The Global Conference on Oceans and Coasts at Rio+10: Assessing Progress, Addressing Continuing and New Challenges

Paris, France; 3 - 7 December 2001

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Highlights for Thursday, 6 December 2001

On Thursday, the Conference met in concurrent open-ended sessions throughout the day, continuing with panel presentations and discussions. In the morning, panels on the marine environment and small island developing states were presented simultaneously with a panel on capacity building. In the afternoon, participants chose between panels on regional seas and emerging issues.

In the morning, Sian Pullen, WWF, reviewed Wednesday’s proceedings and highlighted, inter alia, the need for: participatory approaches to ICM implementation; better coordination among agreements; and integration of MPAs as critical components of ICM programmes. 


Chair Victor Sabek, Advisory Committee on Protection of the Sea introduced the panel.

Robert Duce, Texas A & M University, USA, presented the Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection report on Protecting the Ocean from Land-based Activities. He highlighted destruction and alteration of habitats, destructive fishing, sewage and eutrophication as major global threats, and overviewed emergent problems and means of improving global marine environment assessments

Sian Pullen, Marine Conservation Program, World Wildlife Fund, presented five steps to an ecosystem approach for managing demands on marine environments: development of a common vision for achievements; assessment of resources; establishment of decision-making mechanisms; identification of delivery tools; and development of a strategy for delivery, and called for development of such a vision at the WSSD.

Olof Linden, University of Kalmar, Sweden, presented the Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA), a UNEP-led program that assesses the state of the oceans and methodically identifies priority issues from a combined environmental and socio-economic perspective.

Chris Crossland, LOICZ, Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, outlined pressures on coastal zones, bringing together data on natural and climatic change, anthropogenic environmental effects and population pressures.

Allan Robinson, Dept of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, USA, addressed scientific complexity in coastal ocean systems. He said coastal ocean science examines interdisciplinary processes that work on multiple, interactive scales of space and time with bi-directional feedbacks, and highlighted the sensitivity of these processes to isolated events.

Niels Daan, Netherlands Institute for Fisheries Research, discussed the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR Convention) framework for qualitative and quantitative assessment of North Sea marine populations, focusing on the development by scientists of indicators, objectives and methods for implementation.


Chair Tamari’i Tutangata, South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, introduced the panel.

Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Alliance of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS), gave an overview of regional cooperation among SIDS since Rio, noting that progress has probably been made since Agenda 21 but the list of tasks that remain is still “formidable.”

Robin South, International Ocean Institute, University of the South Pacific, Fiji, spoke on issues that continue to threaten marine environments in the Pacific islands region, including biodiversity loss and threats to water resources, and noted growing threat from the rapid transition from a subsistence to cash economy.

Nelson Andrade, Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP), UNEP, outlined accomplishments and constraints in the Caribbean region since Rio, highlighting adoption of the CEP Action Plan and ICM activities coordinated at the national and regional levels.

Dirk Troost, Environment and Development in Coastal Regions and in Small Islands (CSI), UNESCO, and Gillian Cambers, CSI, UNESCO, presented their paper on inter-regional initiatives for sustainable small-island development. Troost addressed the benefits of inter-regional networking, and Cambers presented the results of a workshop on ethical practice for donors and investors, which included findings that recipient countries should prepare and regularly update funding priorities, and be free to choose projects for participation


This panel featured representatives from the scientific, academic and political arenas, and divided discussions into three segments: building scientific and technological capacity for OCM; application of the social sciences to ICM programmes; and emerging directions in capacity building. Conference Co-Chair Bernal introduced speakers and guided the discussions in the first two segments, and Angus McEwan (right) Chaired the third.


Chair Adalberto Vallega, International Geographic Union, introduced the panel members for this session.

Gunnan Kullenberg, International Ocean Institute (IOI), presented IOI�s Virtual University, which aims to extend knowledge and information on oceans and coasts to a distributed audience of policy makers, coastal managers, and others who can benefit from masters-level coursework in marine affairs and governance.

Vallega presented a paper on ocean regionalization, describing the history of the movement and legal framwork as established by UNCLOS and affected by UNCED�s focus on the ecosystem-based approach to resource management.

A paper by Jorge Illueca, Division of Environmental Conventions, UNEP was presented by Tamari�i Tutangata, addressing regional seas conventions and action plans. The paper describes considerations in the future of the regional seas conventions, including the importance of marine pollution control and ICM.

Ken Sherman, National Marine Fisheries Service, USA and GEF, spoke on symptoms and causes of breakdown in coastal and marine ecosystems, and described collaboration with the GEF for management of large marine ecosystems.

Alan Simcock, OSPAR Convention, addressed regional cooperation enhancement taking the OSPAR Convention as a case study, and particularly noting the emergence of long-term strategies and broadening of the Convention to cover all human activities.

Peter Stenlund, Arctic Council Secretariat, spoke on the Arctic Council, a unique intergovernmental forum that incorporates governments and indigenous peoples� groups on an equal footing.

Tamari�i Tutangata, South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), described the Council of Regional Organizations of the Pacific, outlining key aspects of the regional approach including advantages stemming from economies of scale in centralized training services.

Miguel Fortes, Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines, Philippines, presented information on seagrass and mangrove ecosystems and the benefits they provide.

Andre-Serge Mikouiza presented a paper on problems of protecting Caspian Sea biodiversity, which focused on specifics of zooplankton and mnemiopsis population change as an indicator of more general biodiversity loss in the region.


Chair Ed Miles, University of Washington, introduced the panel and made scheduling announcements.

Haiquing Li, State Oceanic Department, China, gave his personal perspective on the growing issue of coastal mega-cities, noting that to the problems of crowding, pollution and waste disposal associated with any large metropolis they add problems of freshwater supply, coastal erosion and conflict for coastal resources.

Loreno Aguilar Revelo, IUCN, presented statistics on population, gender and coastal demographics, and said gender issues were not an emerging problem so much as a reality. She underlined the need to, inter alia, include women in decision-making, supply gender-sensitive family planning and consider the needs of all residents in coastal planning.

Art Hanson, Ocean Ambassador, Canada, outlined: the close relationship between trade and sustainable development concerns; recognition of sustainable development within WTO processes; and future directions of the trade/development agenda, including the harmonization of trade, investment and MEAs, and employment of the precautionary principle in trade agreements.


Oceans and Coasts at Rio+10 Website
General Conference Information  and Accomodation/Local Information
GPA Website 
CBD: Jakarta Manadate on Marine and Coastal Biodiversity


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