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The Global Conference on Oceans and Coasts at Rio+10: Assessing Progress, Addressing Continuing and New Challenges

Paris, France; 3 - 7 December 2001

Web Archive:

Mon 3 Tues 4 Wed 5 Thur 6 Fri 7

IISD's Summary Report is available online in HTML ball.gif (204 bytes) TEXT ball.gif (204 bytes) PDF

Highlights for Friday, 7 December 2001

On Friday, the Global Conference on Oceans and Coasts presented its final panel session in the morning, and heard reports from the Working Groups in the afternoon on each of the eight thematic areas addressed throughout the week, including recommendations for action. Following discussion on these reports, the Conference heard closing remarks and adjourned at 5:45 pm.

Tamari'i Tutangata, Conference Organizing Committee, summarized the proceedings of Thursday's panels. From the panel on the marine environment he highlighted discussion of the health of oceans, local and international waters assessments, and concern over anthropogenic change; on the capacity building forum he noted topics including early efforts in data management, and evolution of teaching and training programs and decision-making support systems.


This panel addressed the need to improve ocean and coastal governance through institutional strengthening, open and transparent decision-making processes, access to scientific data, and cooperation at regional and global levels. Conference Co-Chair Biliana Cecin-Sain (left) reminded participants of the themes of the panel and introduced the speakers.

Satya Nandan, International Seabed Authority, presented a background to the current legal framework of UNCLOS and associated agreements and declarations for ocean governance.

Elisabeth Mann Borgese, International Ocean Institute, underlined the importance of peace and security for ocean governance, and the political and strategic context in which it is formed. She expressed optimism at the trend toward decentralization and local community empowerment, and for a new relationship between the public and private sectors.

Alan Simcock, Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic, provided a detailed review of the United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Ocean Affairs (UNICPO), also known as the UN Oceans Process. He traced its history, noting its creation by GA Resolution 64/33 in response to the need for inter-agency coordination, and noted that this process: brings together legal, economic, social, environmental and political spectra; promotes coherence among global and regional organizations; and helps states to synthesize elements and develop unified national formats addressing the marine environment.

Tuiloma Neroni Slade, AOSIS, elaborated further on the Oceans Process, focusing on achievements in two consultative sessions since its creation: one with a focus on fisheries and another addressing marine science and cooperation to ensure a sectoral research approach.

Simon Cripps, WWF, presented an NGO perspective on global and regional ocean governance. He stated that the greatest problem is lack of political will, and said people must be inspired by the oceans movement. He listed ten proposals for concrete action that would constitute a "sea change" in ocean governance, including reduction of harmful fishing subsidies by the EU, implementation of policies to protect sea turtles and establishment of MPAs on the high seas.

Carl Lundin, Marine Programme, IUCN, addressed private-NGO-government partnerships in governance, describing several projects for joint resource management that show preliminary success. He underlined the need to further address tenure rights, and noted the potential of individual transferable quotas (ITQs).

Patricia Birnie, London School for Economics and Political Science, UK, discussed the unique harmonization and development of fisheries policies underway in the EC. She explored the creation and limits of partnerships through examples of cooperation and conflict, raising the issue of how far collaboration could go towards implementing conventions and questioning how effective stakeholder involvement could be if stakeholders could not agree.

Lee Kimball, Consultant, USA, elaborated on comparative advantages of regional bodies in approaches to ocean governance and new imperatives of integrated approaches to Agenda 21. She proposed concentrating on higher regional assessments to: define geographic dimensions; develop shared visions; sort out roles and design of coherent programmes; strengthen expert networks and expand capacity and understand how to better use existing tools to strengthen regional platforms and implement conventions.


On Friday afternoon, a panel of participants representing each Working Group (WG) reported the outcomes of their discussions held throughout the week, briefly highlighting key points and emerging issues and offering recommendations for action. 


Listen to Patricio Bernal's closing statement.

Chair Bernal read the Co-Chair's Draft Concluding Statement, to be included in the Conference's outputs. 

Chair Cicin-Sain thanked all participants for their active involvement, funding institutions for providing support, ministers for their attendance, the Working Groups for their reports, the panels for their efficient focus, the IOC and CMP secretariats and others, 
and Co-Chair Bernal for his courage in assembling such a hybrid mix of experts in one forum.

Listen to Rejoice Mabudafhasi's closing statements.

Deputy Minister Rejoice T. Mabudafhasi, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, South Africa, thanked all for their presence and for the role they each play on the road to Johannesburg and in sustainable development, noting that this work would affect not just the WSSD but the lives of many people. She described the challenging legacy of UNCED; recounted emerging themes and issues to be addressed; and said the WSSD must achieve implementation to combat poverty, impact trade, finance investment and emerge with a "Johannesburg Programme of Action."

Oceans and Coasts at Rio+10 Website
General Conference Information  and Accomodation/Local Information
GPA Website 
CBD: Jakarta Manadate on Marine and Coastal Biodiversity


Sustainable Developments home page ~ Linkages home page

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