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Sustainable Ocean Day: Ocean Voices

23 November 2018 | Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt

“Sustainable Ocean Day: Ocean Voices” was held on 23 November 2018 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on the sidelines of the fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 14) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

The event provided a unique forum for diverse ocean stakeholders and partners to share stories conveying a range of “voices,” such as those of coral reefs, mangroves/seagrass, deep-sea habitats, marine mammals/migratory species and fish, together with the voice of ocean peoples whose life is closely inter-connected with marine and coastal biodiversity.

Different ocean stakeholders represented these voices and delivered their stories in non-conventional formats, such as virtual reality, film, poetry, music and performances to inspire delegates bold action on ocean conservation.

The event also provided an opportunity for different actors to share experiences that address the challenges facing marine and coastal biodiversity. In this regard, a digital platform was also established to capture different ocean voices around the world and highlight information, experiences and lessons learned, with a view to creating an alliance of “Ocean Voices” to inform the process for the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

This one-day event was convened by the CBD Secretariat, with financial support from the Government of Republic of Korea, the Government of Sweden, the European Union, and the French Agency for Biodiversity, in collaboration with various international partners The informal gathering brought together around 150 delegates from multiple backgrounds.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, has provided web coverage and a briefing note from the Sustainable Ocean Day.

Photos by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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Opening Session
Delegates gather for the opening of the Sustainable Ocean Day
Moderator Joseph Appiott, CBD Secretariat
Alexander Shestakov, CBD Secretariat
Peter Thomson, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean
Hoon-geun Kim, Republic of Korea
Moustafa Fouda, Minister Advisor on Biodiversity, Egypt
Cyrille Barnerias, French Agency for Biodiversity
Jihyun Lee, Coordinator for Marine and Coastal Biodiversity, CBD Secretariat
Voices of Coral Reefs
Participants play an interactive game show on biology, ecosystem services, threats, and interventions in relation to coral reefs
Susan Lieberman, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
Rowenna Trevellyan, The Ocean Agency, and Claire Rumsey, International Coral Reef Initiative
Participants during the game
Members of the audience participate in the game
Voices from the Deep Sea
David Johnson, the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative, dressed as an acorn worm, invites participants to jump on board his submarine to explore the deep sea
John Ruthven, Producer of the Blue Planet
David Johnson, the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative
Diva Amon, Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative
Xavier Sticker, Ambassador for the Environment, and Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, France
Creatures from the deep sea
Voices from Marine Mammals/Migratory Species
Carolina Hazin, BirdLife International, dressed as 'Shirley, a Cory's Shearwater,' invites participants to 'take flight' in understanding migratory species
David Johnson, the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative, dressed as a hammerhead shark
Participants watch a mockumentary about the migratory path of a plastic bag
Daniela Diz, World Wildlife Fund, dressed as a manta ray
Carolina Hazin, BirdLife International
Participants play an interactive game demonstrating how migratory species are impacted by shipping routes, fishing activities, and plastic pollution
As fishing vessels travel across the ocean, migratory birds are trapped by hooks and fishing nets, leading to their death
Plastic debris collecting in the ocean poses a serious threat to marine animals
A manta ray finds safety in a marine protected area
Voices of Fish
Kim Friedman, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO)
Jake Rice, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Kate Brown, Global Island Partnership (GLISPA)
Hagi Yulia Sugeha, Research Center for Oceanography-Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Indonesia
Voices of Mangroves/Seagrass
Mae Bruton Adams, The Nature Conservancy – Pacific
Tamara Thomas, The Nature Conservancy
Lilian Mwihaki, Kenyan Marine and Fisheries Institute
Voices of Ocean People
A song about a sea sponge for children from the Arctic
Vivienne Solís Rivera, CoopeSoliDar R.L, ICCA Consortium and International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF)
Sanda Anjara Rakotomalala and Henri Rakotoson Tafo Mihaavo, Madagascar
Participants from islands around the world
Closing Session
Humberto Delgado Rosa, European Commission
Alain de Comarmond, Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Seychelles
Tomas Anker Christensen, Chief Advisor to the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for the Ocean
Vera Agostini, FAO
Purificació Canals, Network of Mediterranean Marine Protected Area Managers (MedPAN)
Cristiana Pașca Palmer, CBD Executive Secretary
Delegates give Jihyun Lee, Coordinator for Marine and Coastal Biodiversity, CBD Secretariat, a standing ovation

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