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2nd Meeting of the Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) Global Dialogue with Regional Seas Organizations and Regional Fishery Bodies on Accelerating Progress Towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and Sustainable Development Goals

10-13 April 2018 | Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Jihyun Lee, CBD, and Co-chairs Dixon Waruinge, Nairobi Convention and Stefán Ásmundsson, Government of Iceland

Joon-Suk Kang, Vice Minister, Oceans and Fisheries, Republic of Korea, opened the 2nd Meeting of the SOI Global Dialogue


Highlights for Friday, 13 April 2018

SOI On Friday morning, 17 organizations participated in the Partnership Networking Café. This unique networking event provided space to: share experiences and expertise in an informal setting; identify opportunities for future collaborations; and foster dialogue among RSOs and RFBs.

Jihyun Lee, CBD, presented the draft summary of the Seoul Outcome Plus +2, inviting feedback over the coming week. She applauded participants’ willingness to dive into more concrete issues over the course of the meeting as a way to further enhance cross-sectoral collaboration at the regional scale.

Key points of the draft Outcome include, inter alia:

  • although regions may vary in their political, economic, geographic, social and environmental characteristics, their experiences and lessons may still be transferable and applicable to other regions;
  • the lack of adequate financial and human resources hinders expansion of cross-sectoral regional collaborative activities;
  • cross-sectoral cooperation can enhance: application of the ecosystem approach/ecosystem-based management; effectiveness of area-based management tools; preventing, reducing and mitigating the impacts of pollution, including marine debris; and monitoring and data/information sharing;
  • many regional organizations are in process of integrating approaches and activities with a broader ecosystem focus, subject to respective mandates;
  • participants appreciate the exchange of experiences, progress, challenges, practices and knowledge;
  • development of roadmap elements elucidates possible ways and means to put the “Seoul Outcomes” into concrete practice; and
  • participants requested the CBD Secretariat, UNEP and FAO to help engage financial and technical partnerships with interested donors.

Before the close of the meeting, several participants joined Co-Chairs Stefán Ásmundsson and Dixon Waruinge in expressing gratitude to the meeting’s organizers and funders, noting overall satisfaction with the 2nd SOI Global Dialogue.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, provided daily digital coverage and a summary report from the 2nd Meeting of the Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) Global Dialogue with Regional Seas Organizations and Regional Fishery Bodies on Accelerating Progress Toward the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and Sustainable Development Goals. Our summary report is available in HTML or PDF format.

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Hyeseon Do, EAAFP; Youngdawng Moh, MABIK; and Eunoak Kim, MABIK

Connie Donato-Hunt, SPC, and Rachael Scrimgeour, UNEP-WCMC


Participants prepare at the venue

Materials at the venue


Co-chair Dixon Waruinge, Nairobi Convention, and Mathias Igulu, WIOMSA

Minshil Lee, EAAFP


Joyce Leslie, WECAFC, and Marie-May Muzungaile, Seychelles

Abou Bamba, Abidjan Convention, and Rachael Scrimgeour, UNEP-WCMC


Participants pose with a draft of the Seoul Outcome Plus +2 at the conclusion of the 2nd SOI Global Dialogue


L-R: Changsung Lim, Joseph Appiott, and Jihyun Lee, CBD; and Co-chairs Dixon Waruinge, Nairobi Convention, and Stefán Ásmundsson, Government of Iceland


Participants from Korean organizations are thanked

Rajdeep Mukherjee, BOBP-IGO


Support staff at the venue

Participants prepare for the day


Highlights for Thursday, 12 April 2018

On Thursday, with a view to contributing specific, concrete input to an outcome document for the 2nd Global Dialogue, participants met in regional break-out groups. In the morning, following an overview presentation, they worked to identify elements of a roadmap for enhancing regional-scale dialogue, partnerships, cooperation and collaboration. The groups reported feedback on:

  • regional views for a common vision;
  • associated milestones and pathways;
  • thematic issues;
  • key actors and their roles;
  • potential collaborative activities;
  • modalities to engage players; and
  • three-year priority actions to create enabling conditions.

On further enhancing inter-regional sharing of experiences through the SOI Global Dialogue, the introductory presentation highlighted the value of conducting alignment exercises to map out specific ways regional strategies can correlate with the Aichi Targets and SDGs. Discussions during the break-out groups focused on how to define and advance regional contributions to implementation of global goals. Groups reported feedback on:

  • regional examples of implementing and reporting;
  • how regional organizations support member state efforts to achieve targets;
  • potential value of regional organizations functioning as a platform for monitoring and reviewing achievement of global goals and targets; and
  • what inter-regional intersessional activities of the SOI Global Dialogue might look like.

Participant feedback was both specific and extensive. Recurrent comments noted that: many Regional Fishery Bodies activities may already support Aichi Targets and SDGs, but have not been through an alignment process; more reporting requirements won’t translate into better implementation of targets and goals; and intersessional work, facilitated by the CBD, could further communication and cooperation at regional levels.

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Ning Liu, North Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP)

Abou Bamba, Abidjan Convention


Wenxi Zhu, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO

Connie Donato-Hunt, SPC


Darius Campbell, NEAFC

Monika Stankiewicz, Executive Secretary, HELCOM


Patrick Debels, CLME+

Participants prepare their presentation for feedback to the plenary


Highlights for Wednesday, 11 April 2018

On Wednesday, participants at the 2nd SOI Global Dialogue focused on sharing lessons learned and case studies in addressing critical challenges and opportunities in regional-scale cooperation, under the theme “unlocking the potential for transformational change towards sustainability.”

Participants spent much of the day in break-out groups, discussing how cross-sectoral cooperation, at the regional or sub-regional level might:

  • enhance the application of the ecosystem approach and ecosystem-based management;
  • strengthen the effectiveness of area-based management tools;
  • prevent, reduce or mitigate pollution impacts, including marine debris; and
  • strengthen monitoring and data/information sharing to support scientific assessment of status and trends of marine biodiversity and fisheries resources.

Morning presentations provided insights on: developing an ecosystem framework approach in the North Atlantic region; the need for regional assessments in the Sargasso Sea; benefits of regional marine spatial planning in the Baltic Sea region; and use of maritime safety tools, such as identification of Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas, to advance protection of vulnerable areas.

In the afternoon, presentations covered: cross-sectoral data sharing and collaboration regarding the origin and composition of marine litter in the Pacific; legal instruments and incentives in the European Union to reduce marine litter; development of an ocean governance toolkit; and the use of “essential ocean variables” as a way to focus and standardize data collection efforts.

Some observations from the discussion groups made repeat appearances. On differences between RSOs and RFBs, participants highlighted disparate mandates for enforcement and management, and saw harmonizing data as an opportunity for enhanced collaboration. They also emphasized the need for capacity building and said that regional bodies could help build support for ecosystem-based approaches.

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Fred Kingston, NAFO

Kristina Gjerde, Sargasso Sea Commission


Helen Davies, UNEP

Barbara Neumann, IASS; Alistair Graham, WWF-International; Yoshinobu Takei, UN DESA


Co-chair Dixon Waruinge, Nairobi Convention

Carolina Hazin, BirdLife International


Barbara Neumann, IASS

Marie-May Muzungaile, Seychelles


Highlights for Tuesday, 10 April 2018

On Tuesday, nearly 100 participants gathered in Seoul, Republic of Korea, for the 2nd SOI Global Dialogue to review progress made since the first meeting and consider a path forward to accelerate progress on the Aichi Targets and Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.

Kang Joon-Suk, Vice Minister, Oceans and Fisheries, Republic of Korea, welcomed participants, highlighting the benefits to humanity provided by marine ecosystems and biodiversity. Jihyun Lee, CBD, introduced the meeting’s theme as unlocking potential for transformational change towards sustainability. Opening speakers underscored the need for coordinated regional action and ecosystem-based approaches, while recognizing different contexts, starting points and mandates.

Co-Chairs Dixon Waruinge, Nairobi Convention, and Stefán Ásmundsson, Government of Iceland, opened the plenary session on the meeting’s objectives. Key points included: 

  • the need to translate long-term thinking to short-term actions;
  • political commitments made at recent ocean-related conferences;
  • progress on a legally binding instrument on conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity; and 
  • work on the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development - a global framework to close knowledge gaps.

During the afternoon, panel presentations and discussions focused on cross-sectoral cooperation at the regional scale, inputs to relevant global processes, and initiatives to strengthen regional ocean governance. Panelists and participants shared experiences, and lessons learned through case studies. Recurrent themes included: 

  • the need for scientific assessments; 
  • development and monitoring of targets and indicators;
  • opportunities to build on existing collaborations and to harmonize and streamline strategies and policies; and 
  • securing and optimizing resources to facilitate implementation of SDGs and Aichi Targets.

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Participants make the Korean finger heart symbol during the group photo


Jihyun Lee, CBD

Joon-Suk Kang, Vice Minister, Oceans and Fisheries, Republic of Korea


Kosi Latu, SPREP


Panelists during the session

Takehiro Nakamura, UNEP


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Organization of this meeting is financially supported by the
Governments of the Republic of Korea, Japan, Sweden, and the European Union
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