Oceans Action Day

11 November 2017 | Bonn, Germany

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Peter Thomson, Fiji, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean and President of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly, speaks during the closing plenary

Oceans Action Day took place on 11 November 2017, in Bonn, Germany, on the sidelines of the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

It was organized by the: Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO); Global Ocean Forum; Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO); International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Ocean and Climate Platform; Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan; and Oceano Azul Foundation/Oceanário de Lisboa, Portugal, in collaboration with Conservation International; Future Ocean Alliance; Government of Chile; Government of Grenada; Government of Seychelles; Plymouth Marine Laboratory; International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; ROCA Initiative; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; and The Nature Conservancy.

Participants at Oceans Action Day heard addresses from Tommy Remengesau, President of Palau, and Enele Sopoaga, Prime Minister of Tuvalu.

Other high-level delegates also addressed Oceans Action Day. These included: Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs, and Fisheries; Inia Seruiratu, Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Fiji; and Peter Thomson, Fiji, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean and President of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly.

The event highlighted progress on the most pressing topics in relation to oceans and climate change, and reflected on the diverse efforts of the ocean community to identify and implement swift solutions. Participants heard lessons learned, examples, and best practices for replicating and transferring successful experiences on a multitude of ocean-related topics including: ecosystem-based management; scientific research; fisheries and aquaculture; blue carbon; migration; risk management; and financial mechanisms.

At the end of the closing session, representatives from the UK, Finland, Honduras and Romania proceeded to sign the “Because the Ocean” declaration: towards ocean-related NDCs, joining 28 other signatories supporting the inclusion Oceans in NDCs

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, provided web and video coverage from Oceans Action Day. In addition, IISD Reporting Services has published a summary report from this event in HTML and PDF.

Photos by IISD/ENB | Herman Njoroge Chege
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Opening Plenary

L-R: Biliana Cicin-Sain, President, Global Ocean Forum, and Roadmap to Oceans and Climate Action (ROCA) Initiatiave; Inia Seruiratu, Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Fiji, High-Level Champion for Climate Change Action; Rene Castro Salazar, Assistant Director General of FAO; and Karmenu Vella, European Commission;

Ronald Jumeau, Ambassador and
Permanent Representative of Seychelles to
the United Nations


Jochen Flashbarth, State Secretary, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany

Arif Havas Oegroseno, Indonesia

Matti Nummelin, Finland


Taholo Kami, COP 23 Presidency Secretariat

Laura Tuck, World Bank


Julio Cordano, Chile

Eric Banel, President, Ocean and Climate Platform


Inia Seruiratu, Fiji, interacts with participants

Science and Oceans: IPCC Report and Other

L-R: Margareth S. Copertino, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG); Hans-Otto Pörtner, Alfred Wegener Institute; Suchana Chavanich, Thailand; Carol Turley, Plymouth Marine Laboratory; Françoise Gaill, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique; Vladimir Ryabinin, UNESCO; Lisa Levin, Distinguished Professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Phillip Williamson, University of East Anglia; and Jay Manning, International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification.

Carol Turley, Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Suchana Chavanich, Thailand



Lisa Levin, Distinguished Professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Françoise Gaill, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France

Phillip Williamson, University of East Anglia

A view of the room during the event

Building Climate Resilience for Fisheries and

L-R: Manuel Barange, FAO; Oumar Guèye, Senegal, Italy; Sylvie Goyet, Secretariat of the Pacific Community; Gabriella Bianchi, Norwegian Institute of Marine Research; Ernesto Peñas-Lado, European Commission; Angus Garrett, Seafish; and Yogi Yanuar, Indonesia

Manuel Barange, FAO

Ernesto Peñas-Lado, European Commission


Ocean Energy and Offshore Renewable Energy
Technologies as Enablers of Environmental/Economic
Development of SIDS

L-R: Dolf Gielen, IRENA; Cristelle Pratt, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat; Rémi Gruet, Ocean Energy Europe; Roland Roesch, IRENA; Berend Jan Kleute, Bluerise; and Thomas Siebenbrunner, Swimsol GmbH

Dolf Gielen, IRENA

Rémi Gruet, Ocean Energy Europe

Roland Roesch, IRENA

Participants during the event

Blue Carbon

Dorothée Herr, IUCN, speaks during the Blue Carbon event

Dorothée Herr, IUCN

Joshua Wycliffe, Fiji


Accessing Financial Resources and Mobilizing
Financial Institutions

L-R: Karin Kemper, World Bank; Alastair Morrison, Green Climate Fund; Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank; Torsten Thiele, Global Ocean Trust; Manuel Barange, FAO; Tiago Pitta e Cunha, Oceano Azul Foundation; Amedi Camara, Mauritania; and Peter Gilmer, Planet:Tech

Participants during the event

Karin Kemper, World Bank

Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank


Ecosystem-Based Adaptation in Ocean and Coastal

L-R: Inger Andersen, IUCN; Chu Van Chuong, Vietnam; Abdullahi Majeed, Government of Maldives; Jan Szysko, Minister of Environment, Poland; Adérito Santana, Government of São Tomé and Príncipe; Isabel Torres de Noronha, Executive Secretary,
Future Ocean Alliance; Kedrick D. Pickering, British Virgin Islands; Arlindo Ceita de Carvalho, Government of São
Tomé and Principe; Manuel Barange, FAO; and Peter Ricketts, Acadia University

Participants during the event


Chu Van Chuong, Viet Nam


Arlindo Ceita de Carvalho, São
Tomé and Principe



Migration and Displacement: Risk Reduction and

Members of the panel on migration and displacement

Closing Plenary

L-R: Tommy Remengesau, President, Republic of Palau; Ronald Jumeau, Seychelles; Peter Thomson, Fiji; Biliana Cicin-Sain, Global Ocean Forum; and Manuel Barange, FAO

Anote Tong, Former President of Kiribati


Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., President,
Republic of Palau

Thérèse Coffey, Department for Environment,
Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), UK

Oumar Guèye, Senegal



Manuel Barange, FAO

João Mira Gomes, Ambassador of Portugal
in Berlin


Jay Inslee, Governor, Washington State, US

Eva Svedling, Sweden


Atsushi Sunami, President, Ocean Policy
Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation

Philippe Vallette, Director General, World Ocean Network

Signing of the “Because the Ocean" declaration

Representative from Honduras after signing the “Because the Ocean” declaration

Representative from Romania after signing the “Because the Ocean" declaration

Specific funding for coverage of Oceans Action Day has been provided by FAO