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Volume 68 Number 5 - Monday, 10 May 2010
3-7 MAY 2010

The Fifth Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands, took place at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris, France, from 3-7 May 2010.

The Fifth 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 Fifth Global Conference was co-hosted by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), UNESCO, and the Government of France.

The conference was organized around three thematic sessions: ensuring survival; preserving life; and improving governance. The event also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the IOC and the International Year of Biodiversity 2010. It brought together over 850 participants from 80 countries (63% of which were developing countries and small island developing states), including leaders from governments, UN and other international agencies, NGOs, industry, oceans donors, organized science groups, and networks of museums and aquaria.

A Policy, Science and Technical Symposium was held on Monday and Tuesday, during which participants attended plenary and concurrent panels that explored the three major themes of the conference through presentations and discussions. On Wednesday, three special roundtables were held for high-level national officials, ocean parliamentarians, and regional, provincial and local authorities. Concurrently, seven Global Forum Working Groups met throughout the day to discuss specific recommendations for national and international decision makers to advance the global oceans agenda. The last two days of the Conference were dedicated to a Policy Conference on “Charting the Way Ahead,” which featured plenary panels on the major conference themes.

This report presents a summary of the presentations and discussions held in plenary and a selection of the concurrent sessions, as well as the three special roundtables, in chronological order.


UNCED: 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, 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 small island developing States (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 previous 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; promoting integrated coastal and ocean management at the national level, and encouraging and assisting countries in developing ocean policies and mechanisms on ICM; 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; 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 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 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.

THE FOURTH GLOBAL CONFERENCE: 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,” took place in Hanoi, Viet Nam, from 8-11 April 2008. The meeting provided a review of successes and failures 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. The Conference was organized around three major themes: 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 SIDS; and the governance of marine ecosystems and uses in areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.

COPENHAGEN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE: The UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, took place from 7-19 December 2009. It included the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 15) and the fifth Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 5). What many characterized as “intense negotiations” took place over the two weeks at the level of experts, Ministers and Heads of State. Over 110 world leaders attended the joint COP and COP/MOP high-level segment from 16-18 December. During the meeting, differences emerged on, inter alia, whether work should be carried out in a smaller “Friends of the Chair” format or in open contact groups. During the high-level segment, informal negotiations took place in a group consisting of major economies and representatives of regional and other negotiating groups. Late on Friday evening, these talks resulted in a political agreement titled the “Copenhagen Accord.” During the closing COP plenary, parties agreed to adopt a COP decision whereby the COP “takes note” of the Copenhagen Accord. Parties also established a procedure for countries supporting the Copenhagen Accord to accede to it.

OCEANS DAY: On the sideline of the COP 15, the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands, the Government of Indonesia, and the European Environment Agency organized a special day on 14 December 2009, to stress the central role of oceans in the Earth’s life-support system and to address threats faced by coastal communities, especially in developing nations and small island States. Oceans Day highlighted the direct link between climate change, ocean health and human well-being. The Day brought together 320 participants representing governments, UN agencies, NGOs, science, and industry from 40 countries to focus on the role of the oceans in climate change and the fact that close to 50% of the world’s population living in coastal areas will suffer disproportionately from ocean warming, sea level rise, extreme weather events and ocean acidification.



SYMPOSIUM OPENING: On Monday, 3 May 2010, Janot-Reine Mendler de Suarez, Former Project Coordinator, Global Environment Facility (GEF), welcomed participants to the meeting and introduced the Conference Co-Chairs.

Co-Chair Wendy Watson-Wright, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), noted that a healthy marine environment is imperative for social well-being, and emphasized that a holistic approach and science-based management are required. She stressed that climate change should be the central concern of our times and that enhancing marine ecosystems resilience by, inter alia, implementing the precautionary and ecosystem-based approaches, is key to mitigating climate change impacts on the oceans. 

Co-Chair Biliana Cicin-Sain, Head of the Secretariat, Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands, emphasized the uniqueness of the Global Oceans Conference in bringing all oceans stakeholders together. She highlighted the role of the Conference in assessing the implementation of global commitments, identifying emerging issues, and developing a blue print to influence national and international decisions to tackle challenges relating to: climate change; biodiversity conservation; implementation of ecosystem-based management (EBM) and integrated coastal management (ICM); and capacity building and public outreach.

Co-Chair Laurent Stefanini, Ambassador for the Environment, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, France, introduced two initiatives for coral conservation and for building networks of scientists working on marine ecosystems and biodiversity, and stressed science as critical for public policy. He said the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity highlights the importance of coordinated, collaborative and multi-level governance for addressing the scope and expanse of ocean problems.

H.E. Anote Tong, President of Kiribati, underscored the importance of oceans for the well-being and cultural heritage of small island countries and highlighted the threats from globalization, industrial fishing and climate change. He noted the advances made in ocean governance through the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) regional and national initiatives, but pointed to continued problems with illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, increased efficiency of fishing technologies, and high costs of monitoring fishing activities. He discussed positive developments, such as the parties to the Nauru Agreement’s closure of high seas regions important for the largest remaining tuna stock and the Phoenix Islands Protected Area in Kiribati. Tong noted the need for a pragmatic discussion of population relocations in face of rising sea level and stressed the need for a binding climate agreement.

The lead authors of the three policy briefs prepared for the Conference outlined guiding questions. Janot-Reine Mendler de Suarez, Former Project Coordinator, GEF, discussed questions on climate change, and asked: Who will rise to safeguard oceans, climate and a low-carbon future? Will the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) be the turning point?

Marjo Vierros, Adjunct Senior Fellow, UN University, Institute of Advanced Studies, discussed questions pertaining to biodiversity, including: How to make biodiversity matter to everyone from decision makers to the general public? How do we ensure that conservation benefits communities? How do we ensure that the costs and benefits of conservation are equitably shared?

David Freestone, Lobingier Visiting Professor, School of Law, George Washington University, outlined questions pertaining to improving governance, including: How to treat ocean resources as global resources? How to develop a comprehensive global management framework with modern principles?

CONCURRENT SESSIONS: Fifty-seven concurrent sessions of the Policy, Science and Technical Symposium were held on Monday and Tuesday, and were organized around the three conference themes: ensuring survival; preserving life; and improving governance. Below is a chronological summary of the discussions held in a selection of sessions covered by IISD-RS.

Climate Change and the Oceans and International Governance: Seeking Meaningful Responses to Climate Change:This session took place on Monday morning and was chaired by Duncan Currie, Advisor, Greenpeace International and Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC). Panelists addressed the need for: building adaptation to climate change into existing frameworks, plans and regulations; addressing diverse uses through the creation of marine protected areas (MPAs); considering uncertainties with geo-engineering proposals, their potential collateral damage, and appropriate governance; funding and centralizing the leadership of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional Seas Programme; reducing air pollution from global shipping and addressing the role of the International Maritime Organization (IMO); and agreeing on a new international law on fixed maritime boundaries to avoid maritime territory to be lost because of sea level rise.

Managing Tropical Coastal Wetlands and the Growing International Appetite for Seafood: Can Industrial Shrimp Aquaculture be Ecologically Sustainable and Socially Responsible?This session took place on Monday morning and was moderated by Matthew Gianni, Political and Policy Advisor, DSCC. Panelists discussed the impacts of shrimp aquaculture on coastal ecosystems, including mangrove deforestation, biodiversity loss, violation of local communities’ human rights, and impoverishment of these communities. They provided examples of livelihood destruction by shrimp farming in Asia, Africa and Latin America due to pollution and destruction of mangrove forests, which are important fish habitats and constitute a natural buffer for extreme weather events. Panelists further recognized that sustainable fisheries certification is an important tool for fisheries management, but opposed shrimp aquaculture certification calling the majority of shrimp farming activities unsustainable. Panelists also noted the need to reduce shrimp consumption.

Progress Made Towards the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries: This session took place on Monday morning and was moderated by Serge Garcia, Chair, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Commission on Ecosystem Management, Fisheries Expert Group. He underlined that despite agreement on the principles behind the ecosystem approach, implementation remains challenging. Panelists reviewed experiences with ecosystem approaches in Canada, the US and the Philippines, and discussed the key aspects of the approach, calling it an evolution from traditional approaches rather than a revolutionary new paradigm. They stressed the human dimensions of the ecosystem approach, including how decisions are made on objectives, assessment of impacts, provision of incentives, and implementation of management interventions. In the ensuing discussion, participants considered: improving implementation by providing transition funds, such as payment for ecosystem services, to avoid resistance to quota cuts; the role of Marine Stewardship Council certification in facilitating an ecosystem approach, and challenges to certification in developing countries due to small-scale fisheries; and the greater attention given to development objectives by ICM.

Coastal Tourism and Climate Change:This session took place on Monday afternoon and was moderated by Michael Phillips, Head, School of Built and Natural Environment, Swansea Metropolitan University. Panelists discussed: the various threats posed by climate change to coastal tourism, such as increased frequency of storms and flooding, higher tides, and sea level rise, as well as the responses to these threats; the way the tourism industry has adapted to climate change; the importance of partnerships to establish a united front among all stakeholders to combat climate change; diving tourism and climate change in South East Asia; the impacts of climate change on Antarctic tourism, including access by larger ships to larger areas, species shifts, and extreme weather conditions; coastal erosion, flooding, rainfall diminution and excessive groundwater exploitation in the Mediterranean littoral of Morocco; the need for further research on the impacts of climate change, including tailoring EU climate regulations to the most remote regions, such as the Azores; and the specific vulnerability of small island developing States (SIDS).

A New Marine Conservation Approach Based on Ecosystem Services Identification and Maintenance: This session took place on Monday afternoon and was moderated by Olivier Laroussinie, Director, MPAs Agency, France. Panelists emphasized the need for conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems, and addressed, inter alia: threats to marine ecosystem services, structure and functions; and methodologies for valuing marine ecosystem services, including comparisons between costs of restoration versus enhancing ecosystem resilience. Panelists also discussed: financing the protection of valuable marine ecosystem services, including through payment for ecosystem services in coastal and marine areas; market strategies, such as fisheries certification schemes and tourism reserves; and potential areas for experimenting with payment for ecosystem services, such as creating MPAs and promoting private sector investments and partnerships.

Improving Policy and Legal Integration in Oceans Governance: This session took place on Monday afternoon and was moderated by David Freestone, Lobingier Visiting Professor, School of Law, George Washington University. Panelists discussed: means for improving policy and legal integration in oceans governance, including in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ); the fragmentation of international environmental law as a limitation to integrated oceans governance, coral reef protection and the implementation of EBM; the need for an integrated regulatory regime for marine geo-engineering; and litigation opportunities under the UNCLOS as an alternative to UNFCCC negotiations to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Arctic Governance: Assessing the Present Seascape and Visioning Future Directions: This session took place on Monday afternoon and was moderated by Thomas Laughlin, Deputy Head, Global Marine Program, IUCN, and by David Vanderzwaag, Director, Marine and Environmental Law Institute, Dalhousie University. Panelists discussed the current Arctic governance and visions for its future, addressing issues such as: Arctic shipping; the upside of the Copenhagen Accord, such as the adoption of new targets and developing States’ commitments; the apparent race to Arctic resources; the development of the continental shelf regime; the need for stricter standards and methods for assessing and tackling the cumulative impacts of fisheries, shipping and offshore hydrocarbon activities; and the importance of creating networks of MPAs. One presentation recommended the adoption of an overarching legally binding agreement as a means to fill in the existing governance gaps, while a few participants argued that the existing regime is sufficient to tackle the Arctic challenges.

Improving Governance of Pacific Island Coastal Resources by Integrating Different Governance Approaches:This session took place on Monday afternoon and was moderated by Clive Wilkinson, Coordinator, Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network. He described the Pacific situation as unique, highlighting: fragile economies; the complexity of governance structures; and insufficient human and financial resources. Panelists discussed: challenges faced by coastal communities in the Pacific; locally managed marine areas; integrated ocean and coastal management (IOCM) in the Solomon Islands; and difficulties with building capacity at the community level. Some of the recommendations formulated included: strengthening traditional governance; establishing enabling environments; discussing research needs with local communities; avoiding unrealistic expectations; improving financial-support options; developing and maintaining sufficient capacity; approaching ocean management in a holistic way; improving collection and management of data; and sharing data across sectors to achieve integrated islands management.

Harmonizing Indicators for a Unified and Integrated Approach to Managing Human Uses of Ecosystem Goods and Services and Adapting to a Globally Changing Climate: This session took place on Monday afternoon and was moderated by Tom Malone, Professor, Center for Environmental Studies, University of Maryland. Panelists addressed: the priority for European environmental indicators to converge; the cost effectiveness of remote sensing; ecological indicators for remote sensing; the numerous applications of remote sensing for EBM; human health effects as related to the health of the oceans and coastal systems, including increased flooding, chemical contaminant runoffs and increased frequency and intensity of harmful algae blooms; and the use of sentinel species and habitats as indicators. Participants heard a presentation on the GEF Transboundary Water Assessment Programme. Panelists also stressed the need to lower the number of indicators for policy makers, and to develop indicators that are sensitive to ecosystem changes and functions.

Towards a Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, Including Socio-Economic Aspects: This session took place on Monday afternoon and was chaired by Alan Simcock, Former Executive Secretary, Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic.Panelists reviewed the history, value, and recommendations of the “Assessment of Assessments” and the framework for the regular process. The presentations focused on: the critical importance of capacity building, which has a long-term focus and aligns with the goals of developing countries; concerns with reporting fatigue; the need to integrate local-scale social impact studies with regional data; the importance of communications to decision makers and scientists; and advancements in international data standardization, which should facilitate quicker release of research data relevant to ocean assessments.

Improving Ocean Governance Through Multi-Layer Ocean and Coastal Management: This session took place on Monday afternoon and was co-moderated by Yves Henocque, Director for Nature and Society, French Research Institute on Marine Exploitation, and Hiroshi Terashima, Executive Director, Ocean Policy Research Foundation, Japan. Panelists drew lessons from experiences in Europe, particularly the UK’s Oceans and Maritime Act, France’s “Grenelle of the Sea” law and maritime national strategy, and the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP). These were compared with the experiences of Japan’s 2006 Basic Act on Ocean Policy, including how the Act seeks to improve internal coordination of government activities on oceans, and the work of Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) on capacity building and scaling up ICM initiatives.

Citizenship of the Ocean – Mobilizing the Public Towards Stewardship of the World Ocean, a Heritage of Mankind – Public Education and Outreach:This session took place on Monday afternoon and was moderated by Philippe Vallette, Co-Chair, World Ocean Network. Panelists stressed the importance of World Ocean Day and events planned for 2010 on the theme “Our Oceans: Opportunities and Challenges.” They also bemoaned the limited public understanding of ocean issues and discussed efforts within France, Viet Nam, Cuba, and the East Asian Seas region to increase understanding of maritime issues through specific education programmes and communication initiatives. Panelists highlighted education initiatives on ocean issues in French Polynesia led by a non-profit, Te Mana O Te Moana, which included programmes engaging children in beach clean ups, and reviewed a survey assessing public knowledge of ocean issues, which found little awareness other than issues concerning ocean pollution.

Progress on the Implementation of the Integrated Maritime Policy in the EU:This session took place on Tuesday afternoon and was moderated by Pierre Erwes, Chairman, BioMarine. Panelists discussed the EU’s IMP, including the development of key sectoral activities, cross-cutting tools, regional strategies, and future maritime political priorities, such as climate change, the economic crisis and the IMP’s relationship to the Common Fisheries Policy. They also reviewed: France’s “Grenelle of the Sea” law and its maritime strategy; the Surfrider Foundation’s work on ocean pollution and maritime recreational uses; and BioMarine’s attention to maritime investment. In ensuing discussions, participants addressed: European maritime shipping, including work to create “motorways of the sea”; reducing shipping greenhouse gas emissions via technological upgrading, keeping in mind leakage; and the obstacles and approaches to advancing implementation of IMP by the EU’s member States.

Blue-REDD: Towards a Comprehensive Program on Oceans and Climate: This session took place on Tuesday afternoon and was moderated by Janot-Reine Mendler de Suarez. Panelists discussed the history of, and lessons learned from, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD) within the UNFCCC process, as well as the need to address the impacts of climate change on oceans. A panelist underlined the inappropriateness of the REDD mechanism for the oceans and stressed the need for further scientific research. Panelists underscored the importance of: monitoring, reporting and verification criteria; equitable distribution of credits; and creating demand for the credits generated. They recognized the high carbon storage capacity of coastal areas, stressing the need to assess the emissions released by their degradation. Panelists also identified difficulties in the development of a Blue-REDD mechanism, including: capacity development; baseline determination; permanence, monitoring and evaluation; additionality; and leakages.

Copenhagen and its Discontents: Lessons Learned and the Way Forward for the Ocean-Climate Community: This session took place on Tuesday afternoon and was moderated by Co-Chair Cicin-Sain, who provided an overview of efforts to make the voice of the oceans community heard in the climate negotiations. Noting that the outcomes of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference were disappointing, she underlined that perversely, they give the ocean community more time to advance the oceans- climate agenda. Panelists described the results of Copenhagen and addressed the reticence of climate negotiators to include new concepts. On means to influence the climate process, they recommended: introducing ocean issues under the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, in the hopes that they would be forwarded to the COP; holding face to face discussions with Heads of State and negotiators; developing the Blue-REDD concept; and framing the impacts of climate change on oceans around the ecological and societal consequences of food insecurity.

International Initiatives to Protect Biodiversity in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction: Developments in Science and a Civil Society Perspective from the DSCC: This session took place on Tuesday afternoon and was moderated by Lisa Speer, Director, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Panelists addressed, inter alia, the: unsustainability of deep-sea fisheries, particularly bottom-trawling; the establishment of a deep-sea fisheries commission in France; need for spatial management; deep-sea fisheries experience in Brazil and Latin America; need for further implementation of UN General Assembly resolutions 61/105(2006) and 64/72(2009) on sustainable fisheries, and of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization International Guidelines for the Management of Deep-Sea Fisheries in the High Seas; and progressive text of the recently adopted Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources in the South Pacific Ocean, which incorporates the precautionary principle and EBM.

Improving Governance of Large Transboundary Marine Ecosystems: Lessons Learned and Good Practices from International Experiences: This session took place on Tuesday afternoon and was moderated by Susan Bazilli, Project Manager, International Transboundary Waters Project, University of British Columbia. Panelists discussed joint governance for the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem (LME), highlighting obstacles presented by the diversity of the 16 participant countries, the steps taken to institutionalize a Guinea Current Commission, and the financing mechanisms needed; and reviewed the experiences of regional seas, noting lessons including the need for a strong legal mandate with country support, good leadership, continuous and consistent communication, and support from financial partners. They also reviewed: a resilience approach to delineating climate change impacts on marine ecosystems in Australia, which emphasizes, inter alia, the complexity of socio-ecological systems and biological and human adaptations; and the emerging problem of environmental refugees as an issue demanding transboundary cooperation and international law.

Climate-Induced Population Movements in Coastal Regions and Small Island States: an Assessment of Policy Options: This session took place on Tuesday afternoon and was moderated by François Gemenne, Research Fellow Climate and Migrations, Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI). Panelists discussed, inter alia: the need to address migration as a positive strategy; the fact that human rights instruments are the only legal tools available to protect environmental migrants; the insufficient international financial support for climate change adaptation in developing countries; the specific situation of Tuvalu, where recurring flooding and increasing sea level rise will lead to the disappearance of the State; and the drought-induced migration in Senegal that promoted the increase of fishing activities by former farmers searching for new sources of income, which resulted in depleted fishing resources.

SYMPOSIUM CLOSING: This plenary session took place on Tuesday afternoon, and was moderated by Janot-Reine Mendler de Suarez. Participants heard reports on the three symposium themes, two special addresses and symposium conclusions.

William Eichbaum, Vice-President, Marine and Arctic Policy, WWF, reported on the discussions under the theme “ensuring survival.” He outlined progress made by the ocean community to engage the climate agenda and underlined disappointment with the outcomes of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. He explained that the strategy before Copenhagen remains valid, but listed emerging issues, including: the increasing complexity of negotiations and fora; the need to strengthen scientific arguments about the socioeconomic impacts of climate change on the oceans; and “blue carbon,” or the ability of marine habitats to capture and secure carbon dioxide.

Anne-Sophie Cerisola, Head of the Environment Department, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, France, reported on the discussions under the theme “preserving life,” highlighting the importance of ensuring that the environment is not seen as a barrier to, but rather as a tool for, development. She stressed the need to showcase and scale up successful MPAs, and underscored the role of evaluations and assessments.

Raphaël Billé, Programme Director, Biodiversity and Adaptation to Climate Change, IDDRI, reported the discussions on the theme “improving governance,” underscoring progress achieved in developing concepts, tools and regulations, and with linking oceans management with other issues such as poverty, trade and the economic crisis. He noted the failure to transform governance on the ground, as reflected by the ongoing problem of missed environmental targets, and outlined challenges, such as scaling up successes, making connections with poverty and the green economy.

Manuel Cira, Coordinator, World Ocean Network, for Philippe Vallette, Co-Chair, World Ocean Network, said aquariums and museums are critical for public education on ocean issues. He called for enhanced education through public participation and engagement processes involving two-way communication.

In a special address, Yves Meylan, Director, Jaeger-LeCoultre France, presented on “The Tides of Times” partnership, which involves UNESCO World Heritage Center, the International Herald Tribune, the New York Times, and Jaeger-LeCoultre, a Swiss luxury watch maker. He explained that this win-win partnership raises awareness of marine protection issues, and described the auctions of special watches to fund specific marine protection projects.

In a second special address, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco lamented that while oceans evoke universal fascination, they face innumerable pressures and are neglected and narrowly understood by indifferent citizens. He said it is critical to make people realize that oceans must be central to conservation efforts, that life-style change will be necessary to sustain our global population, and that science will be central to finding solutions, praising the IOC in its work to link knowledge, awareness and action. Stressing the difficulty of acting in a living and complex system, he called for innovation and adaptation in our pursuit of solutions, such as through scaling up successful marine conservation zones to expand ocean protection.

In concluding the session, Co-Chair Cicin-Sain thanked participants and H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco on behalf of the oceans community for the Monaco Blue Initiative, which gathered oceans leaders on 31 March – 1 April 2010 to brainstorm on approaches for advancing ocean protection. She also endorsed the Prince’s words that “we all have to have the willingness to risk and to act.”

Co-Chair Wendy Watson-Wright, Executive Secretary, IOC, UNESCO closed the plenary session, underscoring the fragility of the oceans, and expressed her gratitude to all participants, Co-Chair Cicin-Sain, and H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco on behalf of the Global Oceans Conference and the IOC.


This symposium took place on Tuesday morning, and was opened by Co-Chair Stefanini, who expressed France’s pride in hosting the IOC and urged participants to celebrate its first 50 years and discuss its future work.

Co-Chair Cicin-Sain highlighted the successes of the IOC, mentioning its leaders, such as Roger Revelle and Patricio Bernal. She underscored the importance of its mission to pursue international cooperation and produce science that serves humanity. She noted its achievements and called for increased resources for its work on ocean science in the face of climate change.

Rolph Payet, Special Advisorto the President of the Seychelles, highlighted the work of the IOC on tsunamis and underlined the uncertainties around the impacts of climate change on oceans, urging people “not to take it lightly.”

Co-Chair Watson-Wright presented on the history of the IOC, outlining its operating principles. She provided an overview IOC’s activities in the area of coastal management, climate change, and ocean services and observations. She highlighted that the IOC carries out the international and intergovernmental coordination of sustained ocean observation through the Global Ocean Observing System, and enables data access and sharing through the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange. Addressing the future direction of the IOC, Watson-Wright called for enhanced focus, cooperation, visibility and outreach.

Martin Visbeck, Chairman of the Research Unit, Leibniz-Institute for Marine Sciences, presented on the role of oceans in global climate change, emphasizing the need for strengthening: the Global Climate Observing System; the World Climate Research Programme; climate services information systems; capacity building; and climate user interface mechanisms. Visbeck noted that some aspects of climate are predictable, but forecasting cannot be done without ocean information. He discussed existing tools and gaps regarding ocean circulation and observing systems, concluding that data sharing is imperative.

S.S.L. Hettiarachchi, Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Moratuwa, discussed coast risks and the role of early warning systems. Hettiarachchi defined “risk” as a combination of vulnerability, hazard and deficiencies in preparedness. He explained that “coast risk” comprises natural and man-made hazards in coastal zones that lead to disasters. To tackle “coast risk,” he emphasized the need for a multi-hazard approach and analysis, as well as collaboration. He underscored that early warning systems have to be rapid, accurate and effective.

Jake Rice, National Senior Ecosystem Science Advisor, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada, discussed the importance of integrated ecosystem assessments for effective ocean governance. He underscored that integrated assessments must incorporate all ecosystem components, including all sectors and pressures on the ecological systems, and social, economic and ecological aspects. Rice stressed that integrated assessments can assist governance by providing a credible, legitimate, and sound knowledge basis for decisions, and the capacity to deliver products and oversee the implementation and coherence of programmes.

In the ensuing discussion, Hettiarachchi underscored the challenge of educating coastal stakeholders about scientific risk and hazard assessment, and noted the need for educating children on these issues. He also said it was challenging to distil physical hazards into a single quantitative number. Visbeck agreed that a global coherent approach to biogeochemical processes in the oceans is missing.

Richard Burt, Director, Chelsea Technologies Group Ltd, reviewed the decreasing size and price of sensors for all types of ocean measurements. He added that they have become more accurate, offer greater coverage of measurement possibilities, and are deployed via a much wider range of platforms. Burt underscored current interest in long term observation, driven by climate change concerns, and highlighted the possibility of partnerships with commercial shipping for data collection.

Edward Vanden Berghe, Executive Director, Ocean Biogeographic Information Systems, Belgium, discussed the revolution in information and data system management brought about by expanded computer storage, increased internet access, and more sophisticated web-based applications for data handling and exchange. He stressed the importance of data integration and standardization, noting the Argo Project as a success story. Vanden Berghe also underlined that unequal access to high-speed internet remains a problem and highlighted challenges in building data management skills within the scientific community.

Liana Talaue-McManus, Professor, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, presented a social science perspective on market and social demands on oceans and coasts. She stressed that we have degraded more of the Earth’s ecosystems than we have preserved, highlighting the failings of economies of scale for nature-based livelihoods. She compared large- and small-scale fisheries, underlining that the latter are fuel efficient, produce few or no by-catch, and provide livelihoods. Recognizing the potential for large-scale fisheries to be responsible, she advocated a sustainable livelihood approach, which takes into account the vulnerability of ecosystems and enhances resilience and adaptation.

In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed, inter alia: the use of merchant vessels for collecting data; and research on nutrient loadings in the oceans.

In concluding the session, Payet called for further oceans research to better understand climate change and the operation of ecosystems. Co-Chair Watson-Wright encouraged all participants to continue the discussions on the future of the IOC over the next few days.


On Wednesday throughout the day, participants engaged in three concurrent roundtables for: high-level national officials; regional, provincial and local authorities; and ocean parliamentarians.

HIGH-LEVEL NATIONAL OFFICIALS ROUNDTABLE: This roundtable brought together close to 60 high-level officials from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Indian Ocean, America and the Caribbean, the Pacific, and the Middle East. It was co-chaired by Monique Barbut, Chief Executive Officer, GEF, and Global Oceans Conference Co-Chair Stefanini. Participants heard presentations and held discussions on the three conference themes: ensuring survival; preserving life; and improving governance.

Paul Sandifer, Senior Science Advisor, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), US, presented on the US interagency ocean policy task force, and outlined the process of developing a national policy and framework for policy coordination on oceans.

Norifumi Idee, Secretary General, Secretariat of the Headquarters for the Ocean Policy, Cabinet Secretariat, Japan, presented on integrated ocean governance by drawing lessons from water pollution management. He identified future steps for the ocean community, including concluding the climate change negotiations under the UNFCCC, and developing international arrangements for reducing emissions from international shipping under the IMO.

In the ensuing discussions, participants underscored the importance of engaging all stakeholders to achieve integrated governance. They addressed: the importance of access to data; the Coral Triangle Initiative; the closure by eight Pacific island countries of over 4.5 million square kilometers of international waters as off limits to purse seine fishing for tuna; the Benguela CurrentLME; the lack of governance for the high seas; and the French “Grenelle of the Sea” law and the adoption of the 2009 French maritime strategy. Barbut underlined that water is the cause of a majority of conflicts.

Nguyen Pham Khoi, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Viet Nam, provided an overview of national efforts on managing oceans and islands, highlighting the implementation of national management plans on mangroves and ICM, and raising awareness on climate change impacts on oceans. He called for international support to build capacity to address climate change.

Seoung-Yong Hong, Chairman, Korea Green Growth Ocean Forum, described Korea’s green growth policy. He said the new paradigm for green growth is climate change mitigation and new energy development, which creat new engines for economic growth and improve quality of life. He provided an overview of the Yeosu Expo and indicated Korea’s interest in hosting the Sixth Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands.

In the discussions on climate change, participants underscored the need: for an effective climate change regime; to link ethics to climate change; and to raise the sense of urgency. They also mentioned the need to raise the profile of ocean issues within the climate negotiations, drawing lessons from the forest community. A number of representatives from SIDS underlined their specific vulnerability to climate change, emphasizing the increased frequency of climate-induced disasters and sea level rise. They called for: agreement on aggressive mitigation targets; and development of SIDS’ human and financial capacity, and early warning systems. China indicated its willingness to host a future Global Oceans Conference.

Teresita Castillo, Vice Minister, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Philippines, presented on issues affecting marine biodiversity, focusing on the situation in her country, which she highlighted as one of the world’s richest biodiversity hotspot. She listed human activities threatening marine biodiversity, and recommended emphasizing the economic value of marine resources and funding ocean research as a means for preventing this loss.

In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed the distinction between the impacts of climate change and that of human activities on marine biodiversity. Co-Chair Cicin Sain underscored that the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity and the upcoming COP to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan, provide opportunities to review and update the Jakarta Mandate on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine and Coastal Biological Diversity and to develop the Nagoya Oceans Mandate. She also announced that an Oceans Day would be held on 23 October 2010 during the COP.

REGIONAL, PROVINCIAL, AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES ROUNDTABLE: This roundtable was co-chaired by Raphael Lotilla, Executive Director, PEMSEA, the Philippines, and Van Thanh Nguyen, Chairman, The People’s Committee of Hai Phong City, Viet Nam. The morning session included six presentations on experiences of existing networks and initiatives. One presentation discussed PEMSEA’s local-government network that implements ICM by identifying common interests, facilitating learning, and building confidence and credibility among local communities. It also highlighted technical support for local governments and its partnerships with business and NGOs.

A presentation on US experiences noted that sectoral legislation constrains integrated maritime planning, but that advancements have been made. It also underscored the need to align funding requirements with marine spatial planning and that community engagement remains challenging.

A presentation on a spatial planning initiative in Dorset, UK, noted it had: built on an established organization to encourage stakeholder consultation and engagement; utilized cutting-edge scientific data, combined with local knowledge; created a unique GIS-based tool for planners and developers; and developed an approach for managing sector interactions.

A presentation on experiences of the city of Hai Phong, Viet Nam, stressed the problems of insufficient planning, fragmented and sectoral legislation, competing interests in marine resources, and environmental threats such as climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss, but underscored possible improvement including the recognition of the Cat Ba Archipelago as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

A presentation on the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions discussed its work coordinating coastal activities and policies between EU regions, which has included advocacy for an integrated maritime policy with a process to involve stakeholders and local authorities. The final presentation reviewed Portugal’s strategic agenda on the sea and associated work to build on existing efforts, such as different sectoral policies, and use stakeholder engagement to set the agenda and build a community around maritime planning.

An afternoon session included five presentations on how supranational governance and scientific networks can support regional, provincial and local authorities. A presentation on the Agulhas and Somali Current LME project discussed its coordinating activities, and noted the choice to apply the Marine Ecosystem Diagnostic Analysis at the national level to facilitate country ownership and awareness about this process and its value.

A presentation on regional seas initiatives discussed their ability to enhance sustainable development through regional, national and local partnerships, but stressed the need: to examine and enhance the effectiveness of regional processes, including by assessing whether lessons from evaluations are informing future activities; and for global mechanisms to provide a coordinated approach to define the problems and devise solutions.

Based on a review of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, a presentation stressed the importance of monitoring, noting that it can also be a means to raise awareness when the process is participatory. The presentation also advocated for simple monitoring focused on summary data, identification of data gaps, and early and frequent reporting to build credibility.

A presentation on the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association underscored: the different functions of scientific networks, including in facilitating research, cooperation and knowledge dissemination, and the focus of existing marine research on natural versus social systems. A final presentation discussed Mangroves for the Future, a partnership launched in 2006 to promote investments in coastal ecosystems, particularly in countries most affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2005. The presentation noted the partnership’s efforts to ensure vertical linkages between local projects, national representatives and regional organizations, and to build adaptive capacity for coastal communities with attention to gender issues.

During discussion, participants reviewed, inter alia: means to access data on local coastal resources and the need for greater access to publicly funded data; the value of business and NGO partnerships; the challenge of shared jurisdiction over maritime zones; the central need for stakeholder engagement and public-awareness raising in all maritime planning efforts; the importance of global funding for monitoring; and individuals and organizations positioned to translate science and communicate their findings to decision makers.

OCEAN PARLIAMENTARIANS ROUNDTABLE: This roundtable consisted of opening presentations and a moderated discussion.

Roundtable host Jérôme Bignon, Somme Deputy, French National Assembly, provided an overview of French ocean and coastal policy, highlighting that despite being a signatory to significant conventions, France still needs to raise awareness of maritime issues. Bignon noted the creation of the French MPAs Agency as an example of France’s increasing involvement in marine issues. He also discussed stakeholders involvement in coastal and marine management, as illustrated by the “Grenelle of the Sea” law, and the need for enhanced cooperation among parliamentarians worldwide to improve and strengthen the governance of the high seas.

Co-Chair Cicin-Sain provided an overview of the history of the Global Forum and stressed the need to mobilize an ocean parliamentarians’ network. She added that such a network would aim to: pass integrated national ocean and coastal laws with supporting budgets; share good practices and experiences in the enactment and implementation of integrated national ocean and coastal laws; and use the political influence of ocean parliamentarians to advance the global oceans agenda.

Guy Lengagne, Honorary Mayor of Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, called attention to the power of business lobbyists in environmental negotiations.

Antonio Carlos Valadares Filho, Member of the Federal House of Representatives, Brazil, noted the challenge of protecting coasts and oceans, despite strict environmental legislation in his country. He identified the need for more specific legislation regarding marine protection and expressed his willingness to participate in the ocean parliamentarians’ network.

Constantinos Cartalis, Member of Parliament, Greece, lamented the lack of coordination among the many existing conventions for the protection of the marine environment, and the absence of an international body with the mandate to oversee their implementation and integration.

Christophe Lefebvre, MPAs Agency, France, called for an instrument to assess policies and not only the state of the environment.

Richard Ariihau Tuheiava, Senator, French Polynesia, presented on the Maupiti Declaration, adopted during the UNESCO Pacific Islands World Heritage Workshop held in French Polynesia in 2009. He emphasized the traditional values underpinning the Declaration, such as the equanimity between human beings and the environment, the connection between the land and the seas, and the cultural and indigenous values of the oceans for island communities. He expressed his willingness to support this Declaration through legislation.

The moderated discussion was co-chaired by Richard Delaney, Executive Director, Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies, and Christophe Lefebvre.

Despina Symons, Director, European Bureau for Conservation and Development, outlined the mission, structure and composition of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity, and Sustainable Development. She said maritime issues are a cross-cutting subject, and noted the creation of another intergroup on fisheries and coasts. She lamented the slow pace of the current global ocean governance agenda, highlighting that governments are constrained by sectoral approaches.

Chris Stephens, Director, Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE), presented on the role of his organization in facilitating connections among legislators with common ocean concerns. He provided an overview of the history and aims of GLOBE, including: an assessment of policy instruments and market mechanisms that prevent continuing ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss; and the creation of political discussions consistent with the latest scientific and economic understandings.

Richard Delaney presented on the US perspective on ocean and coastal legislation, noting Senator John Kerry’s efforts to bring together parliamentarians from around the world since 1995. He discussed the potential role of the Global Oceans Forum in launching the ocean parliamentarians’ network and invited participants to recommend how the Forum can assist their work.

In the ensuing discussion, parliamentarians: expressed support for the ocean parliamentarians’ network initiative; and agreed to use the Global Oceans Forum as a platform for the network, but emphasized the need to avoid replicating efforts by collaborating with existing mechanisms, such as GLOBE and the European Bureau for Conservation and Development.

REPORT FROM ROUNDTABLES: Co-Chair Cicin-Sain moderated the plenary session, during which participants heard reports from the three roundtables.

Global Ocean Conference Co-Chair Stefanini reported on the roundtable of high-level officials, explaining that discussions had focused on the three conference themes. He highlighted the need: for integrated governance and awareness raising; for an oceans chapter in the climate change negotiations; to apply EBM on a cross-border basis; and to formulate recommendations at the CBD COP in Nagoya, Japan.

Raphael Lotilla reported on the regional, provincial, and local authorities roundtable, noting that national networks actively add to the credibility of discussions on oceans. He identified constraints to adopting an integrated approach at the local level and challenges with engaging local communities and data sharing. He stressed the need for networks to respond to clearly identified needs, underlining that “one size does not fit all.”

Richard Delaney reported on the oceans parliamentarians roundtable, noting that although only four parliamentarian members had attended the session, it had been productive, and that the ocean parliamentarians’ network will move forward.


A Policy Conference was held on Thursday and Friday, with eight plenary panels addressing the three Conference themes: ensuring survival; preserving life; and improving governance.

SETTING THE STAGE: AT THE INTERFACE OF CLIMATE, BIODIVERSITY, AND INTEGRATED GOVERNANCE: This session took place on Thursday morning and was chaired by Global Oceans Forum Co-Chair Watson-Wright.

Chantal Jouanno, Secretary of State for Ecology, France, discussed: the endangered state of oceans and their crucial role in climate regulation; France’s commitments to protect the oceans, including the high seas; the French “Grenelle of the Seas” law; the Argo Project; and the need for sustainable management of genetic resources and fisheries.

Hans D’Orville, Deputy Director General, UNESCO, addressed the impacts of climate change on the ocean and its ecosystems, and marine biodiversity loss. He noted the participation of IOC in initiatives to promote marine biodiversity protection, including the Global Open Oceans and Deep Seabed Biogeographic Classification report, and the Assessment of the Assessments.

Highlighting the increasingly alarming state of the oceans, Monique Barbut, Chief Executive Officer, GEF, called for swift action and to pool our strengths and resources. She described some success stories, including the Coral Triangle Initiative, and outlined future GEF priorities, such as: protecting sea grass, mangroves, and the Arctic; strengthening LMEs; and reinforcing its coastal biodiversity portfolio.

Nguyen Van Cu, Administrator, Viet Nam Administration of Seas and Islands, called for increased support from regional and international donors in the face of climate change, underlining the role of ICM and EBM in addressing its impacts on oceans and coasts.

Co-Chair Cicin-Sain emphasized the spirit of collaboration of the Global Oceans Conference, and underscored the need to develop a comprehensive programme related to oceans and climate within and outside the UNFCCC. She announced the holding of an Oceans Day at UNFCCC COP 16 in Cancun, as well as at CBD COP 10 in Nagoya, and invited participants to comment on the proposals outlined in the three policy briefs prepared for the Conference.

Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, European Commission, said climate change and biodiversity loss are key challenges facing oceans, and called for realistic solutions given the economic downturn. She discussed the EU IMP, noting that it creates a spatial-planning framework to: facilitate balance and cooperation among competing sectoral interests; enhance monitoring; and strengthen maritime knowledge. She urged greater international collaboration on marine protection, maritime safety and shipping, and climate change.

In a special address, Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary, CBD, lamented that the target of the WSSD to reduce biodiversity loss by 2010 has not been achieved, and underscored that the current rate of depletion of plant and animal species is 1000 times higher than the natural rate. Djoghlaf highlighted that pre-Nagoya meetings and the CBD COP 10 will provide not only targets, but also recommendations for the adoption of strategic plans for reducing biodiversity loss.


Moving Forward from the Copenhagen Accord: Implications for Oceans, Coasts, and Island States: This panel took place on Thursday morning and was chaired by William Eichbaum, Vice-President, Marine and Arctic Policy, WWF. He outlined new issues on the ocean-climate agenda, including ocean acidification, finance for blue carbon. and the increasing complexity of climate negotiations.

William Hare, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, provided an update on the scientific developments since the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), highlighting increased: sea level rise; losses from Greenland and Antarctica of ice sheets; tropical cyclones; risk to coral reefs; and ocean acidification. He underlined that the pledges received under the Copenhagen Accord would collectively imply a temperature increase of over 3°C by 2100.

Michael Zammit Cutajar, Ambassador on Climate Change, Malta, said the Copenhagen meeting transformed climate change into a geopolitical issue focused on China-US cooperation. He reviewed: the legal ambiguity of the Copenhagen Accord; two visions for the way forward; and operational and political outcomes that COP 16 in Cancun may accomplish, if expectations remain modest.

Tresna Dermawan Kunaefi, Ambassador to UNESCO, Indonesia, discussed Indonesia’s pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by 2050, noting the importance of blue carbon in accomplishing this aim. He stressed the impacts of climate change on coastal communities, such as sea level rise, and reviewed initiatives to adapt to these threats through altered construction practices.

Rolph Payet, Special Advisor to the President, Seychelles, on behalf of Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Director, Global Change Institute, University of Queensland, urged States and industry to take urgent action to tackle climate change. He discussed: coral bleaching; sea level rise; the economic dimension of climate change; food and shelter security; human rights and dignity; and human ethics.

Leon Charles, Lead UNFCCC Negotiator, Alliance of Small Island States, Grenada, recommended, inter alia: stronger mitigation, adaptation and finance frameworks; the insertion of the word ‘oceans’ into the negotiation text; a separate ‘panel’ for oceans; joint advocacy for a legally-binding agreement by Cancun; and efforts at national levels for developing adaptation plans for oceans and coasts.

Ania Grobicki, Executive Secretary, Global Water Partnership, said it is time to link integrated water resources management (IWRM) plans with ICM and national development plans. Noting that “climate change tastes of salt,” she stressed that water and the water cycle are at the heart of adaptation efforts.

In a special address on global marine assessments, Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director, European Environmental Agency, provided an overview of progress achieved since the final meeting of the Group of Experts of the “Assessment of Assessments” in 2009. She explained that assessments help bridge science and policy making, underlining the importance of integrating assessments, including socioeconomic aspects, and supporting adaptive management.

Strategic Planning and Financing for Mitigation Activities: This panel took place on Thursday afternoon and was chaired by Seoung-Yong Hong, Korea Green Growth Ocean Forum, who invited panelists to discuss the current situation and future actions, the involvement of necessary authorities, and required measures to mitigate climate change.

Miguel Palomares, Director, Marine Environment Division, IMO, outlined mitigation actions carried out by IMO to protect oceans and the atmosphere. He noted that the amendment to Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, which will come into force in July 2010, will reduce ships’ emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides and particulate matter.

Norifumi Idee, Secretary General, Secretariat of the Headquarters for Ocean Policy, Japan, presented on Japan’s experience in mitigating climate change, including through: a new bill reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% below 1990 level by 2020; investments on energy-saving, low-carbon energy technologies and ocean renewable energy; and carbon capture and storage.

Jung-Keuk Kang, President, Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute, Korea, discussed his country’s national framework for climate change mitigation and its green growth strategy. He noted the importance of ocean renewable energy activities, as well as challenges, opportunities and financing strategies associated with these efforts.

Willett Kempton, Center for Carbon-free Power Integration, University of Delaware, stressed that mitigating climate change and ocean acidification require the use of large non-carbon energy resources and fast action. He said offshore wind technology is proven, readily available and competitive. He also reviewed offshore wind technology’s ability to meet energy demands in the US North East and called for considering net environmental impacts when comparing alternative energy sources.

Bernard Giraud, Vice-President for Sustainability and Shared Value Creation, Danone Group, presented on the Danone Fund for Nature, a partnership among Danone, the Ramsar Convention Secretariat and IUCN. After showing a video on a mangrove planting project in Senegal, he outlined some lessons learned.

In a special address, H.E. Anote Tong, President, Kiribati, stressed that due to sea level rise and increased ocean acidification, climate change adaptation is a matter of security and survival for low-lying countries like Kiribati. Tong stated that relocation is a last resort measure and called for adequate financing of adaptation strategies, stressing the injustice of climate change.

Implementation and Financing Strategies for Adaptation to Climate Change Impacts on Oceans, Coastal Communities and SIDS: This panel took place on Thursday afternoon and was chaired by Andrew Hudson, Principal Technical Advisor, International Waters, UN Development Programme (UNDP).

Lynne Hale, Director, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), discussed the important role of ecosystem-based adaptation for enhancing ecosystem and social resilience, and the ability of coastal systems to provide protection from sea level rise and storms. She described TNC projects on MPAs, green infrastructure and habitat restoration for coastal protection.

Le Cong Thanh, Director General, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Viet Nam, addressed: the threats of sea level rise in Viet Nam and its effects on food security; the structure of the Government’s programme to respond to climate change; and the Danish Programme for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Viet Nam, which includes a capacity-building component.

Youssef Nassef, Manager, Adaptation Sub-Programme, UNFCCC, discussed: National Adaptation Programmes of Action; the private sector’s involvement in the Nairobi Work Programme on Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change; and funding opportunities for adaptation, such as the GEF Trust Fund, and the Special Climate Change Fund. Nassef noted that despite the existence of challenges, “adaptation is one area where most countries converge.”

Nicole Glineur, Program Manager, GEF, lamented human-induced ocean degradation and that it takes catastrophic events to mobilize action, such as the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill. She discussed the growth of GEF’s watershed, coastal and marine portfolio, worth US$2.6 billion, which funds, inter alia, 19 LMEs and over 250 MPAs.

Marilou Drilon, Natural Resources Economist, Southeast Asia Department, Asian Development Bank (ADB), reviewed: ADB’s climate change programme, noting its five priorities, such as encouraging sustainable transport and urban development. She outlined the programme’s three modalities, and stressed that billions of investment dollars are needed to advance and mainstream climate change adaptation.

Marc-Antoine Martin, General Secretary, French GEF, explained that the French GEF focuses on: the Mediterranean and Africa; the integration of development and environment issues; and the promotion of multi-stakeholder partnerships. He described three projects: Quirimas National Park in Mozambique; adaptation to sea level rise in the Maldives; and work in the Indian Ocean under the framework of the Indian Ocean Commission.

SIDS and Mauritius Strategy Implementation in the Context Of Climate Change Vulnerabilities: This panel took place on Friday morning and was chaired by Amb. Dessima Williams, Grenada, Chair, Alliance of Small Island States, who explained that the Mauritius Strategy for Further Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS, which was adopted in 2005, is under a five year-review (MSI +5). She highlighted the holding of a SIDS Special Day on 10 May 2010, during the 18th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, which will serve as a preparatory conference for the MSI +5 High-level Review.

Ahmed Aslam, Minister of Housing, Transport and Environment, Maldives, noted that despite their desire to remain as island nation for the foreseeable future, the people of the Maldives know that they need to adapt to climate change in order to do so. He stressed the importance of raising awareness globally about climate change, underlining that although the Maldives are on the frontlines, it will affect everybody. Recalling his country’s declared intention to become carbon neutral, he said the future lies with low-carbon development paths.

Mary Seet-Cheng, Ambassador of Singapore to Panama and Cuba, focused on Singapore’s IWRM strategy, explaining that it relies on four national taps: local catchments; imported water; reclaimed waste water; and desalinated water. She stressed the link between water management, good environmental management, and integrated urban coastal management.

Amb. David Doyle, Permanent Delegate of St. Kitts and Nevis to UNESCO, emphasized the role of UNESCO in assisting SIDS in addressing climate change, and recommended: adopting a more focused top-down and bottom-up approach for policy; prioritizing links among relevant Mauritius Strategy chapters and UNESCO; and emphasizing local capacity building.

In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed inter alia: the prioritization of risks; storm wave forecasting systems; and links between SIDS and global action. Aslam underscored the risk of uncertainty on the intensity of climate change impacts, urging more local research. Doyle underscored the risks of droughts to the agriculture sectors of SIDS. On early warning systems, he noted the role of UNESCO in developing these systems, but stressed the need for effective evacuation plans at the local level. Chair Williams noted the need for SIDS to be part of global decision making on climate change, noting the importance of international cooperation.


Stock-Taking and Tracking Progress In Establishing Networks of MPAs and Achieving Reduction of Biodiversity Loss: This panel took place on Thursday afternoon and was chaired by François Gauthiez, Bureau of Fisheries, Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry, France, who underlined the challenge of reconciling local governance and global biodiversity issues.

Christophe Lefebvre, Delegate to International Affairs, MPAs Agency, France, noted that this Global Oceans Conference had focused on, inter alia, the need for: developing integrated management tools; strengthening research programmes; and integrating the resilience role of MPAs in adaptation strategies. He described the continuous decline of marine biodiversity and called for a new international agenda and roadmap.

Salvatore Arico, Focal Point for Biodiversity and for Environmental Matters, UNESCO, provided messages for the Conference theme “Preserving Life,” including to: advance communication and policy application of knowledge on marine biodiversity; ensure inclusive ocean management in exclusive economic zones (EEZs) and ABNJ; and assess current marine protection to prioritize locations for future MPAs.

Teresita Castillo, Undersecretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Philippines, reviewed major threats to marine biodiversity in the Philippines, noting that it represents the world’s richest marine ecoregion. She discussed ICM implementation and its challenges, as well as future plans, including enhanced public education on marine biodiversity conversation.

Patricio Bernal, Coordinator, Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative, underscored that the ocean is a living ecosystem that is essential for our life-support systems. He stressed the need to: identify significant areas and design representative networks of MPAs; enhance cooperation and coordination; agree on global targets and objectives to promote regional and sectoral cooperation; and adopt protective measures.

Simonetta Fraschetti, Lecturer, University of Lecce, said effective networks of MPAs are connected, representative and enshrined in a legal framework. Underlining that only 4.9% of continental shelf areas are incorporated within MPAs, she underscored the need to apply EBM outside protected areas.

Promoting Further Engagement of the Global Ocean Science And Policy Community and Reinforcing the Science-Policy Interface: This panel took place on Friday morning and was chaired by Salvatore Arico, Focal Point for Biodiversity and for Environmental Matters, UNESCO.

Aline Kuster-Ménager, Deputy Head of Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Ministry of Ecology, France, noted the numerous agreements signed since the Rio Summit, but underscored that depletion of natural resources continues apace. She said research on biodiversity is fragmented and that a mechanism similar to the IPCC could better integrate science into policy for the protection of ocean biodiversity.

Salman Hussain, Environmental Economist, Scottish Agricultural College, underscored the limited research valuing marine ecosystem services. Drawing on a study valuing marine ecosystem services in the UK, he described work seeking to inspire and operationalize change in the management and conservation of marine resources by underscoring the net benefits of protection relative to business as usual.

Lucien Chabason, Deputy Director, IDDRI, described the negotiations under the Consultative Process Towards an International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity. He outlined unresolved issues for the upcoming Korean meeting, including: the scope and objectives of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES); capacity building for contributing to the work of the IPBES; and IPBES’ structure and governance.

In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed the fact that biodiversity research is fragmented and difficulties in drawing comparisons between IPBES and the IPCC. They also stressed that the IPBES should not duplicate efforts, in particular the work of the regular process for global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment, including socio-economic aspects.

In a special address, Francine Cousteau, President, Cousteau Society, discussed Jacques Cousteau’s mission and how the Cousteau Society is continuing his work by conducting relevant research and advocating for: a holistic approach; conservation of biodiversity; the development of clean energy; and integrated management of ecosystems. A video of Jacques Cousteau was shown, in which he drew links between water and life, and expressed his commitment to save life for future generations.


Implementation of Best Practices in Integrated, Ecosystem-Based Ocean and Coastal Management at National And Regional Levels: This plenary panel took place on Friday afternoon and was chaired by Chua Thia-Eng, Chair, East Asian Seas Partnership Council, who stated that the panel would focus on: best practices on ICM, EBM and IOCM; and the concept of integration, coordination, participation, negotiation, trade-offs, and integrated governance and management, including in ABNJ.

David Freestone, Lobingier Visiting Professor, School of Law, George Washington University, presented on the Conference Report on the theme “Improving Governance,” noting the Working Group’s recommendations to: build political will; use a ‘nested’ approach, from local to national to regional levels; include sectoral targets in integrated planning; and develop indicators on implementation success.

Magnus Ngoile, Policy and Governance Coordinator, UNDP GEF Agulhas and Somali Current LME, said despite the implementation of ICM in over 100 countries, many of these initiatives have not been incorporated within governments’ core values. He recommended: scaling up national programmes to include larger portions of the coastal zones and EEZs; mainstreaming ICM/EBM mechanisms in climate change adaptation projects; and sharing best practices.

Frederick Herpers, Project Manager, General Secretariat of the Sea, France, representing the Secretary General of the Sea, France, noted the importance of oceans and coasts to France, and described its integrative and holistic approach to implementing EBM, stressing the need to align the various sectors and scales, including a wider integrated EU approach to better consider ecosystem boundaries.

Darius Campbell, Head of Strategy and Evidence, Marine Programme, Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, UK, reviewed the UK Marine and Coastal Access Act, which provides for, inter alia, integrated marine planning, improved protection for freshwater fisheries, and coastal access. He said high-level objectives are being transformed into a marine policy statement, which will shape regional plans and licensing decisions, appropriate to varying local circumstances.

Haitze Siemers, Head of Unit for the Maritime Policy Baltic and North Sea, DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, European Commission, outlined key elements of an IMP, including developing: a mindset of integrated governance; maritime spatial planning tools; and multilevel commitment and operation. He stressed the need to acknowledge the economic opportunities offered by oceans and coasts, or “blue growth.”

Paul Sandifer, Senior Science Advisor, NOAA, US, outlined the work of the ocean policy taskforce in developing a national ocean policy, highlighting the public engagement process. He explained that the policy contains commitments to conduct EBM, and coastal and marine spatial planning.

A Dong, Deputy Director General, State Oceanic Administration, China, presented on sea area and island management in China, highlighting the adoption of legislation on sea area uses and a marine functional zoning system, under which users’ fees are charged by the State, and the development of a planning system for protection of offshore islands.

Jacqueline Alder, Head, Marine and Coastal Environment Branch, UNEP, discussed lessons learned from the Regional Seas Programme on IOCM. In respect to regional-national interaction, she recommended defining: a mandate and geographic scope; strategic and operational targets; and a resourced programme of work. She also noted the need for secretariat support.

Rejoice Mabudafhasi, Deputy Minister, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, South Africa, discussed implementation of ICM in South Africa, emphasizing: the ICM Act; South Africa’s participation in two LME projects; and the target to protect 14% of coastal areas through the creation of MPAs by the end of 2014. On climate change, she expressed support for the work of the IMO in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping.

In the ensuing discussion, participants stressed the need to assess progress on the implementation of ICM, and the engagement of the fisheries and oil sectors in spatial planning.

Improving Governance of Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction: Development of Management Options: This plenary panel took place on Friday afternoon and was chaired by Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli, Deputy Director, UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, who noted that the UN General Assembly has jurisdiction over the marine biodiversity in ABNJ and that this issue is being considered by the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP) and Ad Hoc Working Group on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ Working Group).

Liesbeth Lijnzaad, Co-Chair, Third BBNJ Working Group, called protection of ABNJ marine biodiversity an international “regulatory gap,” noting that the International Seabed Authority addresses mineral resources and that the CBD covers areas of national jurisdiction. Recognizing the competence of flag States and regional organizations, she stressed the need for international cooperation to advance protection. She highlighted the third BBNJ Working Group’s recommendation that a legal instrument be evaluated, noting that the UN Fish Stocks process could be a model.

Don MacKay, Co-Chair, ICP, recommended the application of an incremental approach to be applied to the conservation and use of genetic resources in ABNJ based on UNCLOS’ requirement for environmental impact assessments. He described the role of ICP, highlighting this year’s meeting discussions on capacity building.

Matthew Gianni, Political and Policy Advisor, DSCC, noted insufficient progress on States’ political commitments under UN General Assembly resolutions to prevent deep-sea fisheries unless an environmental impact assessments has been undertaken. He stressed the role of regional fisheries management organizations in implementing these resolutions and the need to fulfill these commitments as a step toward the implementation of CBD COPs decisions on the protection of ecologically- and biologically-sensitive areas.

Co-Chair Cicin-Sain described the work of the Global Forum in advancing the protection of the marine environment in ABNJ, highlighting three multi-stakeholder workshops held in 2008. She said implementing EBM and ICM in ABNJ requires: the development and application of a set of principles; capacity for area-based mapping; institutional and enforcement capacity; and funding. She recommended regional experimentation with ABNJ issues with GEF funding as a way of learning lessons and moving forward the intergovernmental dialogue.

David Vousden, Project Director, Agulhas Somali Currents LME Project, said LMEs can provide an opportunity for testing and evolving management strategies and partnerships in ABNJ. He added that the LME ABNJ experimental interface could feed into the negotiations on the governance regime for ABNJ.

PERSPECTIVES FROM THE ROUNDTABLES: On Thursday afternoon, Jérôme Bignon, Somme Deputy, French National Assembly, presented on the outcomes of the Ocean Parliamentarians Roundtable, attended by representatives from Brazil, France, Greece and French Polynesia, who established an ocean parliamentarians’ network. Recognizing the threats to the marine ecosystems, Bignon underscored the role of the participants to the roundtable in interacting with other parliamentarians from around the world to enhance marine legislation. He also highlighted the role of the Global Oceans Forum in facilitating this interaction and avoiding duplicating efforts.

Corinne LePage, Chairwoman of the Intergroup Seas and Coastal Zones, European Parliament, discussed the Intergroup’s efforts to overcome sectoral approaches by addressing issues such as: marine biodiversity; ocean debris; European coastguard; and oceans and climate.

On Friday afternoon in plenary, Chu Hoi Nguyen, Deputy Administrator, Viet Nam Administration of Seas and Islands, presented on perspectives from the Regional, Provincial, and Local Authorities Roundtable. He underlined constraints they face, such as sectoral national policies and overlapping jurisdictions, and called for better data access and networking to improve knowledge transfer and facilitate faster and locally suitable action.

Also on Friday afternoon, Co-Chair Stefanini outlined the recommendations from the High-Level Parliamentarians Roundtable, highlighting a call for: an exhaustive integrated approach to oceans management; exploring “Blue-REDD;” and enhancing interactions between the scientific community and policy makers.

MOVING FORWARD WITH THE GLOBAL OCEAN AGENDA: This closing panel took place on Friday afternoon and was chaired by Global Oceans Conference Co-Chair Cicin-Sain.

In a special address, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Ocean Futures Society, France, placed his comments in the context of the Mexican Gulf oil spill, lamenting our treatment of the oceans as “a universal sewer.” He showed videos on Orcas, drawing an analogy to our plight by demonstrating that toxins, such as PCBs, bioaccummulate in humans as they do in the Orcas. He said he was encouraged by today’s young leaders, and urged participants to finally act on current science and take action to protect our life support system.

Also in a special address, Felix Dodds, Executive Director, Stakeholder Forum, discussed the role of the Rio + 20 Summit recommending outcomes, including the adoption of: a roadmap to reduce the current rate of biodiversity loss; a new blueprint connecting environmental and security issues; strengthening UNEP; a more coherent approach to the management of the global commons in the face of a fragmented international environmental legal regime; strengthening the Commission on Sustainable Development; and a comprehensive climate change agreement. He further noted that the Rio + 20 Summit should engage all stakeholders.

Karl Falkenberg, Director General, DG Environment, European Commission, underscored that the oceans are the source of life, and urged a change in production and consumption patterns in line with the carrying capacity of the Earth.

Co-Chair Stefanini delivered the key points from the message from Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, France, stressing France’s interest in ocean affairs.

Co-Chair Watson-Wright listed the recommendations contained in the Conference Co-Chairs’ Statement that was distributed during the closing plenary, namely to: launch a comprehensive ocean and climate initiative within and outside the UNFCCC negotiation process; develop a Nagoya Oceans Mandate for the renewal of the Jakarta Mandate on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine and Coastal Biological Diversity; promote the establishment of the IPBES; and develop adequate and nested strategies at different scales. She thanked the organizers and participants and closed the conference at 7:29 PM.


CBD SBSTTA 14: The 14th meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) will be held from 10-21 May 2010, in Nairobi, Kenya. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail:; internet:

26TH SESSION OF THE EUROPEAN INLAND FISHERIES ADVISORY COMMISSION: This session will take place from 17-20 May 2010, in Zagreb, Croatia. For more information, contact: Gerd Marmulla; e-mail:; internet:

UNFSA REVIEW CONFERENCE: The UN Fish Stocks Agreement conference will take place from 24-28 May 2010, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. For more information, contact: UNDOALOS; tel: +1-212-963-3962; fax: +1-212-963-5847; e-mail:; internet:

THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON DEBRIS FLOW: This conference will take place from 24-26 May 2010, in Milan, Italy. It will provide a forum for engineers, scientists and managers from laboratories, industries, governments and academia to exchange knowledge and expertise in the following fields: erosion and slope instability; sediment transport; debris flow and debris flood data acquisition; and debris flow phenomenology and laboratory tests. It will also allow the discussion of the most advanced, state-of the-art methodologies in monitoring, modeling, mechanics, hazard prediction and risk assessment. For more information, contact: Claire Shiell; tel: +44 (0) 238 0293223; fax: +44 (0) 238 0292853; e-mail:; internet:

32ND SESSIONS OF THE UNFCCC SUBSIDIARY BODIES, AWG-LCA 10 AND AWG-KP 12: The 32nd sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies of the UNFCCC—the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advise (SBSTA)—are scheduled to take place from 31 May to 11 June 2010, in Bonn, Germany. At the same time the 10th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long Term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA 10) and the 12th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP 12) are scheduled to meet. For more information, contact UNFCCC Secretariat: tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:; internet:

SHARKS INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE: This conference will take place from 6-11 June 2010, in Cairns, Australia. This one-time meeting aims to provide a forum for the world’s leading shark and ray experts, along with students and up-and-coming early career researchers, to come together to share ideas, update information and report on the progress of the most recent scientific studies in the field of shark and ray ecology. For more information contact: Sharks International Secretariat; e-mail:; Internet:

GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON AQUACULTURE 2010: This conference will take place from 9-12 June 2010, in Bangkok, Thailand. The meeting offers aquaculture stakeholders the opportunity to develop an understanding of the status and trends in aquaculture development, an overview of emerging issues, and an assessment of opportunities and challenges for future development. For more information, contact: fax: +66-2561-1728; e-mail:; internet:

11TH MEETING OF THE UN OPEN-ENDED INFORMAL CONSULTATIVE PROCESS OF THE LAW OF THE SEA: This meeting will take place from 21-25 June 2010, at UN Headquarters, in New York, US. For more information, contact: UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS); tel: +1-212-963-3962; fax: +1-212-963-5847; e-mail:; internet:

62ND ANNUAL MEETING OF THE INTERNATIONAL WHALING COMMISSION: This meeting will take place from 21-25 June 2010, in Agadir, Morocco. For more information, contact: tel: +44 (0)-1223-233-971; fax: +44 (0)-1223-232-876; e-mail:; internet:

INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON TUNA RFMO MANAGEMENT ISSUES RELATING TO BY-CATCH: This workshop will take place from 23-26 June 2010, in Brisbane, Australia. It is aimed to provide advice to tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) on best practices methods and techniques to assess and to reduce the incidental mortality of non-target species, such as seabirds, turtles, sharks, marine mammals, and juveniles of target species. For more information, visit:

SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL WATER WEEK: This event will take place from 28 June - 2 July 2010, in Singapore. Themed “Sustainable Cities: Clean and Affordable Water,” the Week will focus on the need for efficient and cost effective solutions to address water problems amidst a constantly changing environment. For more information, contact: Michael Toh, Managing Director; tel: +65-6731-3160/3169; fax: +65-6731-3055; email:; internet:

RESUMED ABS 9: The resumed session of the ninth meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS) is expected to be held in Montreal, Canada, at a date to be determined in June or July 2010. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail:; internet:

AD HOC WORKING GROUP OF THE WHOLE TO RECOMMEND A COURSE OF ACTION TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON THE REGULAR PROCESS FOR GLOBAL REPORTING AND ASSESSMENT OF THE STATE OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT, INCLUDING SOCIO-ECONOMIC ASPECTS: This event will take place from 30 August to 3 September 2010, at UN Headquarters, in New York, US. For more information, contact: DOALOS; tel: +1-212-963-3962; fax: +1-212-963-5847; e-mail:; internet:

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON OCEANS, CLIMATE CHANGE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: CHALLENGES TO OCEANS AND COASTAL CITIES: This conference will take place from 2-4 September 2010, Beijing, China, and will include Pacem in Maribus XXXIII, Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). For more information, contact: Yu Hongrong, International Oceans Institute (IOI) Focal Point-Shanghai, tel: +86-21-38820765; fax: +86-21-58853909; e-mail:; internet:

NORTH-EAST ATLANTIC ENVIRONMENT SUMMIT: This ministerial meeting of the Commission of the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR) will take place in Bergen, Norway, from 20-24 September 2010. For more information, contact: OSPAR Commission; tel: +44 (0)-20-7430-5200; fax: +44 (0)-20-7430-5225; email:; internet:

CBD COP 10: The tenth Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the CBD will be held from 18-29 October 2010, in Nagoya, Japan. COP 10 is expected to: assess achievement of the 2010 target to reduce significantly the rate of biodiversity loss; adopt a protocol on ABS and a revised strategic plan for the Convention; and celebrate the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail:; internet: Oceans Day at Nagoya will be held on October 23, 2010.  For further information, contact the Global Oceans Forum Secretariat, tel: +1-302-831-8086; fax: +1-302-831-3668; email:

16TH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE UNFCCC AND SIXTH MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO THE KYOTO PROTOCOL: This meeting will take place from 29 November to 10 December 2010, in Cancun, Mexico. For more information, contact: UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat: tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:; internet:

FIFTH INTERNATIONAL MARINE DEBRIS CONFERENCE: This conference will take place from 20-25 March 2011, in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is co-organized by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The event will highlight research advances, allowing sharing of strategies and best practices to assess, reduce and prevent the impacts of marine debris. For more information, contact: David Osborn, UNEP; tel: +254 20 762 5721; email: or; internet:

THIRD INTERGOVERNMENTAL REVIEW OF THE GLOBAL PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT FROM LAND-BASED POLLUTION: The Third Intergovernmental Review meeting of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Pollution (GPA) is expected to take place sometime in 2011, at a location to be determined. For more information, contact: UNEP/GPA Coordinator; tel: +31-70-3114460; fax: +31-70-3456648; e-mail:; internet:

 RAMSAR COP 11: The 11th conference of the parties (COP 11) to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat is expected to take place in the first half of 2012, in Romania. The exact dates and venue have yet to be confirmed. For more information, contact: Ramsar Secretariat; tel: +41-22-999-0170; fax: +41-22-999-0169; e-mail:; Internet:



Convention on Biological Diversity
Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea
Deep Sea Conservation Coalition
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
integrated coastal management
UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans an the Law of the Sea
International Maritime Organization
integrate maritime policy
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
illegal, unreported and unregulated
integrated water resource management
large marine ecosystems
marine protected area
non-governmental organization
US National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration
The Natural Resources Defense Council
reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation
Small Island Developing States
UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
UN Development Programme
UN Environment Programme
UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

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The Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands Bulletin is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <>. This issue was written and edited by Graeme Auld, Alice Bisiaux, and Daniela Diz, Ph.D. The Digital Editor is Dan Birchall. The Editor is Robynne Boyd <>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <>. 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 (HTML and PDF format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <>. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11A, New York, New York 10022, United States of America.

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