Importance of Rio+ 20 Ocean Declaration for Coasts, Oceans and Climate

Oceans issues, particularly with respect to biodiversity, climate and high seas have had broad support at the Rio + 20 Conference including from the host country Brazil,  coastal developing states, and small island developing states. Decisions on oceans, along with energy and water issues, may be one of the tangible outcomes of the conference.

Oceans Day occurred on 16 June 2012 and  was attended by  370 participants from 169 organizations and 37 countries. The co-chairs from that meeting  produced the Rio Ocean Declaration, which addresses priority action items for oceans, coasts, and small island developing states. The  Declaration was produced with input from members of the Global Ocean Forum, which include EUCC representative Magdalena Muir. The Declaration is available for download here.

The  Declaration has a strong focus on ocean and climate including highlighting the impact of ocean acidification and the importance of greenhouse gas mitigation efforts for oceans; conserving and managing coastal ecosystems as major carbon sinks and providing appropriate financial incentives and mechanisms;  sustainably developing ocean-based renewable energy using marine spatial planning; and  recognizing the importance of adaptation for coasts, with emphasis on the coasts of developing countries and small island states, financial support for that adaptation and the possible creation of a Coastal Adaptation Fund.

There will be a further report on the overall outcome of the Rio+20 conference for coasts and oceans at the conclusion of this conference.