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Fourth Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands

8-11 April 2008 | Hanoi, Viet Nam

4th Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands Bulletin
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Monday, 14 April 2008
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8 April | 9 April | 10 April

Highlights for Tuesday, 8 April 2008

The Fourth Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands, “Advancing Ecosystem Management and Integrated Coastal and Ocean Management by 2010 in the Context of Climate Change,” hosted by the Government of Viet Nam, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, opened in Hanoi, Viet Nam, on 7 April 2008. During the day, after hearing presentations by high-level officials, participants engaged in two plenary panels on: oceans, climate, and Small Island Developing States (SIDS); and ecosystem management and integrated ocean coastal management by 2010: challenges to decision-makers.

In the second part of the afternoon, participants broke into eight concurrent discussion sessions on: Advancing the Implementation of the SIDS Mauritius Strategy; Experiences in the Practical Implementation of Country-Driven Global Environment Facility (GEF) Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) Programmes; Progress Markers; Integrated Coastal and Ocean Policies: National Perspectives - National Ocean Policies of France, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Viet Nam; Dealing with Changes in Oceans: Ocean Warming, Ocean Acidification, Changes in Polar Regions; Marine Transportation; Capacity Development Among the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Nations; and Building Networks of Local Officials for Integrated Coastal and Ocean Governance.

Vietnamese cultural presentation during the opening session.

A Vietnamese musician entertains the participants during the opening session.


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Le Van Minh, Director General, International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Viet Nam, chaired the opening session and welcomed participants to the meeting.

Veerle Vandeweerd, Director, Environment and Energy Group UNDP and Co- Chair, Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands, applauded Viet Nam’s leadership in coastal affairs and called for revisiting traditional paradigms and redefining how stakeholders collaborate. Biliana Cicin-Sain, Co-Chair and Head of Secretariat, Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands and Co-Chair, Fourth Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands, encouraged participants to work towards a more coherent and integrated ecosystem and oceans management regime in areas beyond national jurisdiction.


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Monique Barbut, Chief Executive Officer, GEF, outlined the GEF’s activities in promoting action and collaboration among countries to protect coastal populations and ecosystems. Cao Duc Phat, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Viet Nam, and Co-Chair, Fourth Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands, highlighted the benefits of collaboration and noted the opportunity for Vietnamese organizations to share their research and challenges in managing coastal and ocean resources in the context of climate change. Ibrahim Thiaw, Director, Division of Environmental Policy Implementation, UNEP and Co-Chair, Fourth Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands, outlined UNEP’s work on marine ecosystem conservation and identified the need for policies that integrate diverse ocean uses, tools to measure cumulative impacts on ocean integrity, and management plans that incorporate new scientific information.

Javier Valladares, Chairperson, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), UNESCO, underlined that the Global Forum acts as a catalyst for action and provides a platform for dialogue among the multitude of stakeholders. Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Viet Nam, underlined the crucial role played by marine and coastal communities in the national economy.

Participants conversing during the break.

Rolph Payet, Advisor to the President of Seychelles, encouraged political leadership and the development of regional initiatives such as the Micronesia Challenge, the Caribbean Challenge and the Coral Triangle Initiative.

Jagdish Koonjul, Mauritius, Former Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) Chair, outlined emerging challenges faced by SIDS since the adoption of the 2005 Mauritius Strategy for further implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action, such as food security. Ambassador Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Samoa, First AOSIS Chair, highlighted the role of thresholds and non-linear behavior of climate change in community and ecosystem disruption. Noah Idechong, Congressman, House of Delegates, Palau, described domestic actions to address climate change impacts, including coral recovery efforts.

Angus Friday, Grenada, AOSIS Chair, underlined the need for SIDS not to be bound by the future they fear, but by a new shared vision. The crowd applauds.

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A rare occasion: all three current and former chairs of the AOSIS with Biliana Cicin-Sain and Rolph Payet, Advisor to the President of Seychelles. From left to the right: Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Angus Friday, Biliana Cicin-Sain, Jagdish Koonjul and Rolph Payet.

Participants highlighted the need to focus SIDS capacity building at the community level and harness energy from the sea.

Plenary panel on ecosystem management and integrated ocean and coastal management by 2010. Freddy Numberi, Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia, discussed the importance of political mobilization to achieve effective governance to address ecosystem management and climate change.

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Participants at the welcome reception sponsored by the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Government of Indonesia.

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8 April | 9 April | 10 April

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