By Magdalena A K Muir, Advisory Board Climate and Global Change, EUCC
The Pavillion of France meeting welcomed the commitments of the second “Because the Oceans” Declaration. His Serene Highness (HSH) Prince Albert II of Monaco noted progress made since the first Oceans Declaration at COP 21 in Paris France, and invited new countries to sign the second “Because the Oceans” Declaration because the consequences of damages to the oceans will be felt worldwide. Tommy Remengesau, President of Palau, highlighted the need for partnerships to protect oceans, and invited more countries to sign the second “Because the Oceans” Declaration.
Hilda Heine, President of the Marshall Islands, underscored the need to synergize actions and find solutions to enable low-lying and island countries to live in their lands. Julie Bishop, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Australia, noted the importance of coral reefs for protecting coastlines and generating income. Peter Thomson, President of the UN General Assembly, invited all countries to participate in the high-level UN Conference on Oceans and Seas to be held in June 2017 to discuss climate impacts on oceans and how to achieve SDG 14 (conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development).
Anote Tong, Conservation International, hoped for an instrument similar to REDD+ to protect oceans. Isabella Lövin, Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, said developing countries need help to implement the Paris Agreement and to coordinate efforts on fisheries management. Edgar Gutierrez, Minister of Environment and Energy, Costa Rica, underscored that marine resources are important for advancing our common goal to preserve ecosystems and livelihoods. Didier Dogley, Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Seychelles, noted the challenges climate change poses to the environment and people’s survival.
Paula Bennett, Minister of Climate Change Issues, New Zealand, said that oceans are crucial for our livelihoods, and outlined her country’s actions to protect oceans.
Catherine Stewart, Ministry of Environment, Canada, underlined the importance of oceans and their management. Pablo Saavedra, Secretary of State for the Environment, Spain, noted the importance of ocean sustainable development and said the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report will increase our knowledge on oceans and climate change.María Amparo Martínez Arroyo, General Director of the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change, Mexico, noted the need to undertake more concrete actions at all levels to link all UN conventions and all goals to save our oceans.
Ramatoulaye Dieng, Secretary General, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Senegal, stressed the need to mainstream ocean actions to face climate change challenges. Achmad Poernomo, Senior Advisor to the Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia, underscored the importance of international cooperation to reach climate justice. Carlos Rafael Polo Castaneda, Ambassador of Peru to Morocco, noted the importance of oceans for Peru’s livelihoods. Françoise Gaill, National Centre for Scientific Research, France, noted the need to act to preserve oceans, which are part of the climate change solution. Heraldo Munoz, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile, noted progress in inserting oceans in UNFCCC negotiations since 2015.