Fifth Meeting of the Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law
of the Sea

United Nations Headquarters, New York | 7- 11 June 2004


Daily Web Coverage


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Tue 8

Wed 9

Thu 10

Fri 11


 Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB)

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 Tue 8

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Highlights for Tuesday 8 June 2004

On Tuesday, delegates to the fifth meeting of the UN Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (Consulta­tive Process) held the first session of the International Workshop for a process for global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment (GMA International Workshop), and convened in Discussion Panel and Plenary sessions. In the morning, the GMA International Workshop started considering a draft document on the scope, general framework and outline for the GMA, as well as issues pertaining to quality assurance, institu­tional arrangements, capacity building and funding. In the after­noon, the Discussion Panel considered high seas bottom fisheries and scientific research in the deep sea, and Plenary started exchanging views on areas of concern and actions needed. 
Above photo L-R: Vladimir Golitsyn (DOALOS), Co-Chairs Philip Burgess (Australia) and Felipe Paolillo (Uruguay)




AUSTRALIA called for the inclusion of marine components within and beyond national jurisdiction and considering a bio-regional approach. Above photo: Max Kitchell (Australia).

David Pugh, Chairman of the GMA Group of Experts, presented the Group of Experts’ report (A/AC./271/WP.1), noting recommendations on the scope, framework and funding of the GMA. He outlined a possible two year start-up phase before entering into a regular process, and emphasized the need for a centralized and identifiable secretariat within the UN system.

CANADA supported a science-based GMA, and highlighting risk identification and assessment for priority setting. Above photo: Lori Ridgeway (Canada).

The RUSSIAN FEDERATION favored focusing on pollution and physical degradation. Above photo: Anna Lyubalina (Russian Federation).


The CONVENTION ON BIODIVERSITY (CBD) emphasized that a five year cycle would not contribute to achieving the target stemming from the World Summit on Sustainable Development to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. Above photo: Dan Ogolla (CBD).

Ireland, on behalf of the EUROPEAN UNION (EU), said the GMA should provide reliable and objective information on the type, extent and causes of the degradation of the marine environment and its resources. Above photo: Dellan Smyth (Ireland).


Noting that the majority of fishing activities are concentrated in the Exclusive Economic Zone, JAPAN questioned the moratorium’s focus on high seas. Above photo: Akima Umezawa (Japan).

Lisa Speer, Natural Resources Defence Council, presented a video on deep sea bottom trawling and their effects on vulnerable deep sea ecosystems and biodiversity. She explained that with 70% of existing fish stocks being overexploited, fishing activities are moving away from coastal areas into the high seas and the deep sea.

, on behalf of a coalition of NGOs, urged the international community to take urgent action for fear of loosing the political momentum accumulated in recent years. Above photo: Karen Sack (Greenpeace).

Above photo L-R: Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli (DOALOS) and Anne Rogers (DESA).


Kazuhiro Kitazawa
, Marine Earth Science Technology, presented methods for scientific observation in the deep sea. He noted that using submersibles is a costly option that does not allow permanent observation. Describing programmes in Japan, he supported developing cable networks using multi sensor stations and decommissioned submarine cables to permit constant observation.


The EU recommended that strategies for the protection of the marine environment draw on work in other fora, including the CBD, and suggested that the Secretary-General establish a task force to coordinate measures for improved protection of marine ecosystems. Above photo L-R: Dellan Smyth (Ireland) and Co-Chair Philip Burgess (Australia)

supported a ban on bottom trawling in the high seas, under certain conditions, and emphasized the role of regional fisheries organizations in addressing the issue.
 Above photo: Kjell Kristian Egge (Norway).

Above photo: Dan Price and Josie Velasco (UN)

Noting that the Area falls under the regime of the common heri�tage of mankind, characterized by benefit sharing and equity, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO emphasized that countries lacking necessary technology and resources can not reap the benefits of the Area’s genetic resources. Above photo: Gaile Ramoutar (Trinidad and Tobago).

Above photo L-R: Co-chair Philip Burgess in conversation with Arlo Hemphill (Conservation International), 
Karen Sack (Greenpeace) and Randall Arauz (Costa Rica)

Above photo R-L: ENB writer Alice Bisiaux in discussion with a delegate from Argentina

Above photo: ENB writer Charlotte Salpin discussing  with  Magn�s J�hannesson (Iceland)

Related Links |

Earth Negotiation Bulletin's report of UNICPOLOS-4 (HTML, PDF, TXT).
Sustainable Developments’ report of the Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands (HTML, PDF, TXT).
UN Division for Oceans Affairs and the Law of the Sea (UNDOALOS) .
GMA International Workshop site.
Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.
Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) - Chapter 17.


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