Species to advance the Commission’s mission. The second day of the meeting focused on reviewing the Work Programme, which operationalises the mandate of the Sargasso Sea Commission set out in Annex II of the Declaration, and the status of ongoing projects, including a draft Sargasso Sea Stewardship Plan which the Commission and Signatories will continue to refine.
For more information on the Sargasso Sea Commission, see www.sargassoseacommission.org.