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Volume 186 Number 2 - Monday, 5 December 2011
SUMMARY OF OCEANS DAY AT DURBAN
3 DECEMBER 2011

The Durban Oceans Day took place on 3 December 2011, at the Rio Convention Pavilion, on the sidelines of the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Durban, South Africa.

The meeting brought together over 170 participants representing governments, international organizations, the scientific community, academia, and non-governmental organizations. It was organized by the Global Ocean Forum in association with the Government of South Africa (Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IOC-UNESCO), the University of Delaware, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute, the Organizing Committee of EXPO 2012 Yeosu Korea, City of Yeosu, Republic of Korea, the GEF/UNDP/UN Environment Programme (UNEP) African Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) projects, the Global Partnership Climate, Fisheries, and Aquaculture, the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, and the World Ocean Network.

The one-day meeting was organized in seven sessions, addressing: oceans and coasts at the UNFCCC and at Rio+20; climate change and African fisheries; evidence of climate change from the LMEs; progress on major oceans and climate issues; oceans and climate issues in small island developing States (SIDS); capacity building and public education; and mobilizing action on oceans and climate.

During the meeting, participants discussed a variety of issues, including the impacts of sea level rise, extreme weather events, the specific vulnerability of SIDS and ocean acidification. Participants also discussed the urgent need to address oceans and coasts within and outside the UNFCCC process, including through an integrated programme for oceans and climate.

This report summarizes the presentations and discussions held during Oceans Day, in chronological order.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND OCEANS

Climate change is considered to be one of the most serious threats to sustainable development, with adverse impacts expected on the environment, human health, food security, economic activity, natural resources, and physical infrastructure. While the global climate varies naturally, scientists agree that rising concentrations of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the Earth’s atmosphere are leading to changes beyond this range of natural climate variability.

Climate change is also having a profound impact on the world’s oceans. Ocean warming directly impacts humans and ocean life – from sea level rise and increased storm intensity to habitat shifts and receding coastlines. This, in turn, disrupts ocean and coastal foodwebs, making it harder for fish, seabirds and humans to find food necessary for survival. These changes drastically impact vulnerable coastal areas, sometimes resulting in loss of life, damage to infrastructure, the economy, tourism and fisheries, and possible displacement of populations.

In addition, the oceans absorbed approximately 30-50% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by humans over the last 200 years, resulting in ocean acidification with substantial impacts on ocean chemistry and life. All these impacts have increased the need for appropriate response measures.

THE GLOBAL CONFERENCES: The First Global Conference on Oceans and Coasts at Rio+10: Toward the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) took place from 3-7 December 2001 in Paris, France. Participants assessed the status of oceans and coasts and progress achieved over the last decade, identified continuing and new challenges, examined options for concerted action on cross-sectoral issues and laid the groundwork for the inclusion of an oceans perspective and SIDS issues on the WSSD agenda.

Since then, four more global conferences have been held. The Second Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands: Mobilizing for Implementation of the Commitments Made at the 2002 WSSD on Oceans, Coasts, and SIDS, took place from 12-14 November 2003, in Paris, France, and spurred the process of initial implementation of the WSSD commitments. The Third Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands, which had as its theme “Moving the Global Oceans Agenda Forward,” was held in Paris, France, from 24-27 January 2006. Among other things, participants examined two major emerging ocean policy issues: high seas governance; and the wide-ranging effects of climate change on oceans and coastal environments.

The Fourth Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands, themed “Advancing Ecosystem Management and Integrated Coastal and Ocean Management by 2010 in the Context of Climate Change,” took place in Hanoi, Viet Nam, from 7-11 April 2008. The meeting provided a review of successes and failures in attaining the goals adopted by the world’s political leaders at the 2002 WSSD relating to oceans management and conservation in the context of climate change. The Fifth Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands was organized around three thematic sessions: ensuring survival; preserving life; and improving governance. The event, which took place from 3-7 May 2010, also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the International Year of Biodiversity 2010.

THE WORLD OCEAN CONFERENCE: The World Ocean Conference in Manado, Indonesia, took place from 11-15 May 2009. The primary outcome of the meeting was the Manado Oceans Declaration, which was signed by 76 governments and stressed the importance of having oceans on the climate change agenda at UNFCCC COP 15 in Copenhagen, Denmark, and beyond. The Manado Global Ocean Policy Day (13 May), a multistakeholder dialogue organized by the Global Ocean Forum and partners, produced the Co-Chairs’ Statement Emanating from the Global Ocean Policy Day, which detailed major ocean, coastal, and SIDS issues related to climate change mitigation, adaptation, financing, capacity development, and civil society.

COPENHAGEN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE: The UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, took place from 7-19 December 2009. It included COP 15 and the Fifth Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 5). During the high-level segment, informal negotiations took place in a group consisting of major economies and representatives of regional and other negotiating groups. Late in the evening of 19 December, these talks resulted in a political agreement titled the “Copenhagen Accord.” During the closing COP plenary, parties agreed to adopt a COP decision in which the COP “took note” of the Copenhagen Accord. Parties also established a procedure for countries supporting the Copenhagen Accord to accede to it.

OCEANS DAY IN COPENHAGEN: On the sidelines of COP 15, the Global Ocean Forum, the Government of Indonesia, the European Environment Agency, and 42 other partners, organized a special day on 14 December 2009, to stress the central role of oceans in the Earth’s life-support system and to address threats faced by coastal communities, especially in developing nations and SIDS. Oceans Day highlighted the direct link between climate change, ocean health and human wellbeing. Discussions at the event focused on the role of oceans in climate change and the fact that close to 50% of the world’s population living in coastal areas will suffer disproportionately from ocean warming, sea level rise, extreme weather events and ocean acidification.

OCEANS DAY IN NAGOYA: On the sidelines of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) COP 10, the Oceans Day at Nagoya took place on 23 October 2010. The day brought together participants from all sectors of the global oceans community, and the major outcome was the Nagoya Oceans Statement which called on governments participating in the CBD COP 10 to request a process for setting new marine and coastal biodiversity targets at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) and at the CBD COP 11, both taking place in 2012, to move the marine biodiversity agenda forward.

OCEANS DAY AT CANCUN: The Cancun Oceans Day convened in Cancun, Mexico, on 4 December 2010, on the sidelines of UNFCCC COP 16. Cancun Oceans Day was part of the Rio Conventions’ Ecosystems and Climate Change Pavilion, organized by the CBD, UNFCCC and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Cancun Oceans Day featured: three panel discussions; two special addresses; and three workshops on developing an integrated approach to climate and oceans and preparation for Rio+20. 

REPORT OF OCEANS DAY AT DURBAN

SESSION 1: WELCOME AND OPENING SESSION - OCEANS AND COASTS AT THE UNFCCC AND AT RIO+20: THE NEED FOR CONCERTED ACTION

This morning session was chaired by Wendy Watson-Wright, Executive Secretary, IOC-UNESCO.

Biliana Cicin-Sain, President, Global Ocean Forum, called for: adopting a comprehensive climate strategy for oceans; strengthening blue carbon policy capacity; accelerating the uptake of ocean and coastal-based carbon mitigation approaches; and increasing institutional and adaptive capacity of coastal areas to withstand the challenges posed by climate change.

Watson-Wright expressed hope that the Durban COP would result in the following developments for oceans, in the lead-up to Rio+20: increased funding for ocean carbon mitigation projects from the Green Climate Fund; more ocean observation systems in least developed countries (LDCs) and SIDS; the promotion of the blue/green economy; and the establishment of a global climate-resilient network of marine protected areas (MPAs).

Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi, Ministry of Water and Environmental Affairs, South Africa, underscored the importance of raising awareness of oceans issues at all climate change conferences. Noting the particular vulnerability of developing countries to the risks posed by climate change, she called for establishing centers of excellence on ocean science and climate change.

Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), outlined the “deep” collaboration between WMO and IOC-UNESCO. He presented the main findings of WMO’s latest statement on the global climate, highlighting the strong influence of a la Niña event and the lowest Arctic ice level on record.

Dosoo Jang, Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute, provided an overview of the Yeosu Declaration, noting it aims to be the legacy of Yeosu EXPO 2012 and increase global awareness of the challenges facing oceans and coasts. He outlined the comprehensive approach being taken to draft the Declaration, and underlined the final goal of translating the Yeosu Declaration into action, specifically to mobilize funds for SIDS and LDCs.

SESSION 2: CLIMATE CHANGE AND AFRICAN FISHERIES – ENSURING FOOD SECURITY AND SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS

This morning session was chaired by Sloans Chimatiro, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). Chimatiro read a special address by Hassan Mayaki, CEO NEPAD, underscoring the role of African fisheries for livelihoods and economic development. He highlighted the first meeting of African ministers of fisheries and aquaculture in September 2010 held in Banjul, the Gambia, where ministers called for mainstreaming climate change considerations into fisheries programmes.

Daniel Jamu, Worldfish Centre, Malawi, presented a case study of the Lake Chilwa in Malawi. He stressed that measures to improve adaptive capacity with short-term economic benefits are good candidates for achieving quick wins during early stages of project implementation and for obtaining community buy-in.

Ndiaga Diop, West African Fisheries Policy Network (REPAO), presented on a fisheries sector project in West Africa. He highlighted that the project uses scientific data to assist community stakeholders adapt their fishing practices to changing fish stocks and to help decision makers update relevant fisheries policies.

Cassandra De Young, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), described the profile of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in national adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs). She noted that although 36 of the 44 NAPAs reference fisheries and aquaculture sectors, the attention given to the sectors varies. She underlined shortcomings of NAPAs, including that they do not address transboundary issues and use inconsistent definitions of vulnerability.

Chimatiro presented a NEPAD/FAO fisheries partnership programme, funded by the Swedish International Development Agency, which addresses the issues of food security, equitable growth and responsible fisheries management. He underscored that the programme integrates climate change considerations into fisheries and aquaculture development in Africa.

Okeloh W’Namadoa, Fishnet Africa, described the Africa Eco-labeling Mechanism, noting it borrows from forest certification systems. He underlined that the fish standard looks at air and GHG emissions management, as well as energy efficiency.

Rashid Sumaila, University of British Columbia, underscored that even without climate change, the world’s fisheries are under immense pressure. He emphasized that climate change causes further shifts in the biophysics of oceans and fish stocks, and that this will increase the costs of fishing, thereby affecting the affordability and availability of ocean-based protein sources, particularly in LDCs.

Papa Gora Ndiaye, Executive Secretary, REPAO, read a proposed Durban declaration on climate change and African fisheries drafted by REPAO member States, which draws attention to the fisheries sector’s vulnerability to climate change. The declaration further calls on governments to increase the resilience of African fisheries by fighting illegal fishing, reducing pollution, increasing gender sensitivity and taking advantage of indigenous knowledge.

In ensuing discussions, a participant called for addressing the issue of high seas fisheries management to ensure the sustainability of national fisheries. Cicin-Sain underscored the importance of achieving greater equity in the management of fisheries with greater benefits for coastal communities, noting the relevance of this issue in the Rio+20 process.

Participants also discussed subsidies to the fisheries sector, noting some have perverse effects. They underlined that the ecosystem approach to adaptation is largely in line with the ecosystem approach to fisheries and aquaculture.

SESSION 3: URGENT ACTION NEEDED ON CLIMATE CHANGE – ECOLOGICAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC RATIONALE – EVIDENCE FROM THE LARGE MARINE ECOSYSTEMS (LMES)

This afternoon session was chaired by Hashali Hamukuaya, Executive Secretary, Benguela Current Commission, and Chair, African LME Caucus.

Hamukuaya provided an overview of climate issues in LMEs worldwide. He highlighted that 80% of global fisheries originate from 64 LMEs and that accelerated warming has been observed in 61 of the 63 LMEs assessed. He underlined that increased sea-surface temperatures are affecting zooplankton levels, leading to decreasing productivity in many LMEs and negatively affecting livelihoods and food security. Noting that historically, communities had adapted to environmental conditions over extended periods, he said the current rates of change to ecosystems is unprecedented. He concluded by calling for coordinated government efforts to respond to changes in LMEs.

Hamukuaya then explained some of the impacts of climate change in African LMEs, including the Agulhas and Somali Current LMEs (ACLME and SCLME), Benguela Current LME (BCLME), Canary Current LME (CCLME), Guinea Current LME (GCLME), Mediterranean LME (MLME) and Red Sea LME (RSLME). He underlined that throughout the region, climate change is impacting African LMEs through: sea level rise; rising sea surface temperatures; ocean acidification; biodiversity loss and ecosystem changes; and unfavorable environmental events, such as increased frequency and intensity of harmful algal blooms. He underscored that climate change will have broad social impacts as well, with collapsed fisheries and the inundation of coastal businesses and industries resulting in job losses, decreased livelihood security, increased poverty, and decreased food security. Hamukuaya concluded by stressing the urgent need for coordinated governance and management responses at global, regional, national and local levels, to address these development challenges.

The panel, composed of David Vousden, Regional Director, ACLME Project; Nico Willemse, Senior Project manager, BCLME Programme; and Max Donkor, Regional Coordinator and Executive secretary, Interim Guinea Current Commission/GCLME Project, responded to questions from the floor.

A participant asked whether, in light of declining fish stocks and the exacerbating effects of climate change, more dramatic measures, such as moratoria on fishing, should not be considered. Panelists noted that moratoria are unpopular measures and should be backed by sound data, which is often lacking. They underlined that the setting up of MPAs and reserves is popular because stakeholders have experienced their benefits. Willemse stressed that a key challenge is finding suitable alternatives to fisheries for livelihoods. Panelists also addressed community engagement, underlining its importance in the implementation of the ecosystem approach.

SPECIAL PRESENTATION: Benjamin Valli, Department of International Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Monaco, reported on the workshop on the “Sustainable Use of Oceans in the Context of the Green Economy and Poverty Eradication” held in Monaco from 28-30 November 2011. He explained that discussions focused on sustainability best practices in the areas of food security, renewable energy and tourism. Valli indicated that the workshop outcomes will feed into the Rio+20 process.

SESSION 4: PROGRESS ON MAJOR OCEANS AND CLIMATE ISSUES

This afternoon session was chaired by Ashley Naidoo, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, South Africa.

Carol Turley, Senior Scientist, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK, described the effects of ocean acidification on marine organisms and ecosystems. She stated that the current speed and severity of ocean acidification was last experienced 60 million years ago, during the period of the extinction of dinosaurs.

Philippe Vallette, General Manager, Nausicaa, and Co-President, World Ocean Network, highlighted that 200 years ago, at the dawn of the industrial revolution, humankind could not conceive the effect they would have on the natural world. He said humankind is again on the brink of changing the world, and called for a blue society revolution that satisfies the needs of a growing population while preserving the subsistence requirements of future generations.

Luca Perez, Research and Innovation, Climate Change Unit, European Commission, spoke on the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme’s climate and oceans-related research, outlining work related to climate change and ocean dynamics, technological solutions and risks, adaptation and mitigation strategies, the Arctic Ocean, and ocean acidification. He highlighted that in the EU’s next research programme, starting in 2014, at least 35% of research funding will go towards climate-related research.

Jo Espinoza-Ferrey, Director, Marine Environment Division, International Maritime Organization (IMO), described the provisions of Annex VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) on air pollution from ships. He highlighted the adoption in July 2011 of amendments to Annex VI to introduce regulations on energy efficiency for ships, noting it constituted the first ever global mandatory energy efficiency standard for an entire industry sector, leading to reduced fuel consumption.

Brian Murray, Director for Economic Analysis, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University, underscored that coastal habitats protect massive amounts of carbon, which potentially could generate substantial carbon revenues if policies and incentives for blue carbon protection were secured, including through the integration of blue carbon activities into other carbon finance mechanisms. He explained that the issue of blue carbon was introduced by Papua New Guinea at the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) meeting in June 2010, and noted the need for more scientific information to inform future deliberations.

Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson, provided an overview of a report prepared by UNEP and its partners, titled “Green Economy in a Blue World,” which will be launched in January 2012. He stressed the need to: phase out perverse subsidies to the fisheries sector; green the shipping industry; reduce the movement of invasive marine species; and tap into the potential of marine-based renewables.

In the ensuing discussions, participants addressed the work of IMO on carbon capture and storage and ocean fertilization. Turley emphasized the need to address both climate change mitigation and adaptation in oceans policy. One participant stressed the need to communicate a more positive message on the state of the oceans. Nuttall explained how the transition to the green economy can lead to reduced resources consumption, economic growth and increased job creation.

SESSION 5: OCEANS AND CLIMATE ISSUES IN SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES

This afternoon session was chaired by Amb. Ronald Jumeau, Permanent Representative of Seychelles to the UN.

Amb. Dessima Williams, Permanent Representative of Grenada to the UN, and Chair, Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), stressed that although Grenada has made efforts to protect its oceans, the survival of SIDS depends on the outcomes of the UNFCCC process. She concluded by stating that climate change is changing oceans from “a friend and resource into an enemy.”

Luke Daunivalu, Deputy Permanent Representative of Fiji to the UN, underlined that the 14 Pacific SIDS are defined by oceans, as 97% of their jurisdiction consists of seawater. He identified climate change and ocean acidification as the greatest adversity facing the Pacific SIDS, and called for increased accountability in global fisheries management.

Jumeau emphasized that the fate of the oceans affects the survival of SIDS and called for ambitious GHG emission reduction commitments under the climate regime.

Amb. Angus Friday, International Climate Policy Specialist, World Bank, and former AOSIS Chair, stressed the high vulnerability of SIDS to extreme weather events. He welcomed the growing interest in the blue economy, highlighting the need to introduce the concept into the Rio+20 and climate change processes.

Selwin Hart, Counselor, Permanent Mission of Barbados to the UN, and Chief Negotiator for Climate Change for Barbados, stated that Rio+20 should comprehensively address ocean issues in order to be a success. He called for the operationalization of the Cancun Agreements, a second commitment period under the Kyoto protocol, and a new legally binding agreement under the Convention. He urged a focus on implementation of existing commitments at Rio+20.

In the ensuing discussions, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, South African Minister of Home Affairs, expressed support for SIDS, saying they must not be apologetic for their cause and that they should “keep at it, until you are heard.” Watson-Wright underlined that the UN Agencies’ Blue Paper (Blueprint for Ocean and Coastal Sustainability) includes a chapter on SIDS and the blue economy. Responding to a question on how small islands can move their agenda forward, Hart said ocean discussions need to be focused, and SIDS negotiators must guard against incoherence on ocean issues.

SESSION 6: FINANCING, CAPACITY BUILDING AND PUBLIC EDUCATION FOR ADAPTATION

This afternoon session was chaired by Mary Barton-Dock, Director, Environment Department, World Bank. She stressed the need to tap private sector resources for ocean conservation, noting the private sector’s concerns on the oceans’ productivity. She called for a carbon tax on maritime transport, the proceeds of which could be plowed back into oceans protection and development. She informed that the World Bank would be carrying out work on wealth counting to value oceans and coastal ecosystem services.

Koko Warner, Executive Director, Munich Climate Insurance Initiative, stressed that financial risk management can play a role in reducing risk. She emphasized the need for governments to educate themselves on the risks they face and engage in risk reduction strategies, and called on the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) to involve risk management professionals in its discussions on loss and damage.

Janot Reine Mendler de Suarez, Co-Chair, Global Ocean Forum Working Group on Oceans and Climate, provided some cost estimates of addressing the impacts of climate change on coastal areas, noting that the cost estimates are woefully inadequate. She also underscored that major reinsurers expect the frequency of disasters to increase by 65%. She urged dedicating half of climate financing to island and coastal communities, and stressed the need to operationalize the Green Climate Fund.

Razeena Omar, Chief Director, Integrated Coastal Management, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, South Africa, described the challenges posed by climate change to Africa’s coastal zones. She outlined a proposed programme of action for African coastal countries that was adopted at an expert meeting held in August 2011, in Cape Town, South Africa, stressing the need to make adaptation central to a future climate regime.

Hendra Yusran Siry, Deputy Director for Technical Services Research Centre for Marine and Fisheries Socio-Economic, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia, described Indonesia’s community and disaster reduction village (CDRV) programme, which aims to strengthen villages’ climate change adaptation and income generation capacities. He explained that the programme has been implemented in 16 villages and will be replicated in over 1000 villages.

Anthony Ribbink, Director, Sustainable Seas Trust, and Chair, Steering Committee, South East African Climate Consortium, described the work of the Sustainable Seas Trust in engaging coastal communities to take responsibility for coastal areas, including by setting up Sustainability Education and Skills (SEAS) Centers to provide training to marginalized individuals.

In the ensuing discussions, panelists underscored the importance of focusing on risk reduction through climate information systems and working with disaster risk reduction specialists. Warner said insurance is only one of a combination of tools that can be used in the context of adaptation.

SESSION 7 – CLOSING SESSION: MOBILIZING FOR ACTION ON OCEANS AND CLIMATE

Amb. Ben Ngubane, former Premier of Kwazulu-Natal Province, former Minister of Science and Technology, and former Ambassador of South Africa to Japan, gave a special address. Underlining that oceans are the life support system of the planet, he stated that “if you breathe, you should take serious interest in our oceans.” He outlined the role of oceans in stabilizing the climate, ensuring food security, and providing revenue to the tourism industry.

Anthony Ribbink presented the South African children who read the SEA Pledge resolution, which petitions the Global Oceans Forum to: take action to sustain the seas and their life supporting functions; and call upon the UN to declare an international year of oceans and coasts.

Gustavo Fonseca, Head, Natural Resources, GEF, highlighted GEF funding commitments to oceans, including the provision of US$188 million dollars in grants, which has attracted co-financing of US$1.5 billion for oceans. He said these commitments include: establishing a new programme on management of fisheries and biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction; extending the Brazil protected coastal marine area; developing blue carbon policies and methodologies; reforming governance for sustainable development of the Arctic in the Russian Federation; and sustainably managing LMEs in East Asia and Africa.

Mabudafhasi thanked participants for an inspiring event. Cicin-Sain noted the will to turn difficulties around and re-invent the future to preserve future generations. She closed Oceans Day at 6:29pm.

OUTCOME: OCEANS DAY STATEMENT

The meeting forwarded a chair’s statement to COP 17, which: summarizes the main issues discussed at the event: addresses the need for urgent and concerted actions; emphasizes the central role of oceans in climate change; and addresses the urgent issues faced by coastal and island communities living at the frontlines of climate change, including sea level rise, coastal erosion, extreme weather events, and ocean acidification. 

In the statement, the global oceans community calls attention to the need to develop an integrated programme for oceans and coasts within and beyond the UNFCCC. It recommends: enacting stringent and immediate reductions in CO2 emissions; deepening understanding and policy approaches to support “blue carbon;” accelerating progress in mitigation approaches using oceans and coasts; undertaking climate change adaptation in vulnerable coastal areas; building the capacity of coastal and island areas to predict, understand and respond to the risks posed by climate change; and working with coastal countries to raise awareness about the implications of climate change impacts on oceans and coastal areas.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

CBD Joint Expert Meeting on Addressing Biodiversity Concerns in Sustainable Fisheries: This meeting will: review the extent to which biodiversity concerns are addressed in existing assessments; review the impacts on marine and coastal biodiversity of pelagic fisheries of lower trophic levels; and propose options to address biodiversity concerns in sustainable fishery management and related assessments. dates: 7-9 December 2011 location: Bergen, Norway contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 e-mail: secretariat@cbd.int www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/notifications/2011/ntf-2011-180-marine-en.pdf  

International Coral Reef Initiative General Meeting 2011: This is the third and final General Meeting of the ICRI Secretariat. dates: 12-15 December 2011 location: Saint-Denis, Reunion contact: Francis Staub e-mail: fstaub@icriforum.org www: http://www.icriforum.org/news/2011/04/urgent-new-dates-next-icri-general-meeting

Third Intergovernmental Review of the Global Programme of Action (GPA) for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Pollution: This meeting is expected to take place in January 2012. dates: 25-27 January 2012 location: Manila, Philippines contact: Takehiro Nakamura phone: +254-20-762-4793 fax: +254-20-762-4249 e-mail: takehiro.makamura@unep.org www: http://www.gpa.unep.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=68&Itemid=49

World Wetlands Day 2012: The World Wetlands Day theme for 2012 is “Wetlands and Tourism” and is linked to the theme for the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP 11) to the Ramsar Convention, which is “Wetlands, Tourism and Recreation.” date: 2 February 2012 location: worldwide contact: Ramsar Secretariat phone: +41-22-999-0170 fax: +41-22-999-0169 e-mail: ramsar@ramsar.org www: http://www.ramsar.org/cda/en/ramsar-activities-wwds-wwd2012e/main/ramsar/1-63-78%5E25350_4000_0__

CBD Caribbean and Mid-Atlantic Regional Workshop to Facilitate the Description of Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas: This workshop will review relevant scientific data compiled through the CBD repository system of ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs) and other credible, quality-controlled sources; describe EBSAs through application of scientific criteria for EBSAs and other relevant criteria; and identify gaps and needs for further elaboration in describing EBSAs. dates: 28 February - 2 March 2012 location: Praia do Forte, Brazil contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 e-mail: secretariat@cbd.int www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/notifications/2011/ntf-2011-166-ebsa-en.pdf

Sixth Session of the Sub-committee on Aquaculture of the Committee on Fisheries: The Sub-Committee provides a forum for consultation and discussion on aquaculture and advises COFI on technical and policy matters related to aquaculture and on the work to be performed by the FAO in the subject matter field of aquaculture. dates: 26-30 March 2012 location: Cape Town, South Africa contact: Rohana Subasinghe e-mail: rohana.subasinghe@fao.org www: http://www.fao.org/fishery/nems/39840/en

The Fourth East Asian Seas Congress 2012: This meeting will convene in conjunction with Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea. date: 1 May 2012 location: Yeosu, Republic of Korea contact: PEMSEA Secretariat phone: +632-929-2992 fax: +632-926-9712 e-mail: info@pemsea.orgwww: http://pemsea.org/

Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea: This Expo will take the theme of “the living ocean and coast,” and will seek to provide a learning opportunity to the public, as well as present solutions to environmental challenges and propose measures for the sustainable use and development of marine resources. dates: 12 May-12 August 2012 location: Yeosu, Republic of Korea contact: Organizing Committee phone: +82-1577-2012 www: http://eng.expo2012.kr/main.html

UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies Meeting: The venue for these meetings of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies is likely to be Bonn, Germany. dates: 14-25 May 2012 location: TBA contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 e-mail: secretariat@unfccc.int www: http://www.unfccc.int

Oceans Day at UNCSD: The “Oceans Day” will be held during the thematic days immediately preceding the UNCSD. dates: 1-3 June 2012 [tentative] location: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil contact: Miriam Balgos phone: +1-302-831-8086 fax: +1-302-831-3668 e-mail: mbalgos@udel.edu www: http://www.globaloceans.org/content/rio20  

UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD): This meeting is also referred to as Rio+20. It will mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which convened in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. dates: 20-22 June 2012 location: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil contact: UNCSD Secretariat e-mail: uncsd2012@un.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/

Ramsar COP 11: The Ramsar COP 11 will be preceded by the 44th meeting of the Standing Committee planned for 4 July 2012, and an additional day of regional meetings on 5-6 July 2011. The broad theme for Ramsar COP 11 and World Wetlands Day 2012 is “Wetlands, Tourism and Recreation.” dates: 6-13 July 2012 location: Bucharest, Romania contact: Ramsar Secretariat phone: +41-22-999-0170 fax: +41-22-999-0169 e-mail: ramsar@ramsar.org www: http://www.ramsar.org/cda/en/ramsar-documents-cops-cop11/main/ramsar/1-31-58-500_4000_0__  

30th Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI): The 30th session of COFI will review activities of the COFI Sub-Committees on Aquaculture and Fish Trade, progress on the implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) and associated International Plans of Action (IPOAs), as well as the priorities for the FAO work programme on these issues. dates: 9-13 July 2012 location: Rome, Italy contact: Hiromoto Watanabe e-mail: hiromoto.watanabe@fao.org www: http://www.fao.org/fishery/about/cofi/meetings/en

Third Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World: This symposium aims to attract leading scientists to discuss the impacts of ocean acidification on marine organisms, ecosystems, and biogeochemical cycles. It will also cover socioeconomic consequences of ocean acidification, including policy and management implications. dates: 24-27 September 2012 location: Monterey, California, US e-mail: secretariat@scor-int.org www: http://www.highco2-iii.org

CBD COP 11: The 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is organized by the CBD Secretariat. The High Level Segment will be held from 17-19 October 2012. dates: 8-19 October 2012 location: Hyderabad, India contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 e-mail: secretariat@cbd.int www: http://www.cbd.int/meetings/  

UNFCCC COP 18: UNFCCC COP 18, plus the 8th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 8) and meetings of the subsidiary bodies, will take place in Qatar from 26 November to 7 December 2012. dates: 26 November-7 December 2012 location: Doha, Qatar contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 e-mail: secretariat@unfccc.int www: http://www.unfccc.int

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The Oceans Day Bulletin is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <info@iisd.ca>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org>. This issue was written and edited by Alice Bisiaux and Jonathan Manley. The Editor is Tomilola “Tomi” Akanle <tomilola@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. Funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the University of Delaware. IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in other publications with appropriate academic citation. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists (HTML and PDF format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <http://www.iisd.ca/>. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11A, New York, New York 10022, United States of America.

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