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Third Global Conference on
Oceans, Coasts and Islands
Moving the Global Oceans Agenda Forward

UNESCO, Paris | January 24-27, 2006

Paris Welcomes Global Oceans Conference

On Tuesday, participants convened for the conference opening, followed by panels on operationalizing ecosystem-based management, best practices in sustainable development across ocean industry sectors, and progress on major WSSD targets and MDGs on oceans and coasts. Special presentations were also made on the global oceans agenda, focusing on strategic perspectives, mobilizing public support, and the way forward. Above: participants confer prior to the opening of the conference.

Tuesday, 24 January
Conference Opening

On behalf of Patricio Bernal, Executive Secretary, UNESCO International Oceanographic Commission (IOC), Umit Unluata, IOC, welcomed participants to the meeting.

Nelly Olin, French Minister for Environment, called for adopting integrated management strategies and a partnership approach in order to enhance marine governance.

Biliana Cicin-Sain, Co-Chair and Head of the Secretariat, Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts and Islands, encouraged participants to be candid in exposing current problems, find creative solutions, and focus on shared issues.

Veerle Vandeweerd, Director, UNEP Regional Seas Programme, urged delegates to review the WSSD targets in detail, engage in multi-stakeholder partnerships, and identify the economic and environmental costs of inaction.

Manuel Lobo Antunez, Portuguese Secretary for National Defense and Maritime Affairs, urged delegates to build upon the conclusions of the 2005 Lisbon Ocean Policy Summit by adopting an ambitious, integrated and multi-faceted approach.
Panel 1: Status of Oceans and Coastal Ecosystems and Peoples; Operationalizing Ecosystem-Based Management

Ellen Pikitch, Pew Institute for Ocean Science, introduced the Report on the UN Millennium Project and listed the obstacles to and recommendations for achievement of environmental sustainability.

Al Duda, Senior Advisor, International Waters, GEF, outlined GEF support at different scales for large marine ecosystems (LMEs).

On benefiting people and coastal communities through ecosystem management, Indumathie Hewawasam, World Bank, stressed that if ecosystems are managed wisely, pro-poor growth and poverty reduction are possible.

Awni Behnam, International Ocean Institute (IOI), argued that a partnership approach, including all stakeholders and emphasizing information sharing, is essential to the proper enforcement and implementation of oceans, coasts and islands conventions.

Hamid Ghaffarzadeh, Project Manager, Caspian Environment Programme, said the ecosystem approach should include socioeconomic considerations, including emphasis on the cost of environmental degradation.

Salif Diop, UNEP, elaborated on the work of, and challenges faced by, the steering committee of the Global Marine Assessment.
Special Presentation: The Public and the Oceans: A Long-Term Strategy for Mobilizing Public Support for the Global Oceans Agenda
Philippe Vallette, French National Sea Experience Centre NAUSICAA, and the World Ocean Network, presented the Network's long-term strategy for mobilizing public support for the global oceans agenda. He highlighted field actions, including the World Oceans Day, an upcoming NAUSICAA meeting, and awareness raising campaigns.
Panel 2: Ocean Industries: Best Practices in Sustainable Development Across the Sectors

Panel Chair Paul Holthus, Executive Director, Marine Aquarium Council and Coordinator of the Global Forum's Business and Ocean Industries Roundtable, said sustainability requires the proactive involvement of business and industry leaders, and stressed the importance of partnerships and economic considerations.

Tim Wilkins, INTERTANKO, highlighted the efforts of the tanker industry to improve its compliance with international environmental standards.

Dierk Peters, UNILEVER, said his company is emphasizing the sustainability of its raw material fish supply to protect its long term position in the market.

Arthur Bogason, Co-Chair, World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fish Workers, highlighted the plight of small scale fishermen.

John Connelly, President, National Fisheries Institute and International Coalition of Fishing Organizations, noted the global importance of seafood as a source of protein.

Mark Caney, President, Professional Association of Diving Instructors Europe, highlighted the size of the recreational diving industry in Europe, and outlined activities undertaken under the AWARE project involving shark and reef protection, and beach and underwater cleanups.

Noting the significant introduction of invasive species through ballast water, Jose Matheickal, International Maritime Organization (IMO), elaborated on the GEF/UNDP/IMO Global Ballast Water Management Programme.
Special Presentations: Strategic Perspectives on the Global Oceans Agenda
Annick de Marffy, Former Director, UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, indicated that almost 30 States are entitled to claim an extended continental shelf but have not done so, and that over 100 maritime boundaries are still to be negotiated. She underlined the difficulty that many States encounter in implementing the multiple norms governing the use of the oceans and called for progress in, inter alia: the enforcement of existing rules; teaching and training; research; cooperation and coordination; political involvement; and good governance. She recommended looking into the creation of an institution that would supervise and centralize all aspects of ocean affairs.
Special Presentation: The Way Forward on Advancing the Global Oceans Agenda
Lori Ridgeway, Director-General, International Coordination and Policy Analysis, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada, stressed the multidimensional nature of ocean affairs and called for: enhancing implementation; balancing sustainable use with conservation; increasing cooperation; and creating a system of capacity building and assistance. Ridgeway urged focusing on "that which needs protecting," addressing the role of incentives and tackling disincentives to oceans stewardship and international cooperation.
Panel 3: Progress on Major WSSD Targets and MDGs on Oceans and Coasts

Chair David Freestone, Deputy General Counsel, Advisory Services, World Bank, explained that the panel would deal with four areas: integrated ocean and coastal management; fisheries; conservation of biodiversity and regional cooperation.

On integrated ocean and coastal management, Paul Nemitz, Deputy Head of the Maritime Task Force, EU, detailed progress regarding an integrated maritime policy EU Green Paper, expected to be published in May 2006.

Jean-Didier Hache, Executive Secretary, Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR), expressed concen about the effects of climate change, which will have particular impact on the CPMR's members.

Won-Tae Shin, Deputy Director, Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Republic of Korea, detailed progress made towards implementing WSSD goals since 2002.

Focusing on African fisheries, Magnus Ngoile, Tanzanian National Environment Management Council, called for harmonization of fisheries management processes at all levels.

On the WSSD Fisheries goal, Serge Garcia, Director, FAO Fishery Resource Division, said the ecosystem approach calls for sectoral integration and needs to be embedded in national policies.

Presenting the World Bank's Global Programme on Sustainable Fisheries (PROFISH), Marea Hatziolos, Senior Coastal and Marine Specialist, World Bank Environment Department, explained that PROFISH is a Bank-led global partnership, with multi-donor support and partners.

Alistair Graham, Marine Programme, WWF, underlined the need for a global oversight of regional arrangements for greater accountability and uniformity of norms.

Barbara Hanchard, Project Coordinator, GEF UNDP Oceanic Fisheries Management Project (Pacific), presented on the Western and Central Pacific tuna fishery, the most important source of world tuna supply.

On conversion of biodiversity and networks of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) as WSSD goals, Marjo Vierros, CBD Secretariat, highlighted the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment's conclusion that unprecedented additional action is needed to achieve the CBD's target to significantly reduce the current rate of biodiversity loss by 2010.

Nguyen Viet Thang, Vice Minister of Fisheries, Vietnam, reported progress on a national master plan for an MPA system

On the WSSD and MDG goals of regional cooperation, Chua Thia-Eng, Regional Programme Director, GEF-UNDP-IMO, Partnership in Environmental Management of the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), stressed the importance of improving regional cooperation through intergovernmental, inter-agency and multi-sectoral integration.

Mara Warwick, Senior urban Environmental Specialist, World Bank, detailed how the World Bank/GEF Strategic Partnership for East Asia allows financiers and technical experts to propose and critique innovative approaches to marine conservation, and facilitates the establishment of common monitoring systems and evaluation techniques.

Michael O'Toole, Chief Technical Advisor, GEF UNDP Benguela Current LME Programme, listed the extreme events affecting Benguela and the actions taken by his Programme, including developing an early warning system, assessing links between extreme weather events and climate change and creating MPAs.

Ellik Adler, Regional Seas Coordinator, UNEP, explained that the WSSD allowed revitalizing its Regional Seas Programme (RSP). He detailed outcomes of the RSP, including the achievement of global coverage, the adoption of regional conventions and protocols covering oil spill response, ocean dumping, pollution from land-based activities, and other issues.
Around the Conference
Throughout the day, participants asked panel members to further expand on their remarks.

Willie John and John Low of the Cook Islands were among the numerous participants in attendance from Small Island Developing States.

Related Links

Conference Web Site
Preliminary Detailed Program
Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts and Islands
SIDS Mauritius 2005
Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands, 2003
Global Conference on Oceans and Coasts at Rio+10, 2001
Center for Marine Policy, University of Delaware
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
UNEP GPA Coordination Office
Small Island Developing States Network (SIDSnet)