Littoral 2017 Conference, Liverpool, 5-7 June

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We are pleased to announce our three-day international conference and excursions exploring the anthropocene and the littoral, with particular reference to the themes of ‘change, naturalness and people’. The conference will seek to examine how humans and human processes influence the littoral, and how these influences may now be viewed as natural, as much as any other natural processes.

The theme will gather all disciplines to explore current issues of relevance to the coast and will be of interest to a wide spectrum of scientists , including those from the physical sciences, climate change scientists and ecologists, social scientists, engineers, policy makers and advisers and practitioners.

The official language of the conference will be English and translation facilities will not be available.

UPDATE 31st May 2017

The first call for sessions and papers is now closed following a good response. The second and final call for sessions and papers is now open. It will close on Monday 3rd July 2017, with a response to proposals during the w/c 10th July 2017

Key dates

• Monday 3rd July 2017 – second and final call for sessions and papers: Deadline for submitting sessions (with paper and author information, including abstracts), and paper or poster proposals for open sessions.
• w/c 10th July 2017: Confirmation of acceptance of sessions for the conference programme following second and final call.
• Early June 2017: Provisional programme published. The programme will be finalised in early July 2017.
• “Early bird” prices are now available until Friday 14th July 2017, by which date all those listed on the conference programme and attending (e.g. convenors, chairs, presenting authors) should be registered

For more information, please email: littoral2017@hope.ac.uk
We look forward to welcoming you to the fantastic city of Liverpool!

Twitter: @Littoral_2017

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Littoral-2017-572369719582006/

Website: http://www.hope.ac.uk/news/conferences/littoral2017/

 

UN Oceans Conference in New York City from June 5 to 9, the Oceans Call to Action, and EUCC-Supported Side Event

By Magdalena A K Muir, Advisory Board Member, Global and Climate Change, EUCC

Given the importance of oceans to the global climate and the degree to which oceans are affected by climate changes, it is somewhat disheartening to have the UN Oceans Conference in New York City, immediately after the US has announced its withdrawal from the Paris Convention. This withdrawal and means to continue to respond to climate impacts on oceans will be front and center in the discussions in New York City in the coming week. Further reporting will also be provided during the coming week.

The UN Global Oceans Conference  will be highly attended (about 5000 participant) and first UN oceans conference which will raise the profile of oceans and focus on their sustainability internationally. The degree of participation and important of this event for the overall UN is discussed in the June 1, 2017 press conference:
http://webtv.un.org/watch/peter-thomson-general-assembly-president-and-wu-hongbo-desa-on-previewing-the-world-ocean-conference-5-9-june-2017-un-headquarters-press-conference-1-june-2017/5456057145001

The Call to Action
After three rounds of prior intergovernmental  discussions concluding on May 26, 2017, the draft Call for Action is the text of a concise, focused, intergovernmentally agreed declaration to be submitted to the Ocean Conference for discussion, revision, and formal adoption.
The text of the call for action is included  as a pdf here: 15259Final_Draft_Call_for_Action_PGA_Letter

Key areas in the Call to Action have  been of longstanding efforts for EUCC in Europe and internationally including climate change, sustainable fisheries and plastics. Some extracts from this call to action are provided below:

Climate change
4. We are particularly alarmed by the adverse impacts of climate change on the ocean, including the rise in ocean temperatures, ocean and coastal acidification, deoxygenation, sea-level rise, the decrease in polar ice coverage, coastal erosion and extreme weather events. We acknowledge the need to address the adverse impacts that impair the crucial ability of the ocean to act as climate regulator, source of marine biodiversity, and as key provider of food and nutrition, tourism and ecosystem services, and as an engine for sustainable economic development and growth. We recognise, in this regard, the particular importance of the Paris Agreement adopted under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Scientific information and assessment
10. We stress the importance of enhancing understanding of the health and role of our ocean and the stressors on its ecosystems, including through assessments on the state of the ocean, based on science and on traditional knowledge systems. We also stress the need to further increase marine scientific research to inform and support decision-making, and to promote knowledge hubs and networks to enhance the sharing of scientific data, best practices and know-how.

 Role of international agreements and conventions
11. We emphasise that our actions to implement Goal 14 should be in accordance with, reinforce and not duplicate or undermine, existing legal instruments, arrangements, processes, mechanisms or entities. We affirm the need to enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want.

Development of cooperative activities including climate, fisheries and plastics
13 (i) Implement long-term and robust strategies to reduce the use of plastics and microplastics, pmticularly plastic bags and single use plastics, including by partnering with stakeholders at relevant levels to address their production, marketing and use.
13 (k) Develop and implement effective adaptation and mitigation measures that contribute to increasing and supporting resilience to ocean and coastal acidification, sea-level rise, and increase in ocean temperatures, and to addressing the other harmful impacts of climate change on the ocean as well as coastal and blue carbon ecosystems such as mangroves, tidal marshes, seagrass, and coral reefs, and wider interconnected ecosystems impacting on our ocean, and ensure the implementation of relevant obligations and commitments.
13 (I) Enhance sustainable fisheries management, including to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics, through the implementation of science-based management measures, monitoring, control and enforcement, supporting the consumption of fish sourced from sustainably managed fisheries, and through precautionary and ecosystem approaches as appropriate, as well as strengthening cooperation and coordination, including through, as appropriate, regional fisheries management organisations, bodies and arrangements.
13 (m) End destructive fishing practices and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, addressing their root causes and holding actors and beneficiaries accountable by taking appropriate actions, so as to deprive them of benefits of such activities, and effectively implementing flag State obligations as well as relevant port State obligations.
13 (n) Accelerate further work and strengthen cooperation and coordination on the development of interoperable catch documentation schemes and traceability of fish products. (o) Strengthen capacity building and technical assistance provided to small-scale and artisanal fishers in developing countries, to enable and enhance their access to marine resources and markets and improve the socio-economic situation of fishers and fish workers within the context of sustainable fisheries management.
13 (p) Act decisively to prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, including through accelerating work to complete negotiations at the World Trade Organization on this issue, recognising that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of those negotiations.

In addition to the main conference, there are many formal and informal side events. EUCC has had a longstanding cooperation with the Global Oceans Forum and supports their side event on June 8, 2017:

EUCC-Supported Side Event

The Global Ocean Forum, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, the Government of Grenada, the Government of Seychelles, the Oceano Azul Foundation, Portugal, and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Ocean Policy Research Institute, Japan, it is a pleasure to invite you to participate in our Side Event on Addressing Oceans and Climate and Building the Blue Economy: Essential to SDG 14 Implementation to be held on June 8, 6:15 to 7:30 PM, Conference Room 1, and to participate in the Roadmap to Oceans and Climate Action. The brochure for the side event is attached below.

Further Information

Final Draft of Call for Action  https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/15259Final_Draft_Call_for_Action_PGA_Letter.pdf
UN Global Oceans Conference https://oceanconference.un.org/
Global Ocean Forum http://www.globaloceanforum.com
Brochure for EUCC Supported Side Event found here: JUNE 8 SIDE EVENT OCEANS AND CLIMATE AND BLUE ECONOMY
UN Press Conference on June 1, 2017 http://webtv.un.org/watch/peter-thomson-general-assembly-president-and-wu-hongbo-desa-on-previewing-the-world-ocean-conference-5-9-june-2017-un-headquarters-press-conference-1-june-2017/5456057145001

Other Relevant Documentation

Resolutions and decisions
A/RES/70/226 – United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
[Arabic] [Chinese] [English] [French] [Russian] [Spanish]
A/RES/70/303 – Modalities for the United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
[Arabic] [Chinese] [English] [French] [Russian] [Spanish]
Secretary-General Reports
Background note of the Secretary-General for the preparatory process of the United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
[Arabic] [Chinese] [English] [French] [Russian] [Spanish]
Provisional agenda
Provisional agenda 
[Arabic] [Chinese] [English] [French] [Russian] [Spanish]
Concept papers for the partnership dialogues
Concept Paper on Partnership dialogue 1: Addressing marine pollution (Advance unedited version)
Concept Paper on Partnership dialogue 2: Managing, protecting, conserving and restoring marine and coastal ecosystems (Advance unedited version)
Concept Paper on Partnership dialogue 3: Minimizing and addressing ocean acidification (Advance unedited version)
Concept Paper on Partnership dialogue 4: Making fisheries sustainable (Advance unedited version)
Concept Paper on Partnership dialogue 5: Increasing economic benefits to small islands developing States and least developed countries and providing access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets (Advance unedited version)
Concept Paper on Partnership dialogue 6: Increasing scientific knowledge, and developing research capacity and transfer of marine technology (Advance unedited version)
Concept Paper on Partnership dialogue 7: Enhancing the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Advance unedited version)
Programme
Draft Programme of the Partnership Dialogues

Other documents
Briefing on the United Nations high-level oceans conference 2017: The trade and development perspective (16 Jan 2017)
Concept papers for partnership dialogues
Guidance note on Voluntary Commitments for SDG 14 and The Ocean Conference
Guidance Note Partnership Dialogues
Informal briefing by the President of the General Assembly on the ongoing preparations for the Ocean Conference (13 Dec 2016)

Inputs to the SG background note
DESA – Chapter 3. The Oceans, Seas, Marine Resources and Human Well-being Nexus
DESA – TST Issues Brief: Oceans and Seas
DESA – Mapping the linkages between oceans and other Sustainable Development Goals: A preliminary exploration
DESA – How oceans- and seas-related measures contribute to the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: Local and regional experiences

Beyond 2020: Supporting Europe’s Coastal Communities

bg-1The Estonian Presidency of the EU and the European Commission, will jointly organise a conference on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) on 12-13.10.2017.

This event will represent a unique opportunity for stakeholders wishing to provide their input in the assessment of the EMFF support to the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy and the Maritime Policy over the current programming period (2014-2020).

It will also allow them to discuss the current and future challenges of coastal communities, as well as potential policy responses.

All stakeholders are encouraged to save the date and plan attendance from the evening of Wednesday 11.10 until the afternoon of 13.10.2017.

For more information, please consult www.EMFF-now-and-then.eu

Dr Muir will be speaking for EUCC on “Future Scenarios for the Arctic Ocean and Implications for Arctic High Seas Regulation, Ecosystems and IUU Fishing” n the 10th International Forum of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing

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By Dr. Magdalena A K Muir, Advisory Board Member, Climate and Global Change, EUCC; and Research Associate, Arctic Institute of North America (AINA)

On March 16 2017, Magdalena Muir will be chairing a session and speaking on behalf of EUCC and AINA in the 10th International Forum of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing at Chatham House,taking place in London on March 16th and 17th (see agenda here Chatham House – 10th International IUU Fishing Forum – Agenda 1.0 and conference website https://www.chathamhouse.org/event/10th-international-illegal-unreported-and-unregulated-fishing-forum).

Dr Muir will be speaking on “Future Scenarios for the Arctic Ocean  and Implications for Arctic High Seas Regulation, Ecosystems and IUU Fishing” in the Session entitled “Tragedy of the Commons: Regulating the High Seas”.

Within her  allotted speaking time, Dr. Muir will present three future Arctic Oceans scenarios for the period of 2025 onwards that will  consider differing economic, environment and  political/governance  frameworks for the Arctic Ocean and adjacent Arctic and Arctic-engaged states including Scandinavia and Europe.

The future Arctic Ocean scenarios will be differentiated in terms of greater focus on environmental and conservation, commercial exploitation or greater militarization or governance shifts. Climate impacts, adaptation and mitigation  within the Arctic and globally will be included in all scenarios, with some variation on adaptation and mitigation under different scenarios

Dr. Muir will develop brief graphical presentation including maps to illustrate  the Arctic Oceans and the  various scenarios and to precipitate discussion among presenters and during the ensuing  Q and A session. This presentation, as well as a report from the event, will be subsequently made available on this blog.

Scenarios are being used is to provide a context for an animated discussion of the Arctic Ocean and other high seas including:near term future of the Arctic Ocean, regions within the Arctic (North America, Scandinavia, Europe and Asia), and Arctic states and other  Arctic-engaged  states; implications for IUU fisheries and their regulation in the Arctic and other high seas, and to allow comparisons and contracts between the Arctic, Antarctica and other high seas regions.

Please see document here  or link below for background information on  status of Arctic IUU fisheries: http://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/Arctic63-3-373.pdf

The website for the event is available here at https://www.chathamhouse.org/event/10th-international-illegal-unreported-and-unregulated-fishing-forum

 

Extract from Agenda 

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing 10th International Forum 16th and 17th March, 2017

Chatham House | London Day 1: Thursday 16th March 

11:45 – 13:15 | Session 2 | ‘Tragedy of the Commons’: Regulating the High Seas 

How can the gap between international conventions and practical implementation and enforcement on the high seas be bridged? A discussion on the implications of IUU fishing on the Arctic sea will follow the formal presentations, raising important questions around fisheries management and high seas governance predominantly through the lens of the Central Arctic Ocean, which may be navigable as early as the first half of this century.

  • Are current international conventions and instruments effectively mitigating IUU fishing on the high seas?
  • How can we address the intersection of IUU fishing and sustainability in international laws on the high seas?
  • Does the establishment of the Ross Sea MPA, the largest MPA to date, present a model for future progress in governing the high seas?

Chair and Speaker: Magdalena A.K. Muir | Research Associate | Arctic Institute of North America, Universities of Calgary and Alaska Fairbanks

Speaker: Stuart Cory | Special Agent | National Program Manager | NOAA Office of Law Enforcement

Speaker: Michele Ameri | Legal Officer | UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea

Speaker: Jane Rumble | Head of Polar Regions Department | UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office

 

2nd International Conference on Coastal Zones

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July 17-18, 2017 at Melbourne, Australia. The conference is organized with the theme “Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Coastal Zones”
Coastal Zones Congress is a two days conference consisting of a scientific program, comprehensive talks, special sessions, oral and poster presentations of peer-reviewed contributed papers and exciting and innovative research products which can be exhibited for further development of Coastal Zones Management areas.
Benefits
Abstracts get published in our respective open access journals with DOI provided by Cross Ref.
Scientific Sessions:
Marine Ecology
Therefore we request you to accept our invitation and send your abstract.
Please follow the link for further details about the conference: coastalzonemanagement.conferenceseries.com

Preparatory Meeting (Feb 15-16, 2017, NYC) for the Ocean Conference: Our Oceans, Our Future (June 5-9, 2017, NYC)

By Dr. Magdalena A K Muir, Advisory Board Member, Climate and Global Change.

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The Preparatory Meeting for the Ocean Conference: Our Oceans, Our Future: Partnering for the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG14)  (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development) convened at UN Headquarters in New York, from February 15 – 16, 2017.

Dr. Muir, on behalf of EUCC was registered to attend the Preparatory Meeting. Dr Muir will participate in subsequent consultations in March 2017, and will attend the Ocean Conference which will take place in New York in June 2017. EUCC was very involved in the development of the the Oceans Goal, and will continued to be involved in its implementation, particularly for Europe and adjacent coastal and marine regions.

In this Preparatory Meeting, longstanding interests of EUCC were considered such as oceans governance, marine conservation and sustainable development . New and newer issues of concern to EUCC such as climate, ocean acidification, the blue economy and marine renewable energy, sustainable coastal and marine tourism, and the impacts of plastics on oceans were also considered

Introduction to the Preparatory Meeting

The Preparatory Meeting considered the themes for seven partnership dialogues that will convene during the Ocean Conference, based on proposals contained in a background note prepared by the UN Secretary-General. At the end of the meeting, the co-facilitators indicated their intention to convey to UN General Assembly President Peter Thomson that participants had expressed broad support for most of the themes, but suggested changing the theme that refers to international law to more closely reflect Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 14.c.

The meeting also included a lengthy exchange of views on elements for the “Call for Action” that will result from the June Conference. Before closing the meeting, the co-facilitators highlighted the importance of listening to each other at this early stage, and noted commonality among the highlighted elements, including the importance of a concise, action-oriented declaration that is easy to understand by the public and captures a common vision for action on SDG 14. The co-facilitators plan to produce a zero draft of the “Call for Action” by early March, and to convene consultations beginning on March 7,  2017.

The UN Secretary-General prepared a background note ahead of the preparatory meeting, including a proposal of themes for the
partnership dialogues. The note proposes seven themes for partnership dialogues for the conference, as follows:

Theme 1: Addressing marine pollution. This theme would address target 14.1.
Theme 2: Managing, protecting, conserving and restoring marine and coastal ecosystems. This theme would address targets 14.2 and 14.5.
Theme 3: Minimizing and addressing ocean acidification. This theme would address target 14.3.
Theme 4: Making fisheries sustainable. This theme would address targets 14.4 and 14.6.
Theme 5: Increasing economic benefits to SIDS and LDCs and providing access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets. This theme would address targets 14.7 and 14.b.
Theme 6: Increasing scientific knowledge, and developing research capacity and transfer of marine technology. This theme would address target 14.a.
Theme 7: Implementing international law, as reflected in UNCLOS. This theme would address target 14.c. 

On February 15, 2017, the Preparatory Meeting for the Ocean Conference: Our Oceans, Our Future: Partnering for the Implementation of SDG 14 was opened by Co-Facilitator Àlvaro Mendonça e Moura, Permanent Representative of Portugal. Co-Facilitator Burhan Gafoor, Permanent Representative of Singapore, highlighted the process’s strong foundation within the 2030 Agenda, stating a plan for successful implementation of SDG 14 should be concrete, action-oriented and could be built upon the Paris Agreement on climate
change. President of the UN General Assembly Peter Thomson noting the many registered observers and side events taking place during the meeting, and that countries, agencies and organizations everywhere were discussing the aims of SDG 14. Reporting that we dump one “garbage truck’s worth” of plastic into the ocean every minute, Mr Thomson highlighted the compilation of voluntary commitments that will result from the conference, which he said will represent humanity’s best efforts to implement SDG 14.

European Union and national contributions to the Preparatory Meeting  for the themes and proposed action plan  are highlighted below, with more complete notes provided below under Further Information. Following that there is a discussion of the outcome of the preparatory meeting, next steps, and subsequent oceans events in March and June 2017.
Discussion of  Conference Themes
Supporting the proposed themes, the European Union (EU) said cross-cutting themes need to be considered, including regional dimensions of implementing SDG 14, linkages with other SDG targets, UNCLOS, the role of oceans within climate change, and issues of governance and effectiveness. He suggested conducting a gap assessment in the lead-up to the dialogues, on the effectiveness of existing partnerships.

Supporting the proposed themes, Monaco noted that Theme 3 (“Minimizing and addressing ocean acidification. This theme would address target14.3.”) addresses ocean acidification, which she said is a result of climate change, and noted that neither SDG 14 nor the dialogue themes directly reference climate change.

The Netherlands stressed the need for the dialogues to address sustainable tourism and community outreach, particularly with coastal
communities. He said aquaculture should be included in either Theme 4 (“Making fisheries sustainable. This theme would address targets 14.4 and 14.6.”) or Theme 5 (SIDS, LDCs, small-scale artisanal fishers).

France stated that the thematic dialogues do not exhaust certain cross-cutting elements, including climate change and blue economy
activities, particularly aquaculture and sustainable tourism.

Noting that UNCLOS is the bedrock for implementing SDG 14, Morocco noted that a domestic law passed in June 2016 prohibits the
manufacturing of plastics, citing it as an example of implementing SDG 14.

Germany called for discussion on a number of cross-cutting issues, including: governance structures; the follow-up and review of
commitments; capacity building and financing. He asked whether these issues will be addressed by each of the dialogues, or if a dedicated dialogue is needed on cross-cutting issues.

Norway called for addressing cross-cutting issues such as capacity building and technology transfer, and noted that UNCLOS provides the legal framework for all ocean-related activities, including IUU fishing.

Italy said ocean-related problems are never only local or single-sector. He called for using the agreed language in the 2030 Agenda in the conference process, in support of those states that have already engaged in SDG 14 implementation activities.

Discussion of Call for Action

Noting that ocean problems are interrelated and must be considered as whole, the EU said the Call for Action should: be short, concise, with concrete actions; relate to SDG 14 and other relevant targets, while recognizing the integrity and indivisibility of the 2030 Agenda; and make use of integrative management and decision-making tools. He stressed that the declaration should urge Member States to honor commitments under the 2030 Agenda to swiftly conclude a WTO agreement on the prohibition of harmful fisheries subsidies and recognize the importance of a “well-managed” blue economy. He further supported the development of a new instrument under UNCLOS for sustainable use of the high seas outside national jurisdiction.

France said the Call for Action should mark the transition to a blue economy, which should be a maritime economy that takes into
consideration sustainable development, and address marine debris and plastic waste, among other issues.

Germany stressed the need to focus on strategic and procedural structures to address the who and how, rather than the what of
effective implementation. He said the Call for Action should address the governance of SDG 14, and proposed: establishing new partnerships for regional ocean governance; preparing a streamlined global assessment (thematic review) on oceans; and developing a systematic approach to follow up on commitments.

The Netherlands said all actions in the Call for Action should fall within UNCLOS, and reiterated the Convention’s universal character,
describing it as the strategic basis for all cooperation in the marine sector,  highlighteding: initiatives to address land-based sources of
marine pollution, especially plastics; reducing emissions from shipping; the value of regional cooperation among SIDS; and the role of regional efforts to manage marine and coastal ecosystems, such as the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR). He also: supported the call to account for gender; expressed support for actions that involve local coastal communities; called for building on existing partnerships, scaling up what is working, and boosting innovative ways to secure financing.

Norway said the Call for Action should reiterate the equal importance of all 17 SDGs, while noting the life-or-death stakes of ocean health. Plastics and micro-plastics will be a priority for Norway at the conference, he said. He added that the declaration must reflect that the multi-stakeholder approach is the conference’s real added value; and called for a focus on implementing existing legal frameworks, especially UNCLOS, and cautioned against re-litigating issues from other fora.

Iceland said the Call for Action should not renegotiate prior UN agreements or resolutions, as well as of the UN’s oceans-related departments, agencies and processes. He stressed the importance of capacity building, which includes the effective implementation of UNCLOS, and for which partnerships are needed.

Morocco supported UNCLOS as the universal legal framework, noted the indivisibility of all SDGs, and emphasized the need for scientific research, technology transfer, and capacity building in developing countries. He highlighted combating pollution as a priority.

The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission said the Baltic Sea Action Plan is aimed at achieving SDG 14, and contracting parties will meet in a High-Level Session on 28 February 2017 to discuss regional activities to implement the SDGs. Noting the importance of regional cooperation, OSPAR said the “Call for Action” should address joint activities.

The World Wildlife Fund, also for Conservation International, the Waitt Foundation, The Nature Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Society, said the Call for Action must include a timeline for implementing SDG 14 by 2030 and reporting on commitments and partnerships to ensure accountability. She called for incentivizing the private sector to engage in delivery of
SDG 14. She said the Call for Action should be based on focal areas, including: build more resilient oceans to support human health and wellbeing, including through achieving Aichi Target 11; build a climate-resilient, carbon neutral economy; adopt a sustainable,
inclusive blue economy approach; implement integrated ocean planning and management; and secure additional financing.

Greece said the Call for Action should specifically reference climate change. He highlighted that, for some countries, the quality of the
marine environment is directly linked to economies and livelihoods.

Italy said MPAs are essential to achieving both the SDG 14 and Aichi Targets. On climate, he called for creating partnerships with research centers and linkages with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Belgium stressed the need to address land-based sources of marine pollution.

Iceland said the added value of the conference will be to bring together relevant stakeholders and foster partnerships that address ocean
challenges. He called for using scarce resources to invest in action, not special follow-up conferences, instead encouraging the use of
existing processes to follow up on commitments. He also called to: focus on implementing the Paris Agreement to combat ocean warming and acidification; avoid renegotiating the goals, targets or indicators of the SDGs; base the process on the modalities resolution, and avoid engaging in complex, delicate legal issues discussed elsewhere.

Monaco said Mars and the moon are better mapped than the oceans, and stressed the need for improved scientific research to combat climate change and ocean acidification, share marine research and data, and improve hydrology and marine mapping. She strongly supported the UNESCO-IOC initiative to create a decade of oceanography for sustainable development.

Germany described the conference as a “kick-off” to the implementation process, and said a clear follow-up and review process is required. He noted the crucial role of marine regions in the implementation process.

Outcome of Preparatory Meeting and Next Steps

At the end of the Preparatory Meeting, the facilitiators highlighted that the 2030 Agenda is seen as the overarching framework for the process, and  the purpose of the conference being to support implementation of SDG 14. Almost everyone had supported a Call for Action that is concise and action-oriented, as well as easy to understand by the public. Among other common elements cited were: balance between the three dimensions of sustainable development, the indivisible nature of the 17 SDGs; urgency due to the state of the oceans, as well as the shorter deadlines for some SDG 14 targets; the fundamental character of UNCLOS; and the need
to take account of countries in special situations. Meeting participants had offered very concrete ideas on challenges and
opportunities in the areas of marine pollution, ocean acidification, sustainable fisheries, MPAs, and blue economy. Monitoring, follow up and review were mentioned repeatedly, along with capacity building, marine technology transfer and finance, including through innovative financing mechanisms, as well as scientific knowledge, data collection, and data sharing.

The facilitators will prepare a zero draft of the Call for Action, using the preparatory meeting’s discussions as their base material. Consultations on the zero draft have been scheduled for 7, 9, 20 and 21 March 2017, and that the text should be circulated before the first consultation. Appreciating the determination and resolve to make the Ocean Conference a success anchored on action, voluntary commitments and partnerships, Ocean Conference Secretary-General Wu said the meeting had offered a timely platform to receive the views and perspectives of all stakeholders, and that the conference will be a game changer in reversing the decline of the health of oceans and seas, and in advancing the implementation of SDG 14.
This Preparatory Meeting for the UN Ocean Conference was  a stocktaking meeting,  allowing interested parties to exchange their views and listen to each other. In this way, the discussion alerted participants to each other’s positions, and set out some of the key points of divergence that will have to be worked out when consultations begin on the zero draft of the political declaration in early March 2017.

Based on the discussions heard in the two-day gathering, such points of divergence could include: whether to raise ambition or avoid renegotiating the targets of SDG 14; whether to hold recurring conferences on SDG 14 implementation, or rely on existing mechanisms for governance of ocean issues and the follow-up and review of commitments; how to characterize UNCLOS in relation to the implementation of SDG 14; and approaches to the means of implementation.

The issue to be resolved in the preparatory process going forward will be if the UN system’s various bodies that currently address ocean issues will move toward a more unified and harmonized system of global governance and whether this will include plans for a subsequent Ocean Conference to advance implementation of SDG 14. A majority of participants strongly supported UNCLOS as “the
legal framework upon which SDG 14 implementation is based, explaining that it provides the structure to address all ocean-related activities dealing with marine protection and conservation as defined in the SDG 14 targets. Morocco called UNCLOS the bedrock for implementing SDG 14,A general consensus had emerged on introducing changes to Theme 7, to more closely reflect what was agreed
in SDG target 14.c: enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as
reflected in UNCLOS.

Upcoming Events

INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS IN PREPARATION FOR THE OCEAN CONFERENCE: The co-facilitators of the preparatory process for the Ocean Conference will hold informal consultations on the zero draft of the “Call for Action.”, Dates: 7, 9, 20 and 21 March 2017 at  UN Headquarters, New York.

HIGH-LEVEL UN CONFERENCE TO SUPPORT THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SDG 14: This high-level UN Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Fiji and Sweden, will coincide with the World Oceans Day, and seeks to support
the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development).  Dates: 5-9 June 2017 at UN Headquarters, New York.

 

Further Information:


UN Oceans Conference website

https://oceanconference.un.org/

List of approved non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community, the private sector and philanthropic organizations, including EUCC, at webpage  http://www.un.org/pga/71/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2015/08/8-Feb-approved-stakeholders-for-the-ocean-conference.pdf

UN Oceans Conference Documentation found at https://oceanconference.un.org/documentswith two documents highlighted below:

IISD Reporting on the Preparatory Meeting for the Oceans Conference at this weblink:  http://www.iisd.ca/oceans/sdg14conference/prep/

European Maritime Day 2017 (Poole, UK, 18 & 19 May)

poole-fireworks-on-poole-quayAt the heart of European Maritime Day is the a 2-day conference “The Future of our Seas” in Poole, UK, on18 and 19 May. High-level sessions and stakeholder workshops attract delegates & experts from across Europe and beyond.

Programme includes more than 30 stakeholder workshops and project pitches on the following themes: 1) Innovation & Growth, 2) People & Skills, 3) Safety & Security, 4) Sustainability & Governance.

It also features attractive plenary sessions, including inspirational key-notes, a leadership exchange, a practitioner’s exchange on sea-basin strategies, as well as a project launch for the 2016 EMFF Blue Growth call.
As in previous years all interested stakeholders are invited to get actively involved in shaping the event.

 

Venue:  Lighthouse Arts & Conference Centre in Poole