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UN DOALOS Seventh Session of the Open-ended
Informal Consultative Process
on Oceans and the Law of the Sea

UN Headquarters, New York | 12-16 June 2006
United Nations
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Consultative Process Addresses Ecosystem Approach Implementation

On Tuesday, delegates to the seventh meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (UNICPOLOS-7 or Consultative Process) reconvened in a Discussion Panel on ecosystem approaches and oceans. In the morning, presentations were made and a discussion was held on moving to implementation: implications for enabling elements. In the afternoon, delegates addressed lessons learned from implementation of ecosystem approaches at the national level in developed States. In the evening, a Friends of the Co-Chairs group chaired by Renée Sauvé (Canada) convened to prepare draft elements for recommendations to the General Assembly, to be considered in plenary on Friday.

Tuesday, 13 June
Discussion Panel on Ecosystem Approaches and Oceans: Moving to Implementation: Implications for Enabling Elements

Jake Rice, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada, discussed science advisors' role in implementing the ecosystem approach.

Serge Garcia, FAO Fisheries Resources Division, presented the FAO implementation framework and agenda for the ecosystem approach to fisheries.

Michael O'Toole, Benguela Current LME Programme, highlighted the development and implementation of an ecosystem approach for fisheries management in the LME.

John Richardson, European Commission (EC), discussed the EU's Green Paper on a future maritime policy and its significance for ecosystem-based management.

Harlan Cohen, IUCN, underlined its support of an interim prohibition of high seas bottom trawling.

Serge Beslier, EC, opposed the view that RFMOs have failed to fulfill their conservation mission.

The GEF outlined the LME programme process, which includes cooperative transboundary scientific research and analysis, and addressing transboundary concerns.

Praulai Nootmorn, Thailand stressed the need for cooperation in response to threats to critical ocean zones, and emphasized the regional differences of ecosystem-based approaches.

Veerle Vandeweerd, UNEP, stressed that moving from a sectoral approach to an integrated approach requires time and capacity building.
Side Event: Meeting the Commitments on Oceans, Coasts and Small Island Developing States Made at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development: How Well Are We Doing?

A side event sponsored by the International Coastal and Ocean Organization, UNESCO/IOC, UNEP/GPA, the Gerard J. Mangone Center for Marine Policy, University of Delaware and the GEF presented the Global Forum's report on implementation of WSSD/MDG goals on oceans, coasts and SIDS. Key recent and future oceans and coasts events were also discussed, including the upcoming second Intergovernmental Review of the GPA.
Discussion Panel on Ecosystem Approaches and Oceans: Lessons Learned from Implementation of Ecosystem Approaches at the National Level in Developed States

Campbell Davies, Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, outlined the Australian context for implementation of ecosystem-based management, noting key elements such as adaptive management, the application of the precautionary approach, and stakeholder participation.

Camille Mageau, Marine Ecosystems Conservation, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada, outlined the Canadian legislative framework for ecosystem-based management, noting the use of both top-down property-based and bottom-up activity-based approaches.

Erik Olsen, Institute of Marine Research, Norway, discussed the Norwegian ecosystem-based management plan for the Barents Sea and areas off the Lofoten Islands. He explained that the process involved assessing the status of available science, carrying out sectoral studies, and examining overall pressures.

Johann Sigurjonsson, Marine Research Institute, Iceland, reported on domestic implementation and practical considerations relating to ecosystem-based fisheries management.

Cara Horowitz, NRDC, said harmful undersea noise is often left out of current ecosystem analysis and management.

Yolanda Alaniz Pasini, International Ocean Noise Coalition, encouraged regional ecosystem-based management to prevent noise pollution impacts, particularly upon commercially-valuable species and MPAs.

Bill Wareham, David Suzuki Foundation, urged States to: implement marine reserves and moratoria to protect vulnerable ecosystems; adequately fund ecosystem-based management implementation activities; and define thresholds and measurable targets for ecosystem values.

Tullio Scovazzi, Italy, said the ecosystem approach may be considered to be an evolution of integrated management, outlining a number of initiatives in the Mediterranean that contribute to an ecosystem-based approach.

On high seas governance, Iris Menn, Greenpeace, urged delegates to evaluate the implementation examples outlined by the panel, and select elements, such as protection of spawning and nursery grounds, that can be applied to achieve ecosystem-based management of the high seas.
DSCC Reception With Fabian Cousteau

Karen Sack, Greenpeace, noted that bottom trawling destroys seabed ecosystems at a rate five times that of rainforest destruction.

Lisa Speer, NRDC, introduced Fabian Cousteau, who is carrying on his family's tradition of ocean exploration.

Fabian Cousteau noted that much of the ocean remains unexplored and undiscovered, particularly the deep seabed that is threatened by bottom trawling.

Related Coverage

UNICPOLOS-6, UNICPOLOS-5, and UNICPOLOS-4 coverage from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin.
UNFSA Review Conference coverage from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin.
3rd Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands Bulletin.
Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands coverage by Sustainable Developments.

Related Links

UN Division for Oceans Affairs and the Law of the Sea (UNDOALOS).
Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.
Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) - Chapter 17.


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