Linkages home page
GOC 2008
4th Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands Bulletin
 
PDF format
 
Download PDF version
   
Volume 68 Number 4 - Sunday, 13 April 2008
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
8-11 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” (Fourth Global Conference) hosted by the Government of Viet Nam, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, took place in Hanoi, Viet Nam, from 8-11 April 2008.

The Fourth Global Conference was organized by the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands, which was created by an informal World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) coordinating group in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2002. Comprised of individuals from governments, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the Global Forum serves as a platform for cross-sectoral information sharing and dialogue on issues affecting oceans, coasts and islands, with the goal of achieving sustainable development in these areas.

The event brought together over 430 participants from 71 countries representing governments, UN and other international agencies, NGOs, industry, oceans donors, organized science groups, and networks of museums and aquaria. The Fourth Global Conference provided a review of progress, or lack thereof, 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.

During the Conference, participants heard presentations by high-level officials and engaged in topical panels and discussion sessions on three major themes, namely: achieving ecosystem management and integrated coastal and ocean management by 2010; climate, oceans, and security: addressing impacts in vulnerable ecosystems and in vulnerable coastal communities, especially in Small Island Developing States (SIDS); and the governance of marine ecosystems and uses in areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.

Outcomes from the Fourth Global Conference include: a Co-Chairs’ report containing a summary of the proceedings from the various panel sessions, discussion sessions and roundtables; summaries of the policy briefs presented; and recommendations. These outcomes will be presented at the ninth session of the UN Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and Law of the Sea in New York, US, scheduled to take place from 23-27 June 2008. The specific recommendations will be considered at the World Ocean Conference in Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, from 11-15 May 2009, organized by the Government of Indonesia in collaboration with the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands, and other international partners.

Throughout the Conference, participants actively engaged in the plenary and discussion sessions. While there was a sense of urgency, most shared a positive outlook given the opportunities for information sharing, collaboration, and networking in and outside the meeting rooms.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GLOBAL FORUM AND INTERNATIONAL OCEANS AND COASTS POLICY AND MANAGEMENT

The UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992, was the first major international gathering to address issues related to sustainable development at the global level. UNCED participants adopted Agenda 21, a plan for achieving sustainable development in the 21st century, and the Rio Principles, which define the rights of people to development, and their responsibilities to safeguard the common environment. Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 calls for new and integrated approaches to the sustainable development of oceans and coasts, and the Rio Principles introduce the precautionary principle as a component of new approaches to oceans-related agreements.

POST-UNCED AGREEMENTS AND ACTIVITIES: Since UNCED significant progress has been made in the development of legislation, agreements and programmes of action at the international level. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea entered into force in 1994, and provides an overall framework for other oceans-related agreements. The UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA), the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Jakarta Mandate on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine and Coastal Biological Diversity and the UN Agreement on Straddling and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (UN Fish Stocks Agreement) were all adopted in 1995. UNEP’s Regional Seas Programme, launched in 1974 in the wake of the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm, continued after UNCED to guide the process of regional cooperation, while the 1994 Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS has contributed to an overall strengthening of issues related to SIDS on the political agenda.

Numerous efforts in capacity building and integrated coastal management (ICM) have also been undertaken at national and local levels, including the creation of policy frameworks and the establishment of protected areas and conservation projects. Investments by the private sector in partnership with governments, advances in technology and scientific research, and NGO efforts to raise public awareness have all contributed to the evolution of sustainable development and management of coastal and marine areas.

The First Global Conference: The First Global Conference on Oceans and Coasts at Rio+10: Toward the 2002 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 in the WSSD agenda.

WSSD: The WSSD convened from 26 August to 4 September 2002, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The outcomes of the Summit included the adoption of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, which contains a number of goals and targets related to oceans management, including: encouraging the application of the ecosystem approach by 2010 for the sustainable development of the oceans; promote integrated coastal and ocean management at the national level and encourage and assist countries in developing ocean policies and mechanisms on integrated coastal management; protecting the marine environment from land-based activities; achieving a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss by 2010; developing and facilitating the use of diverse approaches and tools, including the ecosystem approach; eliminating destructive fishing practices; establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) consistent with international law and based on scientific information, including representative networks by 2012; eliminating subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and to overcapacity; and maintaining or restoring depleted fish stocks to levels that can produce their maximum sustainable yield on an urgent basis and where possible no later than 2015.

The Second Global Conference: 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, at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, France. The Conference was organized by the Global Forum and spurred the process of initial implementation of the WSSD commitments.

THE International Meeting TO review THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR SIDS: The International Meeting convened from 10-14 January 2005, in Port Louis, Mauritius. Delegates adopted the Mauritius Declaration and the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action on the Sustainable Development of SIDS.

The Ocean Policy Summit: The Ocean Policy Summit International Conference on Integrated Ocean Policy: National and Regional Experiences, Prospects, and Emerging Practices, was organized by the Global Forum and was held in Lisbon, Portugal, from 10-14 October 2005. The Summit considered advances made in achieving the WSSD targets and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related to integrated oceans governance at national and regional levels. Participants addressed how national and regional ocean policies may be enhanced and further expanded.

The Third Global Conference: The Third Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands, which took as its theme “Moving the Global Oceans Agenda Forward,” was held in Paris, France from 24-27 January 2006. The meeting sought to accelerate progress in achieving international ocean policy targets, especially those related to the WSSD and the MDGs. Participants also examined two major emerging ocean policy issues: high seas governance; and the wide-ranging effects of climate change on oceans and coastal environments.

First INFORMAL WORKING GROUP ON MARINE BIODIVERSITY: The Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction, convened from 13-17 February 2006, at UN headquarters in New York, US. Participants agreed on the need for short-term measures to address IUU fishing and destructive fishing practices as the most urgent threats to marine biodiversity, as well as institutional coordination. Many delegates also agreed that there should be an ongoing process to advance discussions on sharing the benefits from marine genetic resources, avoiding the adverse impacts of marine scientific research on marine biodiversity, and facilitating the establishment of high seas MPAs.

ICP-8: The eighth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP-8) convened from 25-29 June 2007 in New York, US. The meeting organized its discussions around the topic of marine genetic resources, as recommended by the UNGA in resolution 61/222 (Oceans and the law of the sea). Delegates did not agree on key language referring to the relevant legal regime for marine genetic resources in areas beyond national jurisdiction. While no consensus text on elements was agreed, the Co-Chairs developed a draft text of elements to be suggested to the UNGA, drawing on panel discussions and the draft elements and recommendations within the Co-Chairs’ Report of ICP-8 to the UNGA, including an explanation of the divergence of views.

REPORT OF THE CONFERENCE

The Fourth Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands (Fourth Global Conference) was preceded by a series of meetings that took place from 3-7 April, as well as by a high-level roundtable discussion for ministers and high-level and eminent participants that was held on 7 April. The Fourth Global Conference commenced on Tuesday, 8 April 2008, with opening statements. Participants engaged in plenary policy sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and in concurrent discussion sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday afternoon, conference reports were presented in plenary, followed by a closing ceremony. A field trip to Halong Bay was organized for Friday. This report is structured by agenda item and summarizes the various plenary presentations and discussions, as well as the discussion sessions as reported in plenary.

OPENING SESSION

On Tuesday 8 April, 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.

Biliana Cicin-Sain, Co-Chair and Head of Secretariat, Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands and Co-Chair, Fourth Global Conference, encouraged participants to work towards a more coherent and integrated ecosystem and oceans management regime outside of national jurisdiction. She stressed the need for political courage, international responsibility, and the mobilization of resources and knowledge to introduce climate change planning into oceans and coastal management processes.

Cao Duc Phat, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Viet Nam, and Co-Chair, Fourth Global Conference, 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.

Monique Barbut, Chief Executive Officer, Global Environment Facility (GEF), outlined the GEF’s activities in promoting action and collaboration among countries to protect coastal populations and ecosystems and stated that the GEF is committed to delivering on the Conference’s agenda.

Veerle Vandeweerd, Director, Environment and Energy Group, UN Development Programme (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. She highlighted the co-benefits of addressing climate change for reducing poverty and advancing sustainable development.

Ibrahim Thiaw, Director, Division of Environmental Policy Implementation, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and Co-Chair, Fourth Global Conference, 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 Armando Valladares, Chairman, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), underlined that the Global Forum acts as a catalyst for action and provides a platform for dialogue among stakeholders. He noted the upcoming celebration of the IOC’s 50th anniversary in 2010, which will outline the achievements of the Commission and emphasize the need for a better understanding of the oceans.

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Viet Nam, highlighted the crucial role played by marine and coastal communities in the Vietnamese economy. He outlined national marine environmental and conservation efforts, including the application of integrated coastal management (ICM), the development of marine research, and the establishment of marine protected area (MPA) networks.

Monique Barbut noted pressing threats to marine ecosystems, including: the trend of over-fishing of valuable species; nitrogen pollution; and the depletion of natural resources in coastal regions. She outlined recent GEF activities related to marine and coastal ecosystems, and explained that GEF reform has lead to a more programmatic approach. She mentioned the Coral Triangle Initiative and the Pacific Alliance for Sustainability as illustrations of the GEF’s present and future commitment to the sustainable development of the oceans.

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. He highlighted the threat of climate change to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and marine resources, and stressed the need for decisive action to build on the Bali Roadmap. He outlined Indonesian government initiatives, such as the Coral Triangle Initiative and the World Ocean Conference in May 2009.

Global Forum Co-Chair Cicin-Sain highlighted the independence of the Global Forum, which periodically issues report cards on progress in achieving its goals. She stressed the need for increased effort and political support to address climate change challenges and emerging issues of high seas governance within the next decade, and underscored the extensive preparatory process for the Fourth Global Conference, which included 12 working groups, as well as one in development, comprised of 254 experts from 68 countries. She highlighted that all the working groups had prepared policy briefs with recommendations to national and international decision makers on next steps to advance each major ocean issue.

PLENARY PANELS

OCEANS, CLIMATE, AND SIDS: This panel was held on Tuesday morning and co-chaired by Nguyen Hong Thao, Vice-Chair of the National Border Committee, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Viet Nam, and Rolph Payet, Advisor to the President of Seychelles. The Co-Chairs outlined the session and emphasized SIDS’ challenges in the context of climate change. Payet encouraged political leadership and the development of regional initiatives such as the Micronesia Challenge, the Caribbean Challenge and the Coral Triangle Initiative.

In a video keynote address, James Alix Michel, President of Seychelles, said the global community takes the oceans’ resources for granted with little heed to the wellbeing of the planet. He called for: a change in the policies of the world’s economic powers; adequate resources to reverse climate change and ecological damage; improved deployment of technologies and financing for mitigation and adaptation; and strengthened institutions. He underscored the need for clear leadership from developed nations, and called upon conference participants to implement at least one component of oceans conservation strategy. He concluded by noting that warning signs are already among us, and urged commitment to restore the “planet’s harmony.”

Rolph Payet introduced a policy brief on SIDS and the Mauritius Strategy. He identified food security as a new emerging priority and delineated four policy issues, including: adaptation to climate change and the role of ICM; sustainable natural resources management and ecosystem-based approaches to marine and coastal management, including fisheries; delineation of the extended continental shelf; and capacity building for coastal and marine management. He suggested that financial mechanisms, review mechanisms, capacity development, and SIDS’ leadership are needed to address emerging challenges.

Noah Idechong, Congressman, House of Delegates, Palau, described domestic actions to address climate change impacts, including coral recovery efforts. He highlighted new challenges, such as the sense of anxiety within communities and competing priorities for local funding. He identified opportunities for new partnerships locally and internationally, underscored the urgency that SIDS’ communities are experiencing and urged the international community to act.

Amb. Angus Friday, Grenada, Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) Chair, underlined the need for SIDS not to be bound by the future they fear, but by a new, shared vision. He said climate change should be addressed with “the mindset of winners,” and that the bounty of the oceans should be harnessed. He called for mainstreaming adaptation into economic policies, including promoting green tourism and education, and safeguarding genetic resources beyond national jurisdiction. Noting the vulnerability of SIDS in terms of financial services, he stated that they need to become involved in carbon trading.

Amb. Jagdish Koonjul, Mauritius, Former AOSIS Chair, outlined emerging challenges, such as food security, faced by SIDS since the adoption of the 2005 Mauritius Strategy for further implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action. He stated that the impacts of climate change on islands should be addressed urgently to avoid social unrest and noted that the mobilization that existed post-Mauritius has lost its strength. He raised concern regarding the ability of SIDS to comply with their technical and legal obligations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) related to the continental shelf delimitations and suggested that the AOSIS should be strengthened to act as the oversight mechanism on implementation of the Mauritius Strategy.

Amb. Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Samoa, First AOSIS Chair, highlighted the role of thresholds and non-linear behavior of climate change in community and ecosystem disruption. He argued that, while mitigation is crucial, adaptation efforts are also needed, especially in SIDS. He identified the need to consider equity and fairness, and stated that retreat to higher ground is not an option for island communities. He said adaptation strategies, including policies and technology transfer, for small countries require unique considerations. He concluded by noting the interlinkages among multilateral environmental agreements and called upon political leaders to avert dangerous climate change.

In the ensuing discussion, participants highlighted the need to focus SIDS’ capacity building at the community level, the opportunity to harness energy from the sea, and the need to learn from innovative technological examples such as those from Singapore. Participants also discussed strengthening SIDS’ institutional activities and the UN Trust Fund to facilitate the preparation of submissions to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf for Developing States.

ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT AND INTEGRATED OCEAN AND COASTAL MANAGEMENT BY 2010: CHALLENGES TO DECISION-MAKERS: This panel took place on Tuesday afternoon and was co-chaired by: Alfred Duda, Senior Advisor, International Waters, GEF; Ibrahim Thiaw, UNEP; Andrew Hudson, Principal Technical Advisor, International Waters, UNDP-GEF; and Nguyen Chu Hoi, Director, Institute of Fisheries Economics and Planning, Viet Nam.

Chua Thia-Eng, Chair, East Asian Seas Partnership Council, outlined efforts carried out by the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia to achieve sustainable coastal and ocean development in the seas of East Asia over the next ten years, including by: consolidating the foundation of ICM; scaling-up ICM programmes along the coastline; enhancing the policy, legal, financial and human resources for local implementation; and institutionalizing a regional coordinating mechanism to implement ICM.

Noting the threats faced by large marine ecosystems (LMEs), including increasing temperatures and declining fish stocks, panel Co-Chair Duda called for adaptive management. He described GEF financing for coasts, marine and SIDS’ projects in international waters and stressed support for more cross-sectoral focal area programmes for recovery and sustainable use of LMEs.

Zhang Hongsheng, Vice Administrator, State Oceanic Administration, China, discussed China’s approach to integrated ecosystem-based ocean and coastal management in the context of climate change. He highlighted the ocean and coastal impacts of China’s rapidly growing marine economy and climate change, and noted the laws, institutions and programmes established to manage these threats.

Patrick Van Klaveren, Head of International and Mediterranean Environment Service, Monaco, outlined his country’s actions for marine conservation, highlighting the creation of the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals and of MPAs under the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area.

Teresita Castillo, Undersecretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippines, presented on the effects of climate change on biodiversity and concomitant impacts on tourism. She identified stressors, such as beach erosion, increased sea levels and damage from sea surges and storms, and coral bleaching.

Rudolf Noronha, Director, Department of Environmental Quality, Ministry of Environment, Brazil, discussed ICM in the context of adaptation to climate change in Brazil. He outlined a macrodiagnostic initiative on the Brazilian coastal zone, which includes data on its geomorphology, ports, population dynamics, potential flooding risk and social risk mapping.

Arumugam Senthilvel, Additional Director, Ministry of Environment and Forests, India, discussed the challenges and opportunities for ICM zones in India. He noted the economic development impacts on coastal zones, outlined the legal framework and objectives of ICM in India, and highlighted opportunities for capacity building with World Bank assistance.

Francisca Delgado, General Director, National Institute for Fisheries Research, Angola, highlighted the importance of fisheries to the Angolan economy, and discussed the national legal and institutional framework for ecosystem-based management of fisheries. She noted the biological and social issues relating to fisheries, as well as management measures, research actions and ways forward to improve existing legislation.

Veerle Vandeweerd discussed adaptation needs for coastal zones. She identified major challenges, including the lack of an adaptation methodology and scant resources. She called for mainstreaming adaptation, building climate resilience and financing. She suggested that adaptation is an opportunity to address sustainable development needs.               

Torkil Jonch-Clausen, Danish Hydraulic Institute and Global Water Partnership, called for communication between the freshwater and coastal/marine communities and presented the solution of integrated coastal area and river management. He identified the need for joint action on concepts and guidelines, best practices, political and administrative support, pilot projects, and capacity building.

Julian Barbiere, IOC/UNESCO, described the “Assessment of Assessments,” the UN Global Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment’s (GMA) first phase. He explained that the Assessment of Assessments will contain a regional overview of assessments, establish best practices, and develop a framework and options for the GMA.

Jose Matheickal, Chief Technical Advisor, Global Ballast Water Management Programme, International Maritime Organization, recommended: appropriately managing marine biosecurity threats; including biosecurity as one of the Global Forum’s ongoing themes; including marine biosecurity issues in GEF/LME programmes; and promoting the ratification and implementation of existing international agreements, such as the 2004 Ballast Water Convention, dealing with this issue.

FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE: SUSTAINABILITY AND GOVERNANCE: This panel was held on Wednesday morning and co-chaired by: Rebecca Lent, Director, Office of International Affairs, US National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Nguyen Chu Hoi; and Le Thanh Luu, Director of Research Institute for Aquaculture, Viet Nam.

Lent introduced the four main themes addressed by the fisheries and governance working group, namely: regional fisheries management organization (RFMO) reform; illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing; overcapacity in fishing; and sustainable aquaculture. She highlighted the impacts of climate change on fisheries, particularly on small-scale fishing, and stressed the need for more flexible measures.

Panel Co-Chair Nguyen Chu Hoi outlined the main fisheries management challenges in Viet Nam, including: an unmanaged number of fishing boats; overexploitation in coastal waters; and increasing numbers of fishermen. He suggested solutions such as creating a community-based management system, applying responsible fishing techniques, and developing marine conservation parks.

Kilus Nguvauva, Deputy-Minister, Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Namibia, discussed access agreements between developing countries and distant and neighboring nations, and the private sector. While he noted that the agreements can be valuable, he raised concerns regarding equity, the environment, competition with local fisheries, food security and trade. He encouraged creating a platform for discussion and identifying best practices.

Chris Tompkins, Independent Consultant, UK, called for several RFMO reforms, including: modernization of mandates; cooperation among RFMOs and with other regional bodies; transparency; emphasis on equity and openness to new countries; adoption of UN Fish Stocks Agreement principles; and performance assessments. He highlighted a Chatham House report entitled “Recommended Best Practices for RFMOs.”

Lori Ridgeway, Director-General, International Policy and Integration, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada, outlined the challenges facing tuna stocks, such as: weak conservation and management measures; IUU fishing; access and allocation issues; by-catch; institutionalized over-fishing; and data collection and sharing. She called for accelerated progress and suggested that failure to conserve tuna would translate to a credibility loss for the fisheries governance system.

Moritaka Hayashi, Ocean Policy Research Foundation, Japan, and former Assistant Director-General, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), welcomed the increasing link between RFMOs and global institutions, such as the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and the FAO’s Committee on Fisheries. He stressed the need for more effective management of RFMOs with periodic reviews of their performance.

In the ensuing discussion moderated by Rebecca Metzner, FAO, participants addressed the costs of management and enforcement, the need for improving the science-policy interface within RFMOs, and the replicability of RFMOs’ success stories. One participant stressed the need for RFMOs to collaborate with regional economic organizations.

HALTING LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY AND ESTABLISHING REPRESENTATIVE NETWORKS OF MARINE PROTECTED AREAS: This panel was held on Wednesday morning and co-chaired by Jihyun Lee, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat, and Do Van Khuong, Director of Research Institute of Marine Fisheries, Viet Nam.

Panel Co-Chair Lee introduced the working group’s policy brief on halting marine biodiversity loss and establishing representative networks of MPAs. She said the working group was not confident that the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) biodiversity goals will be met by 2010 and highlighted the need to represent biodiversity in market terms in order to receive government attention.

Sue Wells, Independent Consultant, discussed progress towards the 2002 WSSD biodiversity and MPA goals. She highlighted marine biodiversity indicators for meeting the 2010 goal, noted challenges in achieving the 2012 MPA target, and underscored the difficulty of gathering data for the working group policy brief. She called on participants to explore the possibility of a creating a Friends of the Jakarta Mandate Group and to advance the marine biodiversity agenda forward through the CBD and IUCN processes.

Nicole Glineur, Biodiversity Program Manager, GEF, discussed the GEF’s activities on coastal and marine ecosystem conservation. She outlined funding avenues, such as through the biodiversity, international waters and climate change focal areas, as well as the GEF Small Grants Programme and the Public-Private Partnership Initiative. She highlighted the opportunity for ecosystem services payments and, given limited resources, the need for pooling funding sources together.

Payet described the Global Island Partnership, which strives to bridge the gaps between the global agenda, national leaders and communities. He suggested that leadership at the highest level is needed to protect biodiversity and called for the reversal of biodiversity loss.

James Hardcastle, Senior Conservation Finance and Policy Advisor, Asia-Pacific, The Nature Conservancy, described the Micronesia Challenge, which was issued in 2005 by the President of Palau to Micronesian nations to effectively conserve 30% of near-shore marine resources and 20% of forest resources by 2020. He outlined lessons learned from the Challenge, including the need to build on existing conservation programmes and for the full involvement of communities.

Marea Hatziolos, Senior Coastal and Marine Specialist, Environment Department, World Bank, presented on means of increasing the effectiveness of MPAs and coral reef conservation, noting that most areas contain coral reefs. She explained how remote sensing and scientific research on coral disease can help improve the design of MPAs.

Nguyen Giang Thu, Project Director of Livelihoods and MPAs, Viet Nam, reported on MPA development in Viet Nam. She highlighted: the challenges facing MPA policy, legal and institutional frameworks; the need for ICM and MPA co-development; cross-cutting issues for effective management; and the impact of MPAs on sustainable livelihoods.

Vo Si Tuan, Former Senior Expert, GEF, Institute of Oceanography, Viet Nam, UNEP/GEF South China Sea Project, discussed the collaborative network and outcomes from a UNEP/GEF project that seeks to reverse environmental degradation trends in the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. He highlighted the development of a system of fisheries refugia in the region.  

Julius Francis, Executive Secretary, Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association, Tanzania, discussed a certification programme for MPA professionals in the Western Indian Ocean region. He highlighted the growing number of MPAs in the region, the lack of training schemes and the programme’s three tiers of certification.

The ensuing discussion focused on sustaining the participation of local communities in MPA management and financing MPA enforcement.

OCEANS AND CLIMATE: This plenary panel took place on Wednesday afternoon and was co-chaired by Gunnar Kullenberg, former Executive Secretary, IOC/UNESCO, and Vu Thanh Ca, Vietnam Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology.

Panel Co-Chair Kullenberg discussed the working group’s policy brief on oceans, climate change and security. He highlighted the prospect for harnessing the ocean’s energy, and noted that climate impacts are transpiring at higher rates than expected. He argued that we have the financial means, but lack the capacity, to contend with climate impacts to oceans, as well as ocean impacts to the climate.

Pamela Rubinoff, Coastal Resources Center, University of Rhode Island, discussed a US Agency for International Development publication, “Adapting to Climate Variability and Change,” and efforts to tailor lessons to coastal systems. She identified the need for: long-term and place-based approaches; the use of local and traditional knowledge; outcome-based and adaptive adaptation; and a transition to long-term political choices.

Kenneth Sherman, GEF LME Programme and NOAA, described a five module strategy, based on lessons learned from LME case studies, to provide science-based information for the monitoring, assessment and management of LMEs. He recommended the adoption of a system of capping catches and prioritizing important species to establish a precautionary regime based on the level of warming detected in each LME.

Paul Epstein, Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School, gave examples of the consequences of global warming on public health. Noting that oceans nourish and regulate the climate, he called for a transition to clean energy sources that would serve adaptation to and mitigation of climate change.

Nguyen Huu Ninh, Chairman, Center for Environment Research, Education and Development, Vietnam National University, Coordinator, Indochina Global Change Network, presented on climate variability and hazards with a focus on Viet Nam. He noted the impacts of climate change on livelihoods and national economic development, and highlighted the consequences of disasters in Viet Nam.

Willett Kempton, College of Marine and Earth Studies, University of Delaware, discussed the essential role of marine renewable power in mitigating climate change and reducing ocean acidification. Using a case study from the US Northeast to demonstrate the potential of offshore wind energy, he recommended focusing on large-scale marine renewables, such as offshore wind, ocean currents and ocean thermal energy conversion. 

In the ensuing discussion, participants debated the costs of marine renewable energy, strategies to balance mitigation measures, and why coastal marine ecosystems warm more quickly than the global marine average.

GOVERNANCE OF MARINE AREAS BEYOND NATIONAL JURISDICTION: This plenary panel took place on Thursday morning and was co-chaired by Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli, UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS); Mary Seet-Cheng, Singapore’s Ambassador to the Republic of Panama and to Cuba; and Ngoc Giao Hoang, Faculty of Law, Vietnam National University.

Panel Co-Chair Goettsche-Wanli highlighted the lack of knowledge and technical challenges impeding the governance of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction. She noted the contention of the existing legal regime and stressed the need for cooperation. She highlighted that these issues will be further discussed in the Second Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction (Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group) established under the UNGA.

Panel Co-Chair Seet-Cheng discussed issues related to the governance of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction, including the need to: address knowledge gaps; provide continuity with previous governance activities; and raise the profile on the political agenda.

Panel Co-Chair Ngoc Giao Hoang noted how Viet Nam can learn from addressing this topic, and identified the need to develop cooperation within Asia on governance of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction. 

Sivu Maqungo, South Africa, described the working group’s policy brief on governance of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction. He said that the group’s brief addresses: environmental impacts on marine biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction; coordination and cooperation among states and intergovernmental organizations; the role of area-based management tools; genetic resources beyond areas of national jurisdiction; and governance gaps.

Salvatore Arico, UNESCO, discussed the policy brief findings in more detail. He highlighted the role of information-based decision making, and suggested that area-based management tools could facilitate implementation of the ecosystem approach. He identified the need for: institutional and programmatic coherence; a package of measures to address governance gaps; and recommendations on genetic resources beyond areas of national jurisdiction.

Laurent Stefanini, Ambassador for the Environment, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, France, described a strategic plan to be developed within France, which will address transport, economic development, coastal planning, marine resources and biodiversity. He stated that the plan will first be applied to areas under national jurisdiction but, given France’s role in ocean policies, he suggested that it would have greater reach. He called for better coordination among UN organizations, and identified the importance of scientific expertise on marine biodiversity, which, he said, should be included under the International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity framework and could put pressure on the policymaking process.

David Freestone, World Bank, stressed that there is no comprehensive governance framework for marine areas beyond national jurisdiction even though they comprise 50% of the Earth’s surface. He noted governance gaps, including poor implementation, uncoordinated rule-making and weak enforcement; stressed the need for ecosystem-based integrated management; and suggested solutions such as establishing a coordinating mechanism and expanding the mandate of existing arrangements.

Maqungo discussed developing country perspectives on governance of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction. He outlined the key issues, namely clarification of the legal regime, the existence of regulatory gaps, and access and benefit-sharing of marine genetic resources. He stressed the importance of the UNCLOS’s principle of equity and noted that activity in the Area (the seabed and subsoil beyond national jurisdiction) must be guided by the principle of the common heritage of mankind.

Marie Fuensanta Candela Castillo, European Commission, said the EU position on the governance of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction is a work in progress. She said the EU is committed to the concept of an UNCLOS implementation agreement as a long-term objective, and is ready to consider dialogue to examine options related to access and benefit-sharing, but has difficulty accepting the common heritage of mankind status of marine genetic resources in the Area.

Ridgeway presented on opportunities for enhancing integrated governance of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction, stressing that “integration starts at home.” She outlined the different kinds of integration that should be taken into account, including horizontal, vertical, and spatial, and noted the new concept of mainstreaming integration within other issue areas, such as climate change.

David Johnson, Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR) Commission, presented a regional perspective on the enhancement of integrated governance of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction. He described the Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone, which, he explained, is a possible test case for the creation of a MPA.

In the ensuring discussion, which was moderated by Johannes Nieuwenhuis, Marine Policy Coordinator, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, the Netherlands, one non-governmental organization representative said some scientific advice is already available and should be taken as basis for action. Participants addressed the ways in which pilot projects and science can inform the international debate on high seas governance.

OVERARCHING CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES: This plenary panel took place on Thursday morning and was co-chaired by Anna Tengberg, UNDP, Bangkok; Nicole Glineur, GEF Secretariat; and Le Ngoc Hung, Head of the Department of Management Sociology, Ho Chi Minh National Politics and Administration Academy, Viet Nam.

Koos Neefjes, UNDP, discussed the “One UN Initiative” in Viet Nam. He described the extent to which climate change and marine and coastal issues are incorporated into the Initiative. He identified the need for: a focus on core mandates of, as well as increased coherency among, UN organizations; overcoming implementation obstacles; leadership; efficiency; and managing performance expectations.

Indumathie Hewawasam, World Bank Consultant, highlighted the need and priorities for capacity development. She called for: partnerships with private foundations; a global forum to enhance technical skills; mainstreaming coastal and oceans agendas into national economic planning; a high-level multi-donor conference on capacity development; and support of regional institutions in the most vulnerable countries.

Ralph Cantral, National Ocean Service, NOAA, discussed progress markers, designed to gauge success in achieving coastal and ocean goals. He noted that the development of progress markers will have a short-term focus on identifying process and institutional indicators. He added that this work will be followed by a review of on-the-ground results, supporting a shift from “outputs to outcomes.”

Carl Bruch, Environmental Law Institute, presented the policy brief of the compliance and enforcement working group. He said the costs of noncompliance can be substantial in the short- and long-term and that a range of tools is needed. He noted challenges such as lack of capacity and political will, outlined options including increasing public participation and the use of market-based approaches, and stressed the need to develop an agenda for improving compliance and enforcement.

Philippe Vallette, French National Sea Experience Centre (NAUSICAÄ) and World Ocean Network, presented on the long-term media strategy to advance the global oceans agenda. He stressed the importance of bringing media attention to traditional knowledge, cultural heritage, and the impacts of climate variability on the oceans and the oceans on the climate. He outlined ongoing work, including the establishment of World Ocean Day and the World Ocean Network educational programmes.

Takashi Ito, The Nippon Foundation, described the capacity building initiatives of The Nippon Foundation in the field of global ocean governance, highlighting the organization of the International Ocean Governance Network.

In the ensuing discussion, participants debated outreach and awareness-raising activities in Viet Nam. Sinyo Harry Sarundajang, Governor of North Sulawesi Province, Indonesia, extended an invitation to participants to attend the World Ocean Conference in May 2009, to be held in Manado, Indonesia.

CONFERENCE REPORTS

On Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon, 21 concurrent discussion sessions took place. These discussion sessions aimed to provide participants with an opportunity to discuss 13 themes in an informal setting and to formulate recommendations. On Thursday afternoon, participants heard reports from all but three of these sessions in a plenary moderated by Julian Barbiere, IOC/UNESCO. Coverage of the discussion groups is grouped according to the 13 themes and limited to the plenary summary reports presented by each group’s rapporteur in plenary on Thursday.

OCEANS, CLIMATE, AND SIDS: On Tuesday, this topic was addressed in a discussion session entitled, “Advancing the Implementation of the SIDS Mauritius Strategy.” On Thursday, Rolph Payet presented a summary of this discussion. He noted that SIDS have led the oceans agenda and identified adaptation to climate change as the most pressing issue for SIDS. He welcomed the support to the Sea-level Rise Initiative and the GEF ecosystem-based management (EBM) initiatives. Payet stressed the need to address genetic resources issues in time for SIDS to take advantage of the economic opportunity they may present and to build the capacity of SIDS to enable them to make extended continental shelf submissions. He said SIDS should be fully involved in the high seas discussions and called for the establishment of a robust mechanism to implement the Mauritius Strategy.

ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT AND INTEGRATED COASTAL AND OCEAN MANAGEMENT: This topic was first addressed in a discussion session on Tuesday entitled, “Building Networks of Local Officials for Integrated Coastal and Ocean Governance”; “Progress makers”; and “Integrated Coastal and Ocean Policies: National Perspectives-1.” On Wednesday, the topic was again addressed in a discussion session entitled, “Integrated Coastal and Ocean Policies: Regional Perspectives-2”; “Mainstreaming Coastal and Marine Issues into National Planning and Budgetary Processes”; and “Enhancing UN Coherence: Global Regional Assessment of Marine Environments, UN-Oceans, and One UN Pilot Programme.” On Thursday, Ned Cyr, Chief, Marine Ecosystems Division, NOAA, presented a summary of these discussions.

Noting that ICM implementation guidelines are well established, Cyr underlined that EBM implementation guidelines are less well codified. He said EBM and ICM are not conflicting but complementary and consistent. Cyr noted progress in implementation at various levels, but stressed the need to better communicate the benefits of EBM to policy makers. He also called for: maintaining collaboration on ICM and EBM at the international level; emphasizing capacity building of and support to developing States; and establishing a systematic process to track progress on ICM and EBM implementation by 2010 using common indicators.

LMEs: This topic was addressed on Tuesday in a discussion session entitled, “Experiences in the Practical Implementation of Country-Driven GEF LME Programmes.” On Thursday, Kenneth Sherman presented a summary of this discussion. He identified the possible policy change within the GEF towards a national allocation of funds as a potentially perverse incentive that would discourage countries from working together to address cross-cutting issues and could be detrimental to EBM implementation. He recognized the success of a number of GEF-funded LME projects and underscored the insufficient focus and means for support of professional training in the various regions. He indicated an interest to build on the existing LME assessment management framework.

FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE: SUSTAINABILITY AND GOVERNANCE: This topic was addressed on Wednesday in two discussion sessions entitled, “Controlling Fishing Overcapacity” and “Doing Aquaculture Right.” On Thursday, Chris Tompkins presented a summary of these discussions. He outlined eight central themes, namely: the need for market-based mechanisms; coordination and integration of governance approaches; inseparability of fisheries and oceans management; integration of aquaculture into the overall fisheries framework; capacity development; the challenge of IUU fishing; the imperative of stakeholder engagement; and the impacts of climate change. He noted four recommendations from the fishing overcapacity discussion session, including the need to investigate perverse government incentives and to support scientific management of capacity. Tompkins outlined five main policy recommendations from the aquaculture discussion session, including the need for certification and sustainability standards, and support for the development and implementation of better practices by resource users. 

HALTING LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY AND ESTABLISHING REPRESENTATIVE NETWORKS OF MPAs: This topic was addressed on Wednesday, in the discussion session entitled, “Next Steps in Assessing Progress in Halting Biodiversity Loss by 2010.” On Thursday, Jihyun Lee presented a summary of this discussion. She said progress towards the WSSD targets is not positive, and feared that the 2010 biodiversity and 2012 MPA targets would not be met. Noting that the working group was “searching for hope,” she highlighted that: the CBD provides an overall framework for implementation; numerous high-level commitments exist; management interventions are largely known and understood; and some populations and ecosystems are showing signs of recovery. Lee identified barriers and constraints towards achieving the WSSD targets, which include: poor marketing of the value of marine biodiversity; lack of political interest and commitment; limited capacity and financial resources; lack of baseline data and information on trends; ineffective reporting mechanisms; and fragmented efforts by regional and international organizations. To overcome these barriers she recommended: renewing country commitments to the Jakarta Mandates; establishing an effective reporting and monitoring framework; and promoting the value of marine biodiversity.

OCEANS, CLIMATE AND SECURITY: This topic was addressed in the discussion session on “Dealing with Changes in Oceans: Ocean Warming, Ocean Acidification, Changes in Polar Regions,” which took place on Tuesday, as well as in the discussion sessions on “Practical Solutions to Climate Change Adaptation” and “Mitigation Measures to Climate Change Impacts: Encouraging Alternative Sources of Energy: Wind, Waves, Tides, Currents, oceans thermal energy conservation,” which took place on Wednesday. On Thursday, Gunnar Kullenberg presented a summary of these discussions. He noted that oceans are necessary to fulfill basic human needs, which are threatened by climate change impacts having global consequences. He called for comprehensive integration of adaptation, planning and mitigation activities. Noting the existence of the necessary tools, Kullenberg urged capacity building and implementation. He identified the need for observational research, especially with regard to ocean acidification and climate impacts to the food chain. On climate change, he highlighted equity concerns and the vulnerability of polar regions, and stated that marine mitigation options need to be evaluated and that “no regrets” options should be embraced.  

GOVERNANCE OF MARINE AREAS BEYOND NATIONAL JURISDICTION: This topic was addressed on Wednesday in the discussion session on “Uses of Marine Ecosystems in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (Bioprospecting, Fisheries, Deep Seabed Mining, Maritime Transportation, Communication Cables: Opportunities for Enhancing the Management Frameworks).” On Thursday, Salvatore Arico presented a summary of this discussion. He underscored the sense of urgency and complexity of the topic, and reported that the group was successful in achieving a balance between a realistic vision and a long-term perspective. He discussed the working group’s policy brief on governance of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction, which is organized according to findings, rationale and solutions. He said the brief identifies a need for integrated science and calls for cooperation among States and international organizations, as well as among scientists. He highlighted the value of area-based management tools, and called on the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to provide recommendations with regard to marine genetic resources. Concerning regulatory gaps, he said a range of options would be necessary.

FRESHWATER TO OCEANS: This topic was addressed on Wednesday in the discussion session on “Freshwater-to-Oceans and Preparations for the Fifth World Water Forum.” On Thursday, Torkil Jonch-Clausen presented a summary of this discussion. He recommended freshwater and coastal management communities take steps to overcome the present lack of coordination and communicate the seriousness of the issue, including the cost of inaction, and need for integrated freshwater and costal management. He called for increased attention to non-point sources of pollution and noted the role that demonstration projects can play in developing and testing integrated river and freshwater tools and good practices. He highlighted lack of capacity and funding, particularly in developing countries.

CAPACITY BUILDING: This topic was addressed on Tuesday in a discussion session entitled, “Capacity Development Among the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Nations,” as well as on Wednesday in a discussion session entitled “Capacity Building.” On Thursday, Indumathie Hewawasam presented a summary of these discussions and noted that capacity had been emphasized in every discussion session. She identified barriers to capacity building, including: political will; leadership; institutional weakness; high turn-over of technical staff; the “brain drain”; lack of transparency; need for empowered citizenry; and communication between public and private entities. She said the Global Forum can aid in forging alliances among those in the private sector, public sector, global institutions and regional institutions. She also suggested it can promote technical skills in emerging issue areas. In conclusion, she called for a conference of donors to discuss financing and leveraging funds, as well as collaboration, efficiency and effectiveness.

PUBLIC EDUCATION: This topic was addressed on Wednesday in a discussion session entitled, “Public Education and Outreach.” On Thursday, Manuel Cira, NAUSICAÄ, World Ocean Network Coordinator, presented a summary of this discussion. He called for training and resources for the mobilization of oceans ambassadors and announced the creation of a world ocean leadership academy, which aims to train educators and media. He highlighted the upcoming World Ocean Day, to be celebrated on 8 June 2008, and called for the official UN designation of that day by 2012, which will mark the twentieth anniversary of the Rio Summit, where the World Ocean Day was first proposed. He urged the maintenance of the Fourth Global Conference’s momentum.

COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT: This topic was addressed on Wednesday in a discussion session entitled “Compliance and Enforcement.” No presentation was made to plenary.

MARINE TRANSPORTATION: This topic was addressed on Tuesday in a discussion session entitled “maritime transportation.” No presentation was made to plenary.

INDICATORS FOR PROGRESS: This topic was addressed on Tuesday in a discussion session entitled, “Progress markers.” No presentation was made to plenary.

CLOSING CEREMONY

This plenary session took place on Thursday afternoon and was moderated by Janot-Reine Mendler de Suarez, Deputy Director, GEF International Waters Learning Exchange and Resource Network (IW:LEARN).

Global Forum Co-Chair Cicin-Sain outlined the strategic planning process that preceded the Conference and noted that the working groups will continue on an indefinite basis. She highlighted strong media interest, outlined the Conference outcomes, and reflected upon next steps moving towards the World Ocean Conference in 2009 and the Fifth Global Conference in 2010.

Rejoice Mabudafhasi, Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, South Africa, applauded the sense of urgency present at the Conference and called for increased partnership between professionals in developed and developing countries. She stressed the need to raise the profile of the oceans and coasts within climate change negotiations.

Nguyen Viet Thang, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Viet Nam, stated that the conference was “fruitful,” as it forged collaboration and played an important role in Viet Nam, helping the nation further recognize the importance of protecting oceans, coasts and islands. He wished the participants success and expressed his hopes for them to retain memories of Viet Nam.

Ibrahim Thiaw reflected on the Conference’s high-level participation, dynamism, diversity and rich presentations. He called for moving beyond “preaching to the converts,” and urged outreach to other communities, such as those involved in freshwater and development issues. He noted the need to consider land-locked countries, for more champions to defend the world’s oceans, and for key figures who can convey messages. He asked participants to consider: a long-term vision and overall objectives for the Global Forum; means to enhance efficiency; lobbying methods; communication, education, and outreach needs; and alliances with other actors.

Andrew Hudson, Principal Technical Advisor, International Waters, UNDP-GEF, spoke on behalf of Global Forum Co-Chair Vandeweerd. He said the Global Forum was the principal mechanism for high-level policy dialogue on sustainability challenges that face oceans, coasts and islands. He noted the Forum’s role in reviewing progress and identifying strategies to address ongoing and emerging challenges. He highlighted insights from the Conference’s policy briefs, including: the additional complexity climate change brings to the sustainable management of oceans and coasts; the continuation and expansion of impacts from human activities; the urgent issues facing SIDS, which can serve as models for demonstrating good progress; the need to enhance public participation and strengthen governance; and the major gaps in public understanding.

Noting that the oceans and freshwater communities share the same commitments to sustainable development, Jonch-Clausen urged participants to “decrease their salinity” and invited them to attend the Fifth World Water Forum in 2009.

Peter Neill, Director, World Ocean Observatory, explained that the conference had been covered by the World Ocean Network and the World Ocean Observatory, with funding from the Lighthouse Foundation (http://www.thew2o.net/goc2008/). He highlighted that interviews from a number of eminent participants are available on U Tube.

Lori Ridgeway underlined the power of positive thinking and, noting the inspirational examples presented during the Conference, she urged participants to convey a message of hope. She stressed the urgency for change and for the creation of a “win-win” agenda.

Reine Mendler de Suarez closed the Conference at 4:45 pm.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

GLOBAL MARINE RENEWABLE ENERGY CONFERENCE: This conference will take place from 17-18 April 2008 in New York, US, convening international and US-based leaders and innovators to exchange the latest information on marine renewable energy. For more information, contact: fax: +1-410-423-2193; e-mail: cs@energetics.com; internet: http://www.globalmarinerenewable.com

SECOND AD HOC OPEN-ENDED INFORMAL WORKING GROUP TO STUDY ISSUES RELATING TO THE CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE USE OF MARINE BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY BEYOND AREAS OF NATIONAL JURISDICTION: The second meeting of this working group will take place from 28 April to 2 May 2008, in New York, US, in accordance with UN General Assembly resolution 62/215 adopted on 22 December 2007. For more information, contact: Director, UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS); tel: +1-212-963-3962; fax: +1-212-963-5847; e-mail: doalos@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/Depts/los/biodiversityworkinggroup/biodiversityworkinggroup.htm

INTERNATIONAL GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT FACILITY (GEF) WORKSHOP ON EVALUATING CLIMATE CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT: RESULTS, METHODS AND CAPACITIES:  This workshop will take place from 10-13 May 2008, in Alexandria, Egypt, organized by the GEF Evaluation Office, with a view to sharing experiences in evaluating projects and programmes aimed at the nexus between climate change and development. For more information, contact: Secretariat of the International Workshop, Evaluation Office of the Global Environment Facility; tel: +1 202 458 8537; e-mail: IntWorkshop@TheGEF.org; internet: http://www.esdevaluation.org

INTERGOVERNMENTAL MEETING ON THE MANAGEMENT OF HIGH SEAS BOTTOM FISHERIES IN THE NORTH WESTERN PACIFIC OCEAN: The second meeting of this new Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMO) will take place from 14-16 May 2008, in Vladivostock, Russia. The scientific working group meeting will take place from 12-13 May 2008. For more information, contact: Miho Wazawa; tel: +81-3-3502-8111 (ext 6747); fax: +81-3-3502-0571; e-mail: miho_wazawa@mm.maff.go.jp; internet: http://www.fpir.noaa.gov/IFD/ifd_nwpbottomtrawl.html

CBD COP-9: This conference is organized by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat and will be held from 19-30 May 2008, in Bonn, Germany. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@cbd.int; internet: http://www.cbd.int/doc/meeting.aspx?mtg=COP-09

FORUM FISHERIES COMMITTEE MINISTERIAL MEETING: This meeting will take place from 19-20 May 2008, in Palau, following the 67th official session of the Forum Fisheries Committee from 12-16 May 2008. For more information, contact: Jean-Paul Gaudechoux; tel: +687-262-000 or +687-260-169; fax: +687-263-818; e-mail: jeanpaulg@spc.int; internet: http://home.spc.int/coastfish/meetings.htm

59TH TUNA CONFERENCE: This conference will take place on 19-22 May 2008, in Lake Arrowhead, California, US. It will consider progress in research on various marine species, including tuna. For more information, contact: Anne Allen; tel: +1-858-546-7128; fax: +1-858-546-5656; e-mail: info@tunaconference.org; internet: http://www.tunaconference.org/Home.htm

28TH SESSIONS OF THE UNFCCC SUBSIDIARY BODIES:  The 28th sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) – are scheduled to take place from 2-13 June 2008, in Bonn, Germany. In addition, the second meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action, a new body established at COP 13 in Bali, is expected to be held alongside the SBI and SBSTA. The resumed fifth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol will also be held at the same time. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: secretariat@unfccc.int; internet: http://unfccc.int/meetings/unfccc_calendar/items/2655.php?year=2008

12TH SESSION OF THE INDIAN OCEAN TUNA COMMISSION (IOTC): This session of the Commission will take place from 7-11 June 2008, in Muscat, Oman. Among the issues to be considered is the future relationship between the IOTC and UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). For more information, contact: IOTC Secretariat; tel: +248-225-494; fax: +248-224-364; e-mail: iotc.secretary@iotc.org; internet: http://www.iotc.org/English/meetings/comm/comcurrent.php

18TH MEETING OF STATES PARTIES TO THE UN CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA: This meeting will take place from 13-20 June 2008, at UN headquarters in New York, US. For more information, contact: Secretary of the Meeting of States Parties; tel: +1-212-963-3972; fax: +1-212-963-5847; e-mail: doalos@un.org; internet:  http://www.un.org/Depts/los/meeting_states_parties/eighteenthmeetingstatesparties.htm

FAO TECHNICAL CONSULTATION ON ILLEGAL, UNREPORTED AND UNREGULATED (IUU) FISHING: The Technical Consultation to draft a legally binding instrument on port State measures to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing is scheduled to take place from 23-27 June 2008 in Rome, Italy. For more information, contact: David Doulman, FAO; tel: +39-6-570-56752; fax: +39-6-570-56500; e-mail: david.doulman@fao.org; internet: http://www.fao.org/fi/NEMS/events/detail_event.asp?event_id=36383

60TH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE INTERNATIONAL WHALING COMMISSION (IWC): This meeting of the Commission will be held from 23-27 June 2008, in Santiago, Chile. Associated meetings of the Scientific Committee and Commission sub-groups are scheduled for 1-22 June 2008. For more information, contact: IWC Secretariat; tel: +44-1223-233-971; fax: +44-1223-232-876; e-mail: secretariat@iwcoffice.org; internet: http://www.iwcoffice.org/meetings/meeting2008.htm

NINTH MEETING OF THE UNITED NATIONS OPEN-ENDED INFORMAL CONSULTATIVE PROCESS ON OCEANS AND THE LAW OF THE SEA: This meeting is scheduled for 23-27 June 2008, at UN headquarters in New York, US. The meeting will focus on “Maritime security and safety.” For more information, contact: Secretary of the Consultative Process; tel: +1-212-963-3969; fax: +1-212-963-5847; e-mail: doalos@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/Depts/los/consultative_process/consultative_process.htm

ELEVENTH INTERNATIONAL CORAL REEF SYMPOSIUM:  This symposium will be organized under the theme “Reefs for the Future” and will take place from 7-11 July 2008, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US. This meeting will focus on key concepts of coral reefs, including reef structure and function, pattern and process, ecosystem-based management, and human interactions. For more information, contact: Nancy Copen; tel: +1-301-634-7010; e-mail: ncopen@faseb.org; internet: http://www.nova.edu/ncri/11icrs/

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON COPING WITH GLOBAL CHANGE IN MARINE SOCIAL-ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS: This symposium will take place from 8-11 July 2008, in Rome, Italy. For more information, contact: Kevern Cochrane, FAO Senior Fisheries Officer; tel: +39-6-570-56109; fax: +39-6-570-53020; e-mail: kevern.cochrane@fao.org; internet: http://www.fao.org/fi/NEMS/events/detail_event.asp?event_id=36388

ASIA-PACIFIC FISHERY COMMISSION (APFIC) CONSULTATIVE FORUM MEETING: This meeting on “Adapting to emerging challenges - promoting effective arrangements for managing fisheries and aquaculture in the Asia-Pacific Region” will take place from 6-9 August 2008, in Manado, Indonesia. The Consultative Forum Meeting provides an opportunity to agree on actions needed to adapt to the emerging challenges facing fisheries and aquaculture in the region. For more information, contact: Secretary APFIC Secretary; tel: +66-2-697-4149; fax: +66-2-697-445; e-mail: simon.fungesmith@fao.org; internet: http://www.apfic.org/RCFM2008/RCFM_home.html

ASIA-PACIFIC FISHERY COMMISSION: The 30th session of the Fishery Commission will take place from 11-13 August 2008, in Manado, Indonesia. This by invitation only formal session will deliberate on a range of current and emerging fisheries issues relevant to the Asia-Pacific Region. For more information, contact: Secretary APFIC; tel: +66-2-697-4149; fax: +66-2-697-445; e-mail: simon.fungesmith@fao.org; internet: www.apfic.org and http://www.fao.org/fishery/nems/36390/en

29TH SESSION OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE (IPCC 29):  IPCC 29 will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, during the first week of September 2008, during which the IPCC’s 20th anniversary will be celebrated. For more information, contact: IPCC Secretariat; tel: +41-22-730-8208; fax: +41-22-7 30-8025/13; e-mail: IPCC-Sec@wmo.int; internet: http://www.ipcc.ch/

 NORTHWEST ATLANTIC FISHERIES ORGANIZATION (NAFO): The annual meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization will take place from 22-26 September 2008, in Vigo, Spain. For more information, contact: Barbara Marshall; tel: +1-902-468-5590; fax: +1-902-468-5538; e-mail: info@nafo.int; internet: http://www.nafo.int/about/frames/activities.html

63RD SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY: The 63rd session of the UN General Assembly is scheduled to hold Informal Consultations on the draft resolutions on “Oceans and the Law of the Sea,” tentatively scheduled from 29 September to 3 October 2008, and 17-21 November, and on sustainable fisheries, including the UN Fish Stocks Agreement and UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, tentatively scheduled on 17-19 September and 10-14 November 2008. For more information, contact: Director, UNDOALOS; tel: +1-212-963-3962; fax: +1-212-963-5847; e-mail: doalos@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/Depts/los/reference_files/calendar_of_meetings.htm  

ANNUAL MEETINGS OF THE SOUTH EAST ATLANTIC FISHERIES ORGANIZATION (SEAFO): The 4th annual meeting of the Scientific Committee of SEAFO will take place from 2-3 October 2008, followed by the 5th annual meeting of the Commission on 6-9 October 2008, in Windhoek, Namibia. For more information, contact: Executive Secretary; tel: +264-64-220-387; fax: +264-64-220-389; e-mail: info@seafo.org; internet: http://www.seafo.org

15TH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE COMMISSION FOR THE CONSERVATION OF SOUTHERN BLUEFIN TUNA (CCSBT) COMMISSION: This session of the CCSBT, also incorporating the Extended Commission, will take place from 14-17 October 2008, in Auckland, New Zealand. For more information, contact: Executive Secretary; tel: +61-2-6282-8396; fax: +61-2-6282-8407; email: nhermes@cccsbt.org; internet: http://www.ccsbt.org/docs/meeting.html

10TH MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE CONTRACTING PARTIES: THE RAMSAR CONVENTION ON WETLANDS: The 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention will take place from 28 October-4 November 2008, in Changwon, Republic of Korea. For more information, contact: Ramsar Convention Secretariat; tel: +41 22 999 0170; fax: +41 22 999 0169; e-mail: ramsar@ramsar.org; internet: http://www.ramsar.org/index_cop10_e.htm

27TH MEETING OF THE COMMISSION FOR THE CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC MARINE LIVING RESOURCES (CCAMLR): The regular meeting of the Commission will take place from 27 October to 7 November 2008, at CCAMLR Headquarters in Hobart, Australia. For more information, contact: CCAMLR Secretariat; tel: +61-3-6210-1111; fax: +61-3-6224-8744; email: ccamlr@ccamlr.org; internet: http://www.ccamlr.org/pu/e/sched-of-mtgs.htm

ANNUAL MEETING OF THE NORTH EAST ATLANTIC FISHERIES COMMISSION (NEAFC): The contracting parties of the NEAFC will meet for their annual meeting from 10-14 November 2008, in London, UK. For more information, contact: NEAFC Secretariat; tel: +44-20-7631-0016; fax: +44-20-7636-9225; email: info@neafc.org; internet: http://www.neafc.org/

ANNUAL MEETING OF THE NORTH PACIFIC ANADROMOUS FISH COMMISSION (NPAFC): This meeting will take place from 17-21 November 2008, in Seattle, Washington, USA. The objective of the meeting is to promote the conservation of anadromous fish stocks in its region, including various kinds of salmon. For more information, contact: Wakako Morris; tel: +1-604-775-5550; fax: +1-604-775-5577; e-mail: secretariat@npafc.org; internet: http://www.npafc.org/new/events_annual.html

16TH SPECIAL SESSION OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION FOR THE CONSERVATION OF ATLANTIC TUNAS (ICCAT): The Special Session is scheduled to take place from 17-24 November 2008, at a venue yet to be determined. For more information, contact: Pilar Pallarés, ICCAT; tel: +34-91-416-5600; fax: +34-91-415-2612; e-mail: info@iccat.int; internet: http://www.iccat.int/

NPAFC INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON THE BERING-ALEUTIAN SALMON INTERNATIONAL SURVEYS (BASIS): This Symposium is scheduled for 23-25 November 2008, in Seattle, Washington, US, and is conceptualized under the theme of “Climate Change, Production Trends, and Carrying Capacity of Pacific Salmon in the Bering Sea and Adjacent Waters.” For more information, contact: NFAPC Secretariat; tel: +1-604-775-5550; fax: +1-604-775-5577; e-mail: secretariat@npafc.org; internet: http://www.npafc.org/new/index.html

CMS COP-9:  The ninth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) is organized by the CMS Secretariat and will take place from 1-5 December 2008, in Rome, Italy. For more information, contact: tel: +49-228-815-2401/02; fax: +49-228-815-2449; e-mail: secretariat@cms.int; internet: http://www.cms.int/news/events.htm

UNFCCC COP-14 AND KYOTO PROTOCOL COP/MOP 4: UNFCCC COP-14 and Kyoto Protocol COP/MOP 4 are scheduled to take place from 1-12 December 2008 in Poznan, Poland. These meetings will coincide with the 29th meetings of the UNFCCC’s subsidiary bodies. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: secretariat@unfccc.int; Internet: http://unfccc.int/meetings/unfccc_calendar/items/2655.php?year=2008

WESTERN AND CENTRAL PACIFIC FISHERIES COMMISSION SESSION: The 5th regular session of the Commission is provisionally set to take place from 8-12 December 2008, in Busan, Republic of Korea. The meetings of its Northern, Scientific, Technical and Compliance Committees will take place prior to the session. For more information, contact: Lucille Martinez; tel: +691-320-1992 or +691-320-1993; fax: +691-320-1108; e-mail: wcpfc@mail.fm; internet: http://www.wcpfc.int/

World Ocean Conference: This conference will take place from 11-15 May 2009, in Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, organized by the Government of Indonesia, Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts and Islands, and other partners. The conference will focus high-level attention on issues of ecosystem-based integrated oceans management in the context of climate change, focusing especially on the policy recommendations emanating from the 2008 Global Conference. For more information, contact: WOC’09 Secretariat; tel: +62 431 861 152; fax: +62 431 861 394; e-mail: info@woc2009.org; internet: http://www.woc2009.org/

Fifth Global Conference on oceans, coasts AND islands: The Fifth Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands will be held at a date to be determined in 2010, in a venue to be determined. For more information, contact: Miriam Balgos, University of Delaware; tel: +1-302-831-8086; fax: +1-302-831-3668; e-mail: mbalgos@udel.edu; internet: http://www.globaloceans.org/globalconferences/2008/index.html
GLOSSARY
AOSIS
APFIC
CBD
CCAMLR
DOALOS
EBM
FAO
GEF
GPA
ICCAT
ICM
ICP
IOC
IOTC
IUU
IW:LEARN
IWC
LME
MDGs
MPA
NAUSICAń
NEAFC
NGO
NOAA
NPAFC
OSPAR
PEMSEA
RFMO
SBI
SBSTA
SEAFO
SIDS
UNCED
UNCLOS
UNDP
UNEP
UNESCO
UNGA
WSSD

Alliance of Small Island States
Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission
Convention on Biological Diversity
Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources
Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea
ecosystem-based management
UN Food and Agriculture Organization
Global Environment Facility
Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities
International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas
integrated coastal management
Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
Indian Ocean Tuna Commission
illegal, unreported and unregulated
International Waters Learning Exchange and Resource Network
International Whaling Commission
large marine ecosystems
Millennium Development Goals
marine protected area
French National Sea Experience Centre
North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission
non-governmental organization
US National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration
North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission
Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic
Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia
regional fisheries management organization
Subsidiary Body for Implementation
Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice
South East Atlantic Fisheries Organization
Small Island Developing States
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
UN Development Programme
UN Environment Programme
UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UN General Assembly
World Summit on Sustainable Development


The 4th Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands 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, Kelly Levin and James Van Alstine. The Digital Editor is Markus Staas. The Editor is Leonie Gordon <leonie@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 College of Marine and Earth Studies, 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 (in HTML and PDF formats) 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, NY 10022, USA.
| Back to IISD RS "Linkages" home | Visit IISDnet | Send e-mail to IISD RS |
© 2008, IISD. All rights reserved.