Home > ICP-18

18th Meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on
Oceans and the Law of the Sea - The Effects of Climate Change on Oceans

15-19 May 2017 | UN Headquarters, New York

Summary Highlights: 15-19 May 2017

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Co-Chair Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, Peru, gaveling the meeting to a close.

Co-Chair Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, Peru, gaveling his final meeting as Co-Chair to a close.

Dmitry Gonchar, and Valentina Germani, UNDOALOS

Dmitry Gonchar, and Valentina Germani, UNDOALOS

Highlights for Friday, 19 May 2017

On Friday, delegates to the eighteenth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP-18) completed their work.

In the morning, delegations were given an opportunity to review the Co-Chairs’ draft summary of the week’s discussions. Plenary then reconvened in morning and afternoon sessions for a page-by-page review of the summary. Delegates discussed the draft and suggested corrections and clarifications to best capture discussions.

The Co-Chairs thanked delegates for their participation in discussions over the course of the week. Co-Chair Gustavo Meza-Cuadra announced that this would be the last of his three years as Co-Chair and he gaveled the meeting to a close at 3:35pm.

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, is providing daily web coverage and a summary and analysis report in English and French from the 18th Meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea.

Photos by IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis
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Co-Chair Kornelios Korneliou, Cyprus

Sabita Nakarmi, Nepal

Lucía Raffin, Argentina

Galuh Rarasanti, Indonesia

Co-Chair Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, Peru, with Angel Horna, Peru

Sesselja Sigurðardóttir, Iceland

Group photo of the Co-Chairs with the Secretariat

Carlos Garcia Reyes, Guatemala, with Hector Celarié, El Salvador

Fangli Qiao, China

Participants networking

Juliette Babb-Riley, Barbados, and Barbara Boechat, Brazil

Delegates reading the Co-Chairs' summary


Highlights for Thursday, 18 May 2017

On Thursday morning, delegates to the eighteenth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP-18) continued consideration of this year’s topic: “effects of climate change on the ocean.”

On inter-agency cooperation and coordination, delegates heard from Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and UN Counsel, in his capacity as the UN-Oceans Focal Point, on progress of work under UN-Oceans. Delegates also received an update on the financial status of the Voluntary Trust Fund from UNDOALOS Director Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli.

Delegates completed the general exchange of views that began on Monday morning before considering the process for the selection of topics and panelists, and issues that could benefit from further consideration under the UN General Assembly on ocean affairs and the law of the sea.

The meeting then adjourned to provide time for the Co-Chairs and Secretariat to prepare the draft Co-Chairs’ summary to be reviewed by delegates on Friday.

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, is providing daily web coverage and a summary and analysis report in English and French from the 18th Meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea.

Visit the web coverage for Thursday, 18 May 2017

Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and UN Legal Counsel

Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli, Director, UNDOALOS

Ramona Sladic, Canada

Co-Chair Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, Peru

Juliette Babb-Riley, Barbados

Indira Guardia González, Cuba

Barbara Boechat, Brazil

Hector Alejandro Palma Cerna, Honduras

Coumba Gaye, Senegal


Highlights for Wednesday, 17 May 2017

On Wednesday, delegates to the eighteenth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP-18) participated in discussion panels on “cooperation and coordination in addressing the effects of climate change on oceans – current actions and opportunities for further enhancement.”

In the morning, delegates heard five presentations on: science stewardship projects and programmes; the Global Ocean Observing System; the role of “blue forests” in capturing and storing carbon and providing ecosystem services nationally and globally; regional strategies for ecosystem-based adaptation; and building resilience into ocean management and marine reserves. Discussion topics included: collaboration between NOAA and the Research Center for Oceanography, Indonesia; kelp forests in temperate and polar regions; capacity-building in ocean science; difficulties in predicting El Niño events; and taking action despite the need for further scientific developments.

Five presentations in the afternoon covered: the GEF, climate change finance, and lessons learned; awareness raising in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and assistance for national adaptation plans and implementation of field projects; CTI-CFF measures and steps to address climate change-related coral reef issues; the effects of climate change on people in coastal areas in Indonesia: mitigation and adaptation experience and possible international cooperation; and effects of rising sea levels on maritime boundaries and “deterritorialization”. Discussions focused on accessing climate finance and effectiveness of climate funds at the national level; the need for private and public financing for countries not covered under agency mandates; and integration of “local wisdom” in ecosystem-based fisheries management plans. Additional discussions included: early warning systems for atolls and precursor technology; legal implications of sea level rise for SIDS; addressing gaps related to climate-displaced persons; access to funding to address changing baselines; reopening existing joint development agreements under changed circumstances; and the applicability of the South China Sea arbitration case on Article 121 to the status of an island.

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, is providing daily web coverage and a summary and analysis report in English and French from the 18th Meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea.

Visit the web coverage for Wednesday, 17 May 2017

From L-R: Vladimir Ryabinin, IOC-UNESCO; Hernan Garcia, NOAA; and Co-Chair Kornelios Korneliou, Cyprus

Yolannie Cerrato Corrales, Honduras

Lucía Raffin, Argentina

Ko Barrett, US

Galuh Rarasanti, Indonesia

Martin Zvachula, Federated States of Micronesia

Participants networking

From L-R: Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson, International Institute for Sustainable Development - Reporting Services (IISD-RS); Joan Yang, Nauru; Natalie Jones, IISD-RS; and Teya Penniman, IISD-RS


Highlights for Tuesday, 16 May 2017

On Tuesday, delegates to the eighteenth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP-18) continued their discussions under the theme of “effects of climate change on oceans, including environmental, social and economic implications.”

In the morning, delegates heard six presentations on climate change impacts related to: Western boundary currents, highlighting the Agulhas Current; action on ocean acidification (OA); OA and ecosystem management; ocean productivity and oxygenation in the South Eastern Pacific; the role of coastal and marine ecosystems in climate mitigation; and the vulnerability of low-lying islands. Discussions focused on: the role of dynamic MPAs in protecting pelagic species in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJs); OA impacts in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf and impacts on calcium carbonate shell organisms; use of MPAs for seagrass sites and for reversing dead zones; the impact of climate-related migration of fish species in the tropics and sub-tropics; the impossibility of controlling Western boundary currents to direct heat transport; national actions; scientific data on OA; and various approaches on carbon sequestration.

In the afternoon, five presentations on oceans and climate change focused on: forecasting and anticipating impacts on fisheries and aquaculture; sustaining global marine fisheries; OA and economic impacts; implications for food security in Sub-Saharan African fisheries (via webcast); and ecosystem effects in polar waters. Discussions focused on: effects of reduced sea ice on underwater productivity, and justifications for focusing on small scale fisheries.

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, is providing daily web coverage and a summary and analysis report in English and French from the 18th Meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea.

Visit the web coverage for Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Dimitri Gutiérrez Aguilar, Institute of Marine Research, Peru

Elizabeth Jewett, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), US

From L-R: Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli, Director, UNDOALOS; Maria Fossheim, Institute of Marine Research, Norway; Nathalie Hilmi, Monaco Scientific Center; Co-Chair Kornelios Korneliou, Cyprus; Co-Chair Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, Peru; Dmitry Gonchar, UNDOALOS; William Cheung, University of British Columbia, Canada; and Carlos Garcia Soto, Spanish Institute of Oceanography

Nadia Deckert, France, with Cyrille Barnerias, Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Francisco Armando Arias Isaza, Institute of Marine Research, Colombia, and Keith Lennon, Canada

Participants networking during the lunch break

Isaías Medina Mejías, Venezuela, with Eglantine Cujo, EU


Highlights for Monday, 15 May 2017

The eighteenth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP-18) opened on 15 May 2017 at the UN Headquarters in New York, under the theme: “The effects of climate change on oceans.” In the morning, delegates heard opening remarks from: Co-Chairs Gustavo Meza-Cuadra and Kornelios Korneliou; Stephen Mathias, Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs; Thomas Gass, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), on behalf of Wu Hongbo, UN DESA; Shifaana Thowfeequ, Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), on behalf of Acting Under-Secretary General Heidi Schroderus-Fox; Peter Thomson, President of the UN General Assembly; and Co-Chairs of the Ad Hoc Working Group of the Whole (AHWGW) Juliette Babb-Riley and Carolyn Schwalger.

In the afternoon, Co-Chair Korneliou introduced the informal session, a discussion panel on “the effects of climate change on oceans, including environmental, social and economic implications.” Delegates heard presentations on: findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report and preparations for the Sixth Assessment; ecosystem services and climate change, including thermal adaptation; climate projections and predictions: challenges and possible solutions; the effects of climate change on the coasts of a highly vulnerable and Megadiverse Country: the case of Colombia; effects of climate change on the oceans (via webcast); and oceanic impacts on regional climate and the Argo Programme.

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, is providing daily web coverage and a summary and analysis report in English and French from the 18th Meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea.

Visit the web coverage for Monday, 15 May 2017

Mehdi Remaoun, Algeria, on behalf of the African Group

Luis Oña Garcés, Ecuador, on behalf of the G-77/China

Lucía Raffin, Argentina

Tevita Suka Mangisi, Tonga

Sesselja Sigurðardóttir, Iceland

Kate Neilson, New Zealand

Luke Daunivalu, Fiji

Delegates from Indonesia

Around the Venue

Sphere Within a Sphere, by Arnaldo Pomodoro

Non-Violence, by Fredrik Reuterswärd

A view of Long Island City, Queens from the UN Headquarters

The Japanese Peace Bell

Reclining Figure: Hand, Henry Moore

Single Form, Barbara Hepworth


Specific funding for coverage of the 18th Meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on
Oceans and the Law of the Sea, has been provided by the European Union (EU) and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation
EU Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation

IISD Reporting Services is grateful to the many donors of the ENB and recognizes the following as core contributors to the ENB: the EU and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. General Support for the Bulletin during 2017 is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Switzerland (FOEN), and SWAN International. Funding for translation of the ENB into French has been provided by the Government of France, Québec, and the International Organization of La Francophonie/Institute for Sustainable Development of La Francophonie (IOF/IFDD).