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Coverage of Selected Side Events at the Ocean Conference

Our Oceans, Our Future: Partnering for the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14

5-9 June 2017 | UN Headquarters, New York

Events Covered on Friday, 9 June 2017

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Photo of a green turtle by Gregory Lecoeur, winner of the 2016 World Oceans Day Photo Competition
(category Underwater Life)

The following side events were covered by ENBOTS on Friday, 9 June 2017:

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the Side (ENBOTS) Meeting Coverage, is providing daily web coverage of selected side events at the Ocean Conference.

Photos by IISD/ENBOTS | Francis Dejon
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Solutions to Land-based and Sea-based Marine Litter Combined with Marine Plastic Litter in SIDS
Presented by Centre for Sea and Society at the University of Gothenburg, IUCN, European Parliament Green Group, and the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA)

This event, moderated by Carl-Gustaf Lundin, IUCN, considered approaches to addressing marine litter in SIDS.

Lena Gipperth, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, urged participants to focus discussion on solutions to the marine litter problems facing SIDS, noting appropriate solutions will depend on the context of each SIDS' situation.

Marcus Eriksen, Co-Founder, the 5 Gyres Institute, explained his Institute started researching the marine litter problem through expeditions and in the process found that microplastics are a bigger problem than the trash gyres seen on the Ocean surface, creating a type of “plastic smog” circulating with currents often carrying microplastic clouds from one continent to another.

Bethanie Carney Almroth, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, discussed the findings and recommendations of a report recently produced for the Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment, “Marine Plastic Litter on SIDS: Impacts and Measures.”

Anthony Talouli, SPREP, discussed a SPREP-led regional strategy underway called Cleaner Pacific 2025, which features integrated waste management.

Marco Affronte, Member, European Parliament, discussed recent EU initiatives addressing marine litter, including an European Commission (EC) communication on Ocean governance that includes an action point on marine litter, a package of four proposed EU directives on the circular economy, and the upcoming proposal from the EC for an EU plastics strategy.

Alain de Comarmond, Seychelles, suggested that going forward, what is needed are: more studies of the issue; targeting source countries where the marine litter originates; appropriate laws; engaging the private sector; and educating the public on how microplastics affect health, the economy and biodiversity.

Jakob Granit, Director-General, Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM), said while part of the solution is to invest in waste management and wastewater treatment, the Swedish experience suggests this takes time and steady heavy investment. He said Sweden is: promoting a circular economy; cooperating in regional contexts such as HELCOM and OSPAR; and supporting global campaigns on marine litter and ghost fishing gear.

Monica Verbeek, Executive Director,  Seas at Risk, suggested upstream solutions to marine litter need to focus on keeping plastic from entering oceans in the first place, through regulation restricting single-use packaging and getting producers to take responsibility for their end-of-life products.

João Sousa, IUCN, discussed IUCN efforts to promote dialogue between producers and waste managers. He stressed the importance of research, noting that an IUCN global assessment of plastics in ocean found that clothing and tires are bigger culprits than the commonly targeted cosmetics industry.


Panel (L-R): Alain de Comarmond, Seychelles; Carl-Gustaf Lundin, IUCN; Anthony Talouli, SPREP; Marco Affronte, Member, European Parliament; Marcus Eriksen, Co-Founder, The 5 Gyres Institute; and Lena Gipperth, University of Gothenburg, Sweden


Bethanie Carney Almroth
, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, discussed the findings and recommendations of the report “Marine Plastic Litter on SIDS: Impacts and Measures.”

Marcus Eriksen
, Co-Founder, The 5 Gyres Institute, said his research
shows microplastics have created a “plastic smog” circulating with
currents, often carrying microplastic clouds from one continent to another.

Anthony Talouli
, SPREP, discussed a SPREP-led regional strategy
underway called Cleaner Pacific 2025 which features integrated
waste management.

Marco Affronte
, European Parliament, discussed recent EU initiatives
addressing marine litter.

View of the side-event on Solutions to Land-based and Sea-based Marine Litter Combined with Marine Plastic Litter in SIDS
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Arctic Ocean Resilience: Can Tipping Points Still Be Avoided?
Presented by Government of Sweden, Stockholm Environment Institute and Stockholm Resilience Center

Isabella Lövin, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, Sweden, spoke on the immense impacts climate change is having in the Arctic, including record low sea ice levels, warmer Ocean temperature and Ocean acidification. Responding to a question from moderator Johan Kuylenstierna, Executive Director, SEI, Lövin said the most important outcome from the Ocean Conference was that it has started a process in which the central importance of oceans is recognized.

Marcus Carson, SEI, said that while people often see the Arctic as a frozen, desolate place, it is in fact a dynamic place that houses a variety of wildlife and communities. Noting that “what happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic,” he explained that ice loss in the Greenland ice sheet would likely have the greatest impact in the Southern Hemisphere.

Stating that we are seeing distinct changes in the Arctic, since the Arctic Ocean is no longer the stable place it once was, Thomas Armstrong, Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, presented findings showing that current levels of Ocean acidification are unmatched in the last 25 million years. He highlighted impacts that are already occurring such as the migration of fish stocks and degradation of shells.

Joel Clement, US, highlighted that the four priority areas of the Arctic Resilience Action Framework cover science, capacity, governance and finance, and pointed to the first Arctic Resilience Forum to take place in Finland in September 2018 as an important moment.

Matilda Ernkrans, Sweden, underscored the importance of scientifically-based knowledge as the basis for undertaking action and of “passion and patience” to achieve real change. She gave an example of this, describing the process to develop a policy framework for climate change to achieve net zero emissions by 2045 in Sweden.

Stating that “we understand the oceans, now is the time to react,” Liisa Rohweder, Secretary-General, WWF Finland, suggested a scorecard for progress on implementing commitments as a good way to measure progress within the Arctic Council.

Pinsak Suraswadi, Director, Marine and Coastal Resources Research Institute, Thailand, said that climate change is already having effects, quipping that his country now only knows two seasons: “hot and very hot.”

Tom Arnbom, WWF Sweden, underscored the importance of connections between MPAs since the Arctic region is changing dramatically, and called for greater attention on where MPAs are chosen.

On behalf of Stephanie Meakin, Inuit Circumpolar Council, Carson underscored the importance of the need to spend time and energy on integrating scientific and indigenous knowledge.

Jouni Laaksonen, Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN, highlighted, inter alia, the essential role of education opportunities in remote areas in enabling sustainable development. He announced three important events taking place in Finland, emphasizing the Arctic Biodiversity Congress in October 2018.



Panel (L-R): Jouni Laaksonen, Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN; Joel Clement, US; Matilda Ernkrans, Sweden; Thomas Armstrong,
Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program; Isabella Lövin, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister for International Development Cooperation and
Climate, Sweden; Marcus Carson, SEI; Tom Arnbom, WWF Sweden; Pinsak Suraswadi, Marine and Coastal Resources Research Institute,
Thailand; and Liisa Rohweder, Secretary-General, WWF Finland


Liisa Rohweder
, Secretary-General, WWF Finland, spoke on the
importance of implementation, explaining that WWF is starting to
monitor progress.


Isabella Lövin
, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for International
Development Cooperation and Climate, Sweden, underscored the
importance of strengthening resilience, noting that this was a priority for
the Arctic Council.


Pinsak Suraswadi
, Director, Marine and Coastal Resources Research
Institute, Thailand, said noted that climate change is already having
effects, quipping that his country now only knows two seasons: “hot and
very hot.”


Marcus Carson
, SEI, highlighted important findings from the Arctic
Resilience Report, including the risk of passing thresholds for non-linear
change.

View of the audience attending the event
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Engaging the Private Sector in SDG14 – The Seafood Business for Ocean (SeaBOS) Stewardship Initiative
Presented by Stockholm Resilience Centre

This event, moderated by Meg Caldwell, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, discussed efforts by companies in “SeaBOS,” a science-based sustainability initiative involving nine of the world’s largest seafood companies.

In her opening remarks, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, drew an analogy between forest fires and damage to the Ocean, urging all stakeholders to act for the Ocean as if they were fighting a forest fire.

Henrik Österblom, Stockholm Resilience Centre, spoke about the methodology behind the SeaBOS initiative. He highlighted work to identify keys actors in the seafood industry, stressing that the 13 main companies account for up to 16% of global catches and harvest up to 40% of the most valuable stocks. He said the priorities of the dialogue with industry were to connect: science with business; fisheries with aquaculture; and seafood industries around the world.

Knut Nesse, CEO, Nutreco and Chairman, SeaBOS, stressed that seafood plays an important role in food production and in rural development but faces challenges such as depleted stocks or antibiotics overuse in aquaculture. He mentioned four taskforces in SeaBOS on: eliminating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fisheries; traceability; regulation; and strategy and governance. He also urged for more collaboration with governments on these issues.

Darian McBain, Thai Union, via video message, underscored how SeaBOS could stimulate global seafood industry collaboration for achieving SDG 14 and said that the most pressing issues were traceability, the status of some stocks, and human rights in fisheries.

Johán H. Williams, Norway, stessed the need for national governments to develop strong partnerships with the seafood industry in order to achieve sustainability. He gave the example of Norway, explaining that the seafood industry relies on sound management, science, technology, regulation, finance and marketing.

Isabella Lövin, Minister for International Development and Climate and Deputy Prime Minister, Sweden, said the SeaBOS initiative is a concrete way to link science with real action. Recognizing the strong link between SDGs 14 and 12 (on sustainable consumption and production), she stressed the importance of the consumer’s perspective, which brings change by allowing credit to responsible industries.

In the ensuing discussion, participants discussed, inter alia: effective ways to communicate with the industry; the importance of transparency; antimicrobial resistance in aquaculture; the importance of NGOs on alerting consumers; IUU regulation under the International Maritime Organization; and the absence of some major players in the FAO Port State Measures Agreement.


Panel (L-R): Henrik Österblom, Stockholm Resilience Centre; Knut Nesse, CEO of Nutreco and Chairman of SeaBOS; and Johán Williams, Norway


Knut Nesse
, CEO of Nutreco and Chairman of SeaBOS, highlighted the
opportunities for the seafood industry to become more sustainable
through the SeaBOS initiative

Meg Caldwell
, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, asked the
participants about the importance of transparency in the seafood sector.



Darian McBain, Thai Union, via video message, said SeaBOS is influencing the whole industry,
regulators, and the way seafood is consumed.



View of the side event ‘Engaging the Private Sector in SDG 14 – The Seafood Business for Ocean (SeaBOS) Stewardship Initiative.’
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Polycentric Ocean and Coastal Governance to Accelerate the Implementation of SDGs
Presented by the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP), Equator Initiative and UNEP

This event, moderated by Tehmina Akhtar, SGP, discussed incorporating local ocean management actions into national and regional management frameworks, and developing and implementing local actions in alignment with regional and national priorities.

Adriana Dinu
, UNDP, highlighted a new SGP/Equator Initiative publication that provides ocean-related case studies on how local initiatives can help deliver global environmental benefits.

Sulan Chen, SGP, explained the concept of polycentric governance of complex economic systems and its relevance to Ocean governance. She explained how SGP has helped local communities to effectively participate in environmental governance over 20 years, and is now working on building connectivity between local efforts in Ocean governance.

Isabelle Vanderbeck, UNEP, discussed the GEF's five-year Integrating Water, Land and Ecosystem Management in Caribbean SIDS (IWECO) multi-focal area project that tries to tie together work on international waters, land degradation, biodiversity and sustainable forest management. She explained that part of what IWECO is trying to achieve is linking government- and community-led actions.

Christopher Paterson, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), explained SEAFDEC's role, assisted by the GEF, in supporting the implementation of the Strategic Action Programme for the marine and coastal environment of the South China Sea. He explained that partnerships with SGP help governments with local implementation.

Stephen Adrian Ross, Executive Director, PEMSEA, explained PEMSEA's work over 20 years to link national and local governments in implementing the integrated coastal management concept in East Asian coastlines. He explained that 17% of East Asian coastlines are currently covered by integrated coastal management, with the goals of achieving 20% by 2025.

Laverne Walker, UNDP/GEF CLME+ Project, explained that the project covers large marine ecosystems in the Caribbean and North Brazil shelf involving 4.4 million km2 and over 35 states and territories. She discussed current CLME+ efforts, with SGP help, to engage civil society organizations in the area in “interactive governance,” in support of implementing the Strategic Action Plan underpinning the project.

Budi Setiawan, Founder, Kelompok Peduli Lingkungan Belitung, Indonesia, explained how his organization, with SGP help, worked to promote community management of local coral reefs, mangroves, fishing zones and tropical forests.

Yoko Watanabe, Global Manager, SGP, said these examples show how SGP can play a catalytic role in engaging communities to help achieve larger goals in protecting oceans, and suggested the experience can be replicated and used in other areas, such as landscape management. She closed the session by quoting Mark Zuckerberg, “change starts local, and even global change starts small.”


L-R: Yoko Watanabe, Global Manager, SGP; Adriana Dinu, UNDP; and Tehmina Akhtar, Deputy Global Manager, SGP


Adriana Dinu
, UNDP, highlighted a new SGP/Equator Initiative
publication that provides ocean-related case studies on how local
initiatives can help deliver global environmental benefits.

Yoko Watanabe
, Global Manager, SGP, said SGP can play a catalytic
role in engaging communities to help achieve larger goals in protecting
oceans.

Stephen Adrian Ross
, Executive Director, PEMSEA, explained
PEMSEA's work to link national and local governments in implementing
the integrated coastal management (ICM) concept in East Asian coastlines.

Budi Setiawan
, Founder, Kelompok Peduli Lingkungan Belitung,
Indonesia, explained how his organization, with SGP help, worked to
promote community management of local coral reefs, mangroves, fishing
zones and tropical forests.


L-R: Budi Setiawan, Founder, Kelompok Peduli Lingkungan Belitung,
Indonesia; Stephen Adrian Ross, Executive Director, PEMSEA; and
Christopher Paterson, SEAFDEC

L-R: Sulan Chen, SGP; Laverne Walker, UNDP/GEF CLME+
Project; and Isabelle Vanderbeck, UNEP

View of the side event on Polycentric Ocean and Coastal Governance to Accelerate the Implementation of SDGs.
Contacts:
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Daily Web CoverageAbout | 5 Jun | 6 Jun | 7 Jun | 8 Jun | 9 Jun | Summary

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the Side (ENBOTS) © enb@iisd.org is a special publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). This issue has been written by Gillian Nelson, Ph.D., Ana-Maria Lebădă, Keith Ripley, and Jean-Christophe Vandevelde, Ph.D. The Digital Editors are Francis Dejon and Brad Vincelette. The Editor is Kate Helfenstein-Louw Kate@iisd.org. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI kimo@iisd.org. ENBOTS is published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development. The Sustaining Donors of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are the European Union (EU) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. General Support for the Earth Negotiations Bulletin during 2017 is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Switzerland (Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), and SWAN International. Specific funding for coverage of the Ocean Conference has been provided by the EU, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. Funding for translation of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin 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). The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at kimo@iisd.org, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11D, New York, NY 10022 USA. The ENBOTS Team at the Ocean Conference can be contacted by e-mail at: gillian@iisd.org.