The first ever Oceans Action Day convened on Saturday, 12 November 2016, on the margins of the twenty-second Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP22). The day began with Her Royal Highness (HRH) Princess Lalla Hasna of Morocco, and His Serene Highness (HSH) Prince Albert II of Monaco providing opening remarks. Princess Hasna outlined Morocco’s Blue Belt initiative to develop socio-economic activities from marine resources in coastal communities. Prince Albert highlighted UN initiatives that seek to protect marine areas beyond national jurisdiction. He urged that the hour has come for humanity to protest and act.
The morning also featured a Plenary High-Level Showcase Segment with sessions on ‘Oceans and Climate: Solutions to the core issues (food security, mitigation, adaptation, building resilience)’; and ‘Oceans and Climate: Science Solutions.’
The showcase featured ministers, scientists, private sector representatives, and policy makers who elaborated on policies, action plans, initiatives and commitments to implement the Paris Agreement, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 14 (life below water) and work towards fulfilling their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
The afternoon featured three dialogues: ‘Adaptation Challenges and Opportunities’; ‘Mitigation Actions and NDCs’; and ‘Access to Finance Building Capacity for the Blue Economy under Climate Change.’
The dialogues expanded on the initiatives, action plans, policies and commitments discussed in the morning. They also highlighted efforts with regard to providing financial support, capacity development and further steps towards including oceans.
Regional dialogues took place in parallel sessions in the evening, followed by a reception.