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 Tuesday, 4 December 2001

Participants in the Global Conference on Oceans and Coasts at Rio+10 gathered on the second day for panel presentations and discussion on: results of major ocean research programmes; biodiversity, critical habitats and species at risk; global and regional perspectives on integrated coastal management; and private sector initiatives for sustainable development and conservation of oceans and coasts.

Charles Ehler, NOAA, (left) offered a tribute in memoriam of Robert W. Knecht, known as the “Father of Coastal Zone Management” for his leadership and landmark contributions to science, policy and politics.

Evelyne Meltzer, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada, reviewed outcomes from the previous day.


This panel, Chaired by Berrien Moore (right) covered aspects of the impact of oceanic processes on climate and land activities from the perspective of major scientific programmes and institutions addressing land-ocean interactions.

Véronique Garçon (left), Centre National de la Récherche Scientifique, discussed the role of oceans in the global carbon cycle. Noting unprecedented planetary increase in carbon levels, Garçon reviewed research on the global CO2 budget, ocean chlorophyll distribution, surface air flux and nitrogen fixing, highlighting uncertainties in many research areas.

John Cullen (left), American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), addressed scientific and social perspectives on carbon sequestration through ocean fertilization. He reviewed the “iron hypothesis” that iron deficiency limits phytoplankton growth, and the resulting research and popular focus on ocean fertilization to mitigate global warming.

Kelvin Richards, Southampton Oceanography Centre, discussed the progression in research from the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE), which used satellites to monitor ocean circulation and create global pictures of heat and freshwater fluxes, to the technologies of CLIVAR, a climate variability and predictability project that incorporates research data on atmosphere and oceans in addressing climate changes.

Jean-François Minster, IFREMER, France, discussed requirements for managing the marine environment, calling for international ocean programmes, shared databases, and tools to monitor impacts and educate relevant actors.

Manuel Barange, Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamic (GLOBEC), UK, noted that drops in global fisheries levels have coincided with climate shifts since 1992, raising the question of whether fishing or climate has greater impact on fish stocks.


This panel addressed the conservation status of marine biodiversity, crticial habitats and species at risk from the perspective of scientific institutions and international organizations. Panel Chair Peter Bridgewater, Man and the Biosphere Programme, UNESCO, introduced the topic and the speakers.

Salvatore Arico, Man and the Biosphere Programme, UNESCO, presented the evolution of the international debate on marine and coastal biodiversity since UNCED and discussed biodiversity’s relationship to sustainable development.

Clive Wilkinson, Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, Australian Institute of Marine Science, stated that radical action is required to address the loss of the world’s coral reefs. He presented data on regional declines, discussed the value and importance of reefs, proposed a “triage” system for intervention and advocated an integrated approach to coastal management.

Nicolas Pilcher, Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, discussed marine turtle conservation, noting misperceptions of small successes in stabilizing population levels as positive indicators of a situation that is actually worsening.

Helene Marsh, CRC Reef Research, talked about the challenges of conserving marine mammals and other species at risk.

Hans Hermann, North America Commission for Environmental Cooperation, described his organization’s role as an “honest broker” between the three countries of North America and as a promoter of public participation, regional action, stakeholder networks and capacity within that area.


This panel reviewed major ICM efforts from global and regional perspectives, assessed progress made, addressed difficulties encountered by nations within regions in establishing successful ICM programmes. Chair Marea Hatziolos (right), World Bank, presented a brief overview of the widespread acceptance of the ICM concept, contrasting it with the relatively small impact achieved, and focused attention on the need to scale up successful projects.

Biliana Cecin-Sain, Center for the Study of Marine Policy, University of Delaware, gave an overview of global trends in ICM, highlighting its exponential growth in the past seven.

Eugenio Yunis, World Tourism Organization, highlighted the importance of addressing sustainable development and environmental issues in tourism, especially in developing countries. Noting that tourism typically targets coastal areas, he outlined risk factors and potential benefits of tourism and urged its inclusion in ICM strategies.

Chua Thia-Eng, Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia, addressed the application of ICM in the East Asian Seas in the last two decades.

Indumathie Hewawasam, World Bank, spoke on the Africa region’s coastal management strategies. Noting the general lack of any ICM framework on the continent, she described challenges including population and resource pressure and the World Bank’s response in working primarily with local level demand to develop strategies and projects for ICM.

Walter Couto discussed the Ecoplata Project, a strategic North-South experiment in managing the coastal zone of Uruguay undertaken in cooperation with Canada.

R. Rajagopalan, International Ocean Institute, India, presented a cross-regional perspective of problems with ICM in coastal communities.

Yuriy Mikheylinchenko discussed ICM in Eastern Europe, noting a heritage of degradation and economic constraints.

Ivica Trumbic, Regional Activity Centre for Priority Actions Programme, Mediterranean Action Plan, UNEP, Croatia, discussed problems such as pollution and loss of resources, and major trends such as rapid urbanization and increasing tourism in coastal areas.


This panel addressed the role of business, industry and private foundations in ensuring sustainable use of oceans and coasts, presenting a cross-section of industries employing coastal and marine resources and private foundations funding management initiatives.
Chair Paul Holthus, Marine Aquarium Council, presented an overview of the linkages between business and sustainable ocean management.

Geoffrey Lipman, Green Globe 21, described the rapid rise of the tourism industry since UNCED, leading to its current position as the world’s largest industry.

Tracy London, Oceans Blue Foundation, reported on the Foundation’s Cruise Ship Stewardship Initiative and its efforts to foster environmentally responsible tourism through the promotion of corporate social responsibility.

Tim Wilkins, International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), presented environmental effects of the shipping industry, highlighting invasive species introduction via ballast water and anti-fouling paints, and described industry initiatives to address the problems.

Peter Greim, Frozen Fish International, Germany, outlined a strategy to build a robust business while ensuring sustainable development. He presented data on catches in the industry, highlighted the Marine Stewardship Council and presented a roadmap for sustainable fisheries as a necessary corporate commitment.

Lisa Dropkin, SeaWeb, USA, discussed creation of markets for sustainable consumer products and leveraging consumer choice in favor of sustainable use in the US. Based on consumer and purveyor surveys, she noted low awareness of commercial overfishing as a serious problem but high willingness to engage in environmentally responsible behavior.


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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