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

UNESCO, Paris | January 24-27, 2006

Oceans Discussions Continue in Paris

On Wednesday, participants in the Third Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands heard from expert panels on linking freshwater to oceans, implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the 2004 tsunami disaster and disaster preparedness, and African perspectives on linking national and regional efforts in ocean and coastal management. A special presentation on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing was made by Ben Bradshaw, UK member of parliament and Under-Secretary to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. In the late afternoon, participants met in concurrent dialogue sessions on: fisheries; biodiversity and Marine Protected Area (MPA) networks; the Global Marine Assessment (GMA) and UN coordination; the Global Plan of Action (GPA)and Integrated Water Resource Management; ocean and coastal management in SIDS; and regional cooperation in ecosystem management and integrated management of oceans and coasts. Above: participants listen attentively to a panel of experts.

Wednesday, 25 January
Panel 4: Linking Freshwater to Oceans (WSSD Goals)

Co-Chair Al Duda, International Waters, GEF, introduced the panel and outlined its objectives.

Margaret Catley-Carlson, Chair, Global Water Partnership, emphasized that human, social and political aspects are as important as science in achieving sustainable management.

Peter Bridgewater, Secretary General, Ramsar Convention on wetlands, indicated that over a third of all Ramsar sites are coastal or marine.

Erik Llandikov, Vice Minister, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Republic of Kazakhstan, listed the environmental threats faced by the Caspian region and the remedial actions taken by his country.

Porfirio Alvarez-Torres, on behalf of Antonio Diaz de Leon, Director-General for Environmental Policy Regional and Sectoral Integration, Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, reported on a freshwater-coastal-marine management interlinkages workshop held in Mexico City in January 2006.

Veerle Vandeweerd, Head, UNEP Regional Seas Programme, and Coordinator, UNEP-GPA, elaborated on GPA objectives and actions in preparation for GPA's second intergovernmental meeting, to be held in Beijing, China, in October 2006.

Ivan Zavadsky, Regional Programme Director, GEF-Danube Black Sea Basin Strategic Partnership, noted that the region's environmental degradation has led to reduced biodiversity and economic loss.

Shammy Puri, UNEP-DGEF Task Manager 'Groundwaters' and Liaison Officer to UNESCO-IHP, elaborated on the long-term and irreversible dangers that polluted terrestrial aquifers pose to coastal regions.
Panel 5: Implementation of the Mauritious Strategy for SIDS (WSSD Goal)

Panel Chair Ambassador Jagdish Koonjul, Mauritius Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and outgoing Chair, Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), highlighted progress in implementing the Mauritius Strategy and identified challenges, including funding, monitoring, capacity building and cooperation between SIDS.

Willie John, Chief Executive Officer, Cook Islands, pledged his country's commitment to the Barbados Plan of Action and the Mauritius Strategy, highlighting the successful conservation of natural resources and associated traditional knowledge and the development of a national environmental strategic action framework.

Fernando Trinidade, on behalf of Celestino Andrade, Ministry of Environment, São Tomé and Principe, emphasized his country's vulnerability to pollution from land-based activities, noted regional cooperation, and said a national LME project had been prepared as part of a national action plan under the GPA.

Rolph Payet, Director, Ministry of the Environment, Seychelles, underscored the fact that SIDS require assistance to submit their maritime delimitations as provided under UNCLOS.

Vincent Sweeney, Executive Director, Caribbean Environmental Health Institute, St. Lucia, outlined the domestic waste management situation and listed recent improvements, including: stronger legal and institutional backing; the construction of sanitary landfill sites; and increased recycling and public awareness.

Nelson Andrade, Director, UNEP Caribbean Programme, UNEP/UNDP/GEF Programme on Integrated Water and Coastal Area Management (IWCAM) for SIDS, presented the objective and components of the IWCAM.

Dominique Benzaken, Coastal Management Adviser, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, argued that in order to achieve healthy oceans and sustainable livelihoods in the Pacific, the Pacific Islands Regional Oceans Policy (PIROP) requires prompt implementation.

Enele Sopoaga, Permanent Representative of the Mission of Tuvalu to the UN, called on States and international organizations to recognize the special vulnerabilities of SIDS.

Marina Silva, GEF consultant, urged Atlantic SIDS to identify priority actions to implement the Barbados Plan of Action (BPOA). She acknowledged Cape Verde's offer to become a focal point for the BPOA and stressed the importance of linguistic diversity to increase local involvement.
Special Presentation: Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing
Ben Bradshaw, Parliamentary Secretary UK Department for Food Environment and Rural Affairs, called for practical steps to improve marine governance and unite fisheries and conservation interests. Advocating effective prohibitions on deep sea bottom trawling and an increased level of ratification of the UN Fish Stocks Agreement, he outlined the adverse effects of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Summarizing an upcoming report by the Ministerial Task Force on IUU fishing, he stressed the need to develop a global partnership to tackle IUU fishing in order to: increase the exposure of IUU operations and make them uneconomic; improve governance; strengthen monitoring, control and information systems; adopt widespread port State measures; and heighten Regional Fisheries Management Organization performance. He called for an emphasis on assistance to developing countries.
Panel 6: The Tsunami Disaster and Disaster Preparedness

Panel Co-Chair William Brennan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, commended the IOC, the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) and regional organizations for coordinating and developing regional tsunami early warning systems and called for increased focus on multi-hazard warning systems.

Panel Co-Chair François Schindelé, on behalf of Patricio Bernal, Executive Secretary, IOC, elaborated on the five regional early warning systems, either currently in place or under development.

Maitree Duangsawasdi, Director-General, Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, Thailand, outlined reconstruction efforts following the December 2004 tsunami, including the creation of a national disaster relief center to coordinate monitoring and awareness programmes.

Franklin McDonald, Adviser, UNEP, former Director, Jamaican National Environment and Planning Agency, and former Project Manager, Pan-Caribbean Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Project, stressed that the region faces other forms of coastal inundation, and outlined the region's long history of tsunamis.

Russell Arthurton, Consultant, Coastal Geoscience, and formerly British Geological Survey, said risk assessment should take into account: the incidence of hazard events at local to regional levels; the susceptibility of specific coasts to inundation; and the vulnerability of coastal populations.

Lahsen Ababouch, Chairman, FAO Fisheries Tsunami Task Force, outlined FAO's activities in restoring fisheries and livelihoods in the countries affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami, and challenges faced.

Stefano Tinti, Chair, Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami Early Warning and Monitoring System in the North Eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and Connected Seas (ICG/NEAMTWS), explained his Group was established in June 2005 by the IOC to create a plan of action by December 2006.
Panel 7: Linking National and Regional Efforts in Ocean and Coastal Management: African Perspectives

Panel Chair Magnus Ngoile, National Environment Management Council, Tanzania, drew attention to the variety of present and future national and regional oceans and coasts projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and stressed the importance of building upon, and achieving synergy between them.

Albert Owusu-Sarpong, Ambassador of Ghana to France, highlighted the rapid degradation of vulnerable coastal and offshore habitats due to local sources of pollution, which is exacerbated by regional oil spills.

Aristides Ocante da Silva, Minister of Natural Resources, Guinea Bissau, highlighted domestic activities to improve oceans management, including: creating and managing new MPAs; improving maritime surveillance systems; and carrying out research on erosion.

Joseph Konzolo Munyao, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development, Kenya, explained that African countries' international debts fetter their ability to achieve the MDGs and WSSD targets.

Outlining actions taken in the context of the Eastern Africa Regional Seas Programme, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, South African Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, said the main challenge lies in developing adequate legal frameworks and policies.

Victor Manuel Borges, Deputy Minister of Fisheries, Mozambique, outlined national marine and coastal management initiatives, including the development of a legal and institutional framework, and the establishment of MPAs. Addressing regional projects, he highlighted monitoring, control and surveillance initiatives as well as fisheries cooperation protocols.

Thierno Lô, Minister of Environment and Natural Protection, Senegal, underscored his country's support for the African Process for the NEPAD/Environment Action Plan and detailed Senagal's involvement in coastal programmes.

Rahma Mshangama, Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Cooperatives, Tanzania, explained that a lack of funding and expertise hampers poverty reduction through the sustainable use of natural resources.

Rolph Payet, Interim Coordinator, Regional Coordinating Unit for Eastern African Action Plan (EAF/RCU), indicated how the Nairobi Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region impacts oceans management in the region.
Concurrent Dialogue Sessions
Late Wednesday afternoon, participants engaged in six concurrent dialogue sessions.

Dialogue session on fisheries.

Dialogue session on biodiversity and MPA networks (for input into CBD COP-8).

Dialogue session on the GMA and UN coordination.

Dialogue session on the GPA, Integrated Water Resource Management, input into IGR-2 (October 2006 Beijing) and the Fourth World Water Forum (March 2006, Mexico City) including next steps on collaboration between freshwater and ocean interests.

Dialogue session on SIDS, with emphasis on ocean and coastal management (for input into CSD-14, May 2006).

Dialogue session on ecosystem management, and integrated management of oceans and coasts, including regional cooperation (for input into UNICPOLOS-7).

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)