November 2003
s
m
t
w
t
f
s


 

Visit the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization



 

*To view PDF files, you
will need the free Adobe Reader



 

Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands

Paris, France | 10 - 14 November 2003


Visit the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands


 

Daily Web Archives: 12 November  13 November  14 November

Summary Report | Our summary is available online in the following formats: 

  | HTML | PDF* | TEXT |

Highlights from Wednesday, November 12


The Global Fourm on Oceans, Coasts and Islands opened on Wednesday morning, 12 November 2003 at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France.

Following the official opening by Conference CO-Chairs Patricio Bernal, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and Biliana Cicin-Sain, Director of the University of Delaware's Center for Marine Policy, delegates heard Ministerial perspectives on the problems and opportunities in the implementation of WSSD commitments, an overview of implementation of WSSD commitments are the regional level, and a discussion of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Special addresses on challenges to the global oceans environment and challenges to the international ocean regime were also heard.

The first Global Forum Leadership Award was given to Tuiloma Neroni Slade, a Samoan judge serving on the International Criminal Court in The Hague, for his contributions to advancing ocean issues on the international agenda.

Photo: Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, French Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development



Conference Opening and Introduction by Conference Co-Chairs and High-level Segment

Biliana Cicin-Sai, Director, Gerard J Mangone Center for Marine Policy (CMP), University of Delaware (left), said the conference aims at operationalizing strategies, and forming 'alliances' among governments, IGOs and NGOs to advance WSSD targets. (Listen to her statement)

Patricio Bernal, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (right), said the conference is an open platform bringing together a wide range of stakeholders committed to ocean, coast and island issues, and expressed hope that participants would further support and add value to implementing relevant targets agreed upon at the WSSD. (Listen to his statement)

Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, French Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development, said France would create 'sea highways' for safer transportation, develop a strategy for marine biodiversity preservation, adopt an integrated approach to oceans management, and create a monitoring programme. She called for the creation of new tools to address threats faced by coasts and fisheries and the preservation of oceans for future generations.

(Listen to her statement in FRENCH)

UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer recognized the importance of ocean, coast and island issues, noting they are adequately represented in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPI) and through various WSSD partnership initiatives. He said that ocean issues should be linked with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly the fight against poverty and the work of the Commission of Sustainable Development (CSD). He also called for the Global Forum to work towards a common implementing programme.

David Osborn, Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (UNEP-GPA) (right), said that WSSD targets are not self-implementing and that work needs to be done for them to be met. He added that the Forum needs to find ways to link with other international processes addressing water issues. (Listen to his statement)

José Luis Arnaut, Minister Assistant to the Portuguese Prime Minister (left), highlighted Portugal's commitment to developing national ocean policy and stressed the importance of cooperation at the national and international level to achieve good oceans governance. He noted Portugal's support for the JPI's action to increase scientific and technical collaboration in marine science, and to establish by 2004 a process for global assessment and reporting on the state of the marine environment.


Special Address: Sylvia Earle, Executive Director, Global Marine Programs, Conservation International, Challenges to the Global Oceans Environment
Calling for a constant review of the state of the marine environment, Sylvia Earle listed the following current threats: loss of wildlife, fisheries depletion, degradation of coral reefs, and lack of awareness on ocean issues. She urged participants to take action to stop the destruction of sea mounts, reform fisheries, create a network of MPAs, assess marine biodiversity, and achieve the WSSD targets. (Listen to her statement)

Special Address: Tullio Treves, Judge, International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) and Professor, University of Milan, Status and Prospects of the Law of the Sea at the 20th Year Anniversary

Tullio Teves, Judge, International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), presented on the status and prospects of the law of the sea. He said UNCLOS represents a major success of codification of international law and mentioned the adoption of additional agreements since its signature. Treves explained that UNCLOS entrusted new functions to existing organizations and established new ones such as ITLOS, the International Seabed Authority or the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. (Listen to his statement)

 

Special Address: Jon Van Dyke, Professor, University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law, Challenges to the International Ocean Regime

Jon Van Dyke, Professor, University of Hawaii Law School, US addressed challenges facing the international ocean regime, focusing on the evolving balance between navigational freedoms and protection of the marine environment and its resources. Citing several international cases, he noted that coastal states were increasingly taking unilateral initiatives against based on the precautionary principle against illegal fishing, commercial and military vessels to protect their coastal environments and security interests. (Listen to his statement)


Co-Chairs Biliana Cicin-Sai and Patricio Bernal present the Announcement of a Special Award from the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands to H.E. Judge Tuiloma Neroni Slade, former Chair, AOSIS, and Permanent Representative of Samoa to the UN; currently, Judge, International Criminal Court, The Hague

Judge Slade wasn't able to attend the Conference but will receive the award in Mauritius in 2004


Session I: Problems and Opportunities in the Implementation of WSSD Commitments: Ministerial Perspectives
Daniel McDougall, Director-General of Oceans, on behalf of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Harsh K. Gupta, Secretary, Department of Oceans Development, India, Chair Magnus Johanneson, Secretary-General, Ministry for the Environment, Iceland, Sun Zhihui, Deputy Administrator, State Oceanic Administration, China, William J. Brennan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Affairs, NOAA, US, and Lord Julian Hunt, Professor and Fellow of Royal Society, UK, and Chairman, Advisory Committee on Protection of the Sea
Harsh K. Gupta, Secretary, Department of Oceans Development, India (left) and William J. Brennan, NOAA, US, and Lord Julian Hunt, Professor and Fellow of Royal Society, UK (right)
Sun Zhihui, Deputy Administrator, State Oceanic Administration, China, Chair Magnus Johanneson, Secretary-general, Ministry for the Environment, Iceland, and William J. Brennan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Affairs, NOAA, US

Session 2: Implementation of WSSD Commitments at the Regional Level
Harry Coccossis, Professor, University of Thessaly, Greece, New Developments in Integrated Coastal Area Management in the Mediterranean Region, addresses delegates
Cristelle Pratt, Oceans and Islands Programme, SOPAC, Toward a Regional Ocean Policy for the Pacific
Chua Thia-Eng, Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), WSSD Implementation in East Asia (left) and Gunnar Palsson, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Iceland, and Chair, Senior Arctic Officials, Progress and Challenges Faced by the Arctic Council in Addressing WSSD Commitments
Cristelle Pratt, Oceans and Islands Programme, SOPAC, Gunnar Palsson, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Iceland, Chair Phil Burgess, Co-Chair, UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (UNICPOLOS), Australia, Harry Coccossis, Professor, University of Thessaly, Greece, Iouri oliounine, Executive Director, International Ocean Institute, Regional Cooperation in the Caspian Sea, Margaret Hayes, Director of Oceans Affairs, US Department of State, WSSD Implementation in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Basin, Kenneth Sherman, Supervisory Research Oceanographer, US National Marine Fisheries Service, The Large Marine Ecosystem Network Approach to WSSD Targets, and Olle Hagstrom, Directorate General, Environment, European Commission

Session 3: Small Island Developing States: The Issues in Mauritius 2004
Herman Belmar, Bequia Community High School, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Small Islands Voice Coordinator, Youth's Concerns and Inputs to Mauritius 2004, Pynee Chellapermal, Director, Centre for Documentation, Research and Training on the South-West Indian Ocean, Mauritius, and Small Islands Voice Coordinator, Civil Society's Concerns and Inputs to Mauritius 2004, Chair Diane Quarless, Chief, SIDS Unit, UNDESA, Tiare Holm, Assistant Director, Palau Conservation Soceity, Palau, and Small Islands Voice Coordinator, The General Public's Perspective on Issues and Inputs to Mauritius 2004, Ambassador Jagdish Koonjul, Mauritius, Chair of AOSIS, and Nirmal Jivan Shah, Chief Executive, Nature Seychelles

Jadish Koonjul, Chairman, Alliance for Small Island States (AOSIS),Mauritius (above left), noted the special case of SIDS with regards to sustainable development and the environment, particularly the marine ecosystem, and the constraints SIDS face due to their smallness, remoteness and vulnerability to natural disasters. He emphasized that SIDS need to, inter alia: develop integrated coastal management policies; establish new institutional and administrative arrangements to implement these policies; develop legal frameworks for fishery management; strengthen regional capacity; develop national and regional action plans; and ensure the implementation of international agreements, such as UNCLOS. (Listen to his statement)

Chair Diane Quarless, Chief, SIDS Unit, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, gives some opening remarks (Listen to her statement)
 
Tiare Holm, Assistant Director, Palau Conservation Society, presented on a community survey carried out in Palau in 2002, identifying eight areas of concern: economic development; eroding traditional values; rapid increase of foreign laborers; healthcare; education; good governance; environment; and crime and substance abuse. She said sustainable development should begin with local communities, noting that local communities in Palau were responsible for establishing and managing most of the countries protected areas.
Robin Mahon, Senior Lecturer, University of the West Indies, Barbados (left) and Chair Quarless and Tiare Holm (right)
Chair Quarless (left), Nirmal Jivan Shah, Chief Executive, Nature Seychelles, and Andrew Dahl, Director, Global Islands Network (right)



Links

Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands website: http://www.globaloceans.org/globalconference/index.html.
Draft Conference Programme: http://www.globaloceans.org/globalconference/pdf/ParisConferenceProgram.pdf.
UNESCO: http://www.unesco.org.
Sustainable Developments� coverage of �The Global Conference on Oceans and Coasts at Rio+10: Assessing Progress, Addressing Continuing and New Challenges� (December 2001): http://www.iisd.ca/sd/ocrio+10/.
UN Division for Sustainable Development�s Oceans and Seas page: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/sdissues/ocean/ocean.htm.
UN Division for Sustainable Development�s Small Island Developing States Page: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/sids/sids.htm.
Small Island Developing States Network (SIDSnet): http://www.sidsnet.org/.



| Sustainable Developments home page | Linkages home | IISDnet | E-mail |
� 2003, IISD. All rights reserved.