UN-Habitat will provide support to the 1st ever global Sustainable Blue Economy Conference (SBEC) that will be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 26 – 28 November 2018 at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC).

The SBEC focuses on two pillars namely: (a) Sustainability, Climate Change and Controlling Pollution and (b) Production, Accelerated economic growth, Jobs and Poverty alleviation.  Blue economy deals with water bodies and the economic activities around them including fishing, marine transport, extraction of minerals under the sea, among many others. UN-Habitat is getting involved mostly because of urban centres based on water fronts.

Speaking at the Pledging Session for the SBEC in Nairobi, attended by Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Dr. Monica Juma and Environment Cabinet Secretary Mr. Keriako Tobiko, the Executive Director Mme. Maimunah Mohd Sharif announced that UN-Habitat’s support to the SBEC will include technical demonstration of innovative models that guide planning of coastal cities and towns and mobilization of Member States with coastlines, lakes and rivers to participate in the conference and to share their experiences. UN-Habitat will also mobilize experts in urban planning and design, municipal finance and local economic development, urban basic services with experience of water-front planning and management to participate in the Blue Economy Conference in order to share their knowledge and experiences.

The Executive Director informed stakeholders at the Pledging Session that UN-Habitat has global experience and expertise in water-front planning, especially ocean, lake, and river water-front areas and that SBEC will provide a suitable platform for showcasing some of the water-front planning projects supported by UN-Habitat globally.

At country level, Executive Director made refence to the ongoing Kisumu Lakefront Planning and Redevelopment Initiative, a partnership between UN-Habitat and Kisumu County Government, that will result into a planned lakefront capable of attracting significant trade and investment opportunities in addition to extending the spatial boundaries of the City’s central business district. The Pledging Conference was also attended by the diplomatic community in Kenya, Private Sector Alliance, United Nations agencies, Academia and civil society.