Summary report, 5–6 October 2015
2nd Our Ocean Conference
The Second Our Ocean Conference convened from 5-6 October 2015 in Valparaíso, Chile. The Government of Chile organized the meeting in close cooperation with the US State Department and other partners, including Bertarelli Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Global Ocean Commission (GOC), National Geographic, the Pew Charitable Trusts, Oceana, Sonapesca, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The Conference aimed to promote voluntary governmental and institutional commitments to care for the ocean.
Over 500 participants attended the meeting from 56 countries, representing governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, academia and the private sector. An additional 900 participants joined two parallel events at the National Congress and Federico Santa María Technical University.
The conference included a high-level opening segment, as well as high-level sessions focused on ocean commitments and a regional high-level segment during which panelists presented activities and shared commitments. Panels also convened on: marine protected areas (MPAs); ocean acidification; marine pollution; ocean champions; sustainable fisheries; local communities; and law of the sea governance.
The Conference generated US$2.1 billion in commitments on oceans. Commitments focused on, inter alia: tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing; creating and expanding MPAs; addressing marine debris and marine pollution; and raising awareness on oceans and building capacity to address ocean challenges.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE OUR OCEAN CONFERENCE
The inaugural Our Ocean Conference, held in June 2015 in Washington, DC, US, aimed to develop strategies for protecting oceans through three pillars focused on: sustainable fisheries; marine pollution from land-based and ocean-based sources; and ocean acidification, as addressed in the ‘Our Ocean Action Plan.’ The Conference resulted in more than US$800 million in government and private sector commitments to conserve and protect the ocean and its resources. Commitments included: the creation and expansion of MPAs; a programme to deter illegal fishing, prevent illegally caught fish from entering the US market and expand marine reserves; an ‘mFish’ public-private partnership to provide small-scale fisheries in developing countries with mobile devices for accessing market and weather information and reporting catch data; commitments to combat pollution from marine plastic wastes and microplastics; improved management of the world’s tuna stocks; support to coastal communities; and improved efforts to map and understand the ocean.
On Monday, 5 October, the conference opened with a video presenting the benefits of oceans, threats to oceans and solutions to protect marine habitats. Leonor Varela, Master of Ceremony, welcomed participants.
Noting that 80% of Chile’s national territory is water, Heraldo Muñoz, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chile, highlighted the threats facing his country’s ocean, including marine pollution, illegal fishing and acidification, saying these issues require immediate action. Quoting Neruda that the ocean “distributes gifts of silver,” Muñoz described the ocean as an interconnected asset that needs to be cared for at national and international levels with the involvement of civil society, the private sector, academics and ocean communities.
John Kerry, Secretary of State, US, announced that the Third Our Ocean Conference will be hosted in Washington DC, US, in 2016, stressing that it is critical to maintain momentum. He outlined three areas for discussion at the Conference: monitoring activities in the open seas; tackling illegal fishing; and addressing climate change, saying the real question is if the world will adjust its ways to protect the ocean for future generations.
In a video message, Barack Obama, President, US, announced the creation of two marine sanctuaries in Maryland and Michigan. He also announced a partnership to empower developing countries to fight illegal fishing.
Michelle Bachelet, President, Chile, said Chile had achieved its 2014 commitment by joining the UN Fish Stocks Agreement (UNFSA), creating a new policy on IUU fishing and hosting the Conference. She then announced Chile’s creation of the Nazca-Desventuradas Marine Park, a 297,000 square kilometer area covering much of the area’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and conserving its marine biodiversity. She also announced a commitment to create a MPA in the 720,000 square kilometer EEZ around the island of Rapa Nui, working with the Rapa Nui community and taking into consideration their ancestral fishing.
Richard Branson welcomed commitments and expressed hope that momentum from the Conference would carry on at an upcoming meeting to protect the Antarctic and the Ross Sea.
MARINE PROTECTED AREAS PANEL
This panel convened on Monday, 5 October. Pablo Badenier, Environment Minister, Chile, moderated the panel, which opened with an introductory video highlighting the benefits of MPAs.
Joshua Reichert, The Pew Charitable Trusts, called for political will to save the oceans and described the Global Ocean Legacy, which promotes the first generation of the world’s great marine parks.
Enric Sala, National Geographic Society, said it makes economic sense to protect the world’s oceans, explaining that it will cost US$2.2 billion to conserve 10% of the ocean, with an annual management cost of US$108 million, compared to US$25 billion in fisheries subsidies, many of which support destructive practices.
George Watters, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), described efforts to conserve the Antarctic, underscoring the importance of setting priorities, achieving multiple objectives and monitoring ecosystems.
Pedro Edmunds Paoa, Mayor of Easter Island, said the Rapa Nui community wants to achieve self-sufficiency in Rapa Nui in 20 years and highlighted his community’s love for their ocean.
Dona Bertarelli, the Bertarelli Foundation, stressed the importance of the Rapa Nui people initiating the Easter Island MPA, underscoring it was not imposed from the outside. She identified collaboration among government, local communities, fisherman, NGOs, private businesses and local universities as the key to successful creation of large-scale MPAs.
Cuba announced it is coordinating with the US to sign a collaboration agreement for joint scientific action on joint species and highlighted the MarCuba 2015 Conference. Chile announced a project in Port William, which focuses on creating a science and ethics biosphere reserve. The project aims to develop a center similar to the Darwin Center, a technology training center focused on tourism activities and a scientific center.
OCEAN ACIDIFICATION PANEL
This panel convened on Monday, 5 October. Yolanda Kakabadse, President, WWF International, who moderated the panel, observed that few understand the seriousness and implications of ocean acidification. She reflected that the Conference offers an opportunity to discuss how to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 on oceans, particularly the target on ocean acidification.
Rodrigo Torres, Austral University, Chile, said the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere has reduced ocean pH to unprecedented levels. He urged increased efforts to monitor ocean acidification, with the aim of predicting its future affects on marine life.
Anne Cohen, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, South Africa, described efforts to identify coral reef ecosystems that survive under low pH levels, highlighting a coral reef archipelago in Palau that thrives under low pH conditions. She recommended protecting such reef ecosystems and called for government commitments to fund and protect such areas and allow researchers access to these reefs.
Christy Goldfuss, White House Council on Environmental Quality, stressed the importance of sharing stories to increase awareness on climate change’s little known twin, ocean acidification, and promote immediate action. She said the US will contribute to a public-private partnership for African countries to better monitor ocean acidification.
Jean-Pierre Gattuso, National Center for Scientific Research, France, said if it were a country, the ocean would rank seventh globally, noting, when healthy, the ocean’s capital represents US$24 trillion.
In a video message, Sigourney Weaver, Actress and Environmental Activist, recommended nations commit to meaningful reductions in carbon dioxide emissions; create marine protected reserves; and increase scientific understanding on ocean acidification to identify and protect vulnerable communities.
Fang Jiaruaeng, Chinese State Oceanic Administration, outlined actions taken by the State Ocean Administration, including an offshore monitoring system and a commitment to decrease the level of gross domestic product (GDP) carbon dioxide emission levels by 40-45% in 2015, compared to 2005 levels, with a further reduction to 65% by 2030.
The Intergovernmental Oceanic Commission highlighted the Global Ocean Observing System, stressing the importance of measurement to inform management. Conservation International (CI) shared its Global Ocean Health Index, which measures ten major benefits of the oceans, including carbon storage and livelihoods. Prince Albert, Monaco, said the Association Monégasque sur l’Acidification des Océans, with support from the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, facilitates the development of inventions and explores technical solutions to address ocean acidification and prioritize research, which he stressed as critical in building a knowledge-base for action.
MARINE POLLUTION PANEL
This panel convened on Monday, 5 October. José María Figueres, GOC, who moderated the panel, highlighted the GOC report, including its recommendations on addressing marine plastic pollution.
Catherine Novelli, Department of State, US, said stopping the flow of plastics in the ocean is possible with sufficient political will, multi-tasking and immediate action. She recommended improved collection, transportation, storage and treatment of plastic and a circular economy where materials can be recycled infinitely.
Jenna Jambeck, University of Georgia, US, identified population density on coastlines as the biggest factor in plastics entering the ocean. She urged keeping plastics out of the ocean and recommended, inter alia, that middle-income countries (MICs) develop waste management systems to address the waste that accompanies economic development.
Aldo Arias, CEO, Fromm Holding-Switzerland, described how his company uses recycled materials in its production, stressing the importance of creating and enabling recycling systems around the world. He committed his company to achieve an active reduction of 22,000t of waste.
Belen Fernandez, the Philippines, described the success of the Waste to Worth project in closing her town’s open dump site. She noted the project’s direct impact on the economy, a result of converting trash into alternative sources such as fuel and diesel.
David Stover, Bureo, shared his company’s projects to address plastic pollution by upscaling waste into valuable, long-life products, such as skateboards and sunglasses. He said Bureo is collaborating with Chilean fisheries on a second project, Fish + Positiva, which collects and recycles nets that are no longer usable.
Marco Simeoni, Race for Water Foundation, described a process to recycle plastic into oil, which can then can be used as gas, kerosene and diesel. He said this process offers opportunities for remote island communities to manage plastic pollution in a valuable way.
Justin Mundy, Director of The Prince’s Charities’ International Sustainability Unit, UK, stressed the urgency of scaling up programs to immediately address plastic waste, calling for finding ways to link marine issues with plastic waste, infrastructure and climate change.
Senator Lagos Weber, Valparaíso, announced the declaration of the International Day of Oceans, 8 June, as an official holiday in Chile and the formation of the Our Ocean Chile Foundation to train and educate children and encourage future generations to take ownership of commitments to the ocean. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the Trash Free Initiative, to be piloted in Jamaica and Panama, through which Peace Corps volunteers will work with communities to reduce marine litter in the Caribbean sea. NOAA committed US$1.5 million in 2016 to remove accumulated marine debris from sensitive ecosystems in the US and to support local projects that change behavior to reduce the amounts and impacts of marine debris. The Ocean Conservancy, with the Trash for Sea Alliance, committed to raise up to US$2.5 million for an initiative to coordinate efforts in Asia-Pacific to develop integrated waste management plans. The Association of Plastic Industries in Chile committed to continue collecting marine litter on Rapa Nui and bringing it to Chile’s mainland for recycling.
This panel convened on Monday, 5 October, and featured reports on progress made since the First Our Ocean Conference, as well as the announcements of new commitments.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a message delivered by moderator Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), highlighted SDG 14 on oceans and said the UN will continue to support States’ efforts to realize benefits from oceans in a sustainable manner and in accordance with their national obligations.
Heraldo Muñoz, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chile, reported on Chile’s fulfillment of its three commitments from the First Our Ocean Conference, highlighting the Chilean Parliament’s approval to join the UNFSA, formulation of a national policy to address IUU fishing and hosting the Second Our Oceans Conference. He then announced new efforts by the Government of Chile, including an increase in Chile’s MPAs, from 4.5% to 12.5%, and the establishment of an Ocean Policy Council.
John Kerry, Secretary of State, US, outlined the US’s commitments, including to engage additional countries in future Conferences and to create new marine sanctuaries in Maryland and Michigan. He said the US is working with Cuba to finalize a new sister MPA arrangement and is ready to launch a programme, announced at the First Conference, to track seafood from harvest to entry in US ports, with an initial focus on shrimp, cod and tuna. He also described an initiative in Asia-Pacific to promote sustainable marine fisheries and monitor seafood fraud. He then announced the launch of Sea Scout, which aims to enhance coordination, information sharing and capacity building around the world on IUU fishing, with an initial focus on regional hotspots, such as the Gulf of Guinea.
Antonio Bells, Palau, expressed support for Sea Scout and said his country will address IUU fishing through: transforming Palau’s EEZ into a national marine sanctuary; partnering with Japan and the US on enforcement, including development of an action plan on monitoring and control for the next five years; and signing legislation that increases illegal fishing fines.
Ricardo Patiño, Ecuador, shared his country’s efforts to, inter alia: ban industrial trawling in its coastal areas; control IUU fishing of sharks and sea cucumbers; and increase renewable energy resources, with the aim of providing 96% of Ecuador’s electricity through hydropower in two years.
José Graziano da Silva, Director General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) described FAO’s Blue Growth Initiative, which will act as a catalyzer to formulate policies to ensure food security and sustainable livelihoods. Noting that only half of the 25 countries necessary for the Port State Measures Agreement to come into force, have ratified the agreement, he urged commitments on ratification.
Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Union (EU), outlined the EU’s efforts to achieve healthy oceans, create MPAs, reduce marine pollution and promote sustainable fisheries. He committed the EU to help fight IUU fishing and said the EU will launch a major political initiative on oceans governance within the next year. Vella said the EU offered to host the 2017 Our Ocean Conference in Europe.
Nick Smith, Environment Minister, New Zealand, reaffirmed his country’s commitment to the creation of the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary. He announced a commitment of US$1.8 million to help Pacific island nations build resilience to ocean acidification and shared a previous announcement to commit $50 million over the next three years to help Pacific countries develop a catch-based management system. He urged agreement on a MPA in the Ross Sea and ratification of the Port State Measures Agreement.
Julien Nkoghe Bekale, Minister of Agriculture, Cattle Breeding, Fisheries and Rural Development, Gabon, highlighted achievements of ‘Gabon Blue,’ which has reduced IUU fishing, eliminated tuna longliners and enacted legislation on sustainable fisheries management, among other actions. In 2016, he said his country will, inter alia: enhance fisheries surveillance through Sea Scout; sign a sustainable fisheries management decree; implement management plans for all waters; protect sharks and billfish; and conduct a national stock assessment.
Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, Minister of Fisheries, Iceland, outlined Iceland’s commitment to a fisheries training programme, with a focus on small island developing States. He confirmed Iceland’s ratification of the Port States Measures Agreement and urged others to ratify it.
Manuel Pinto de Abreu, Deputy Secretary of Ocean Affairs, Portugal, described his country’s commitment to a blue growth model and efficient, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.
Demetrio Ignacio Jr., Philippines, said his country has 17 MPAs that cover 1.4 million hectares and is currently working to restore 46,000 hectares of coastal ecosystems.
Bangladesh described its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with India and China to enhance collaboration on sustainable marine resources development, noting the importance of considering conservation in economic development.
OCEAN CHAMPIONS PANEL
This panel convened on Tuesday, 6 October, with distinguished personalities who described their efforts to promote ocean protection. In a video message, HRH Prince of Wales, UK, expressed hope that the SDGs and the Paris Climate Change Conference will provide robust instruments to support ocean recovery while cautioning that their success depends on implementation and action. He explained that the Prince’s Charities International Sustainability Unit aims to catalyze ambitious programmes for action, including on sustainable fisheries and marine plastic waste.
David Rockefeller, Sailors for the Sea, and Chairman, Rockefeller Foundation, described Sailors for the Sea’s aim to transform one million recreational boaters into a navy of ocean conservationists. He stressed the importance of the oceans for feeding the world’s hungry, and called for the Conference to raise awareness about protecting the living oceans and the livelihoods of those who depend on the oceans.
Leonor Varela, Actress and Environmental Activist, underscored the importance of attitudinal changes in ocean conservation and praised Chile’s government for protecting more than 10% of its oceans, urging other governments to do the same or better.
Antha Williams, Head of Environment Program, The Bloomberg Foundation, said the Foundation’s Vibrant Oceans Initiative invests in ocean conservation but also in basic fisheries and ocean assets with the aim of ensuring that they continue to perform over the long-term. She announced the Foundation’s commitment to, inter alia, spend at least US$10 million this year in support of Vibrant Oceans Initiative’s efforts in Brazil, Chile and the Philippines; and undertake robust evaluation of the Initiative, with the aim of ensuring methods are relevant for other areas.
J. Charles Fox, Oceans 5, on behalf of ten partners, announced US$8 million in 2016 to support new MPAs and actions to control illegal fishing and promote sustainable fishing worldwide. He stressed the importance of collaborative projects and pledged to work with interested parties, including governments and civil society.
Anne Earhart, Chairman, Marisla Foundation, announced US$1.5 million towards Global Fishing Watch, a program developed by Google, Skytruth and Oceana, which uses satellite data to monitor fishing vessels and track fishing activity. This data will be provided in a simple, globally available online platform.
During an announcement period, The Nature Conservancy announced US$2 million to support fisheries management and capacity building activities in Jamaica and the Caribbean in support of the Caribbean Oceans and Assets Sustainability Facility (COAST). The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust committed US$6 million in grant funding focused on projects related to marine conservation, sustainable fisheries, establishing and maintaining MPAs and high seas management.
Noting the negative impact of salmon farming on whales, WWF Chile announced a recently signed agreement between the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Environment, Maritime Authorities and salmon farmers to improve salmon farming techniques through research, monitoring and mitigation.
SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES PANEL
This panel convened on Tuesday, 6 October, and focused on fisheries management tools to tackle IUU fishing. Raul Súnico Galdámez, Secretary for Fisheries, Chile, introduced the panel and called for monitoring fishing operations from beginning to end.
Stressing that sustainable fishing is a complex social and ecological problem with no clear solution, Renato Quiñones, Chile, said every stakeholder has a different perception of the problem based on their identities, values and culture. He recommended linking behavioral change and fishing management models.
João Aguiar Machado, General Director, DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, European Commission, described the EU’s fisheries reform, which aims to achieve maximum sustainable yield, create a culture of compliance to trace fish from the net to the plate, and induce behavioral change to stop IUU fishing. He recommended, inter alia, ratification and entry into force of the Port State Measures Agreement.
Campbell Davies, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia, shared ‘spawning SBT’ research on the Southern Bluefin Tuna, which has advanced stock assessments to estimate the actual size of fish stocks for calculating sustainable yield and has reduced uncertainty on stock status. He proposed integrating this technique into the Port State Measures Agreement to increase transparency.
Max Agüero, Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, Chile, highlighted the importance of integrating ocean ecosystem functioning with human and institutional factors and drivers for sustainable development.
The Chilean Fisheries Association committed to begin a certification process for all industrial fishers with individual quotas to achieve long-term sustainability of its fisheries industry. NOAA reported on progress to implement the US commitment to address IUU fishing and seafood fraud applications, which is expected to strengthen enforcement activities and create and expand domestic partnerships on illegal fisheries. She announced new steps to provide observations and data to target illegal fishing, which will initially be implemented in Indonesia, the Philippines and three other countries, which will be selected in the future.
The Global Environment Facility shared initiatives launched since the last Conference, including over US$500 million in investments with FAO, UN Development Programme (UNDP), WWF and CI to launch a coastal fisheries initiative in Peru, Ecuador, West Africa and Indonesia. This initiative aims to strengthen governance and institutions, build market platforms and create sustainable supply chain standards. She highlighted a second initiative with UNDP and the UN Industrial Development Organization in large marine ecosystems, stressing the importance of partnerships in both these efforts. Mark Kaplan, CEO, Tone, shared progress on mFish, a commitment from the First Our Ocean Conference, which has reduced catch times and increased sea safety in Indonesia. He said mFish has partnered with USAID and WorldFish to launch a pilot in Bangladesh.
LOCAL COMMUNITIES PANEL
This panel convened on Tuesday, 6 October, beginning with a video on the value of fisheries to communities and economies. Shane Jones, New Zealand, introduced the panel, which highlighted sustainable community-based fisheries management practices.
Felipe Paredes, Chile, described the Juan Fernandez community’s dedication to protect and conserve its fisheries. He highlighted a modification to Chile’s constitution, which recognizes the island of Juan Fernandez as a special territory, with 98% of the island designated as a national park and 100% of its land surface classified as a biosphere reserve.
Tiffany Laitame, French Polynesia, shared the Rapa community’s traditional natural resource management practices, the Rāhui, which prohibits night fishing, fishing nets and lobster traps. Despite these practices, she said fisheries continue to decline in the open oceans and called for extending the Rāhui to the open ocean, as well as a large marine reserve, and a coastal fishing zone around each island.
Shelley Campbell, Sir Peter Blake Trust, New Zealand, stressed the importance of engaging youth on the ocean to enhance their support for oceans. She explained the Young Blake Expeditions program, in coordination with the New Zealand Navy, which takes students on boats and aims to provide them with skills to address complex environmental challenges.
Cherry Ravelo-Salazar, Rare and Global Initiative Fish Forever, described a process to change fishers’ behavior in the Philippines, which reduced destructive fishing practices and increased fish biomass. She highlighted the importance of support from local leaders in successful implementation.
The Fishackathon announced that last year’s Hackathon resulted in 40 different applications to help local fishers fish sustainably and said a third Fishackathon will convene around Earth Day this year. NOAA announced an MOU with Chile to test two new tsunami buoys off the coast of the Chilean trench, which will provide early warnings for tsunamis. Rare, in collaboration with its partners, committed US$8 million over two years to establish a global development alliance to identify and support best practices for improving economic incentives and promoting sustainable fisheries management. Fiji announced it will host the Triennial Oceans and Seas Global Conference in June 2017 to assess progress on SDG 14 on oceans, in partnership with the Government of Sweden.
REGIONAL HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT
This panel convened on Tuesday, 6 October, providing a regional perspective. It also included commitments from speakers.
Noting that Jamaica’s marine jurisdiction is approximately 24 times the size of their terrestrial mass, Arnold Nicholson, Jamaica, announced that: within the next year they will declare sections of Pedro Bank as a protected area; they commit to conserve and manage a minimum of 20% of their marine and coastal environment by 2020; and that they have acceded to the Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities to the Cartagena Convention.
Mirei Endara, Panama, detailed activities his country is taking to address coastal and ocean protection, inter alia: creating an office within the Ministry of Environment focused on the integrated management of coasts and seas; the creation of two MPAs in their EEZ, which increased MPA coverage from 3.7% to 13.5%; dedicating at least US$1 million towards the development of management plans for two protected areas; committing US$ 1.3 towards green tourism activities in MPAs; and a pilot program on solid waste management.
Carlos Castaneda, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, El Salvador, described collaboration with the US on marine coastal development and protection of marine fauna. He expressed concern about the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification and welcomed SDG 14 on oceans, expressing hope it would galvanize action to reduce vulnerability to climate change.
Martha Garciarivas Palmeros, Secretary of Environmental and Natural Resources, Mexico, described her country’s actions to ensure marine conservation, promote sustainable fisheries management and improve monitoring and surveillance efforts, including national sanctuaries for gray whale species, no-take areas for shark fishing and observers on tuna fishing vessels. She expressed Mexico’s commitment to work towards a legal agreement at the UN General Assembly for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdictions.
Joseluis Samaniego, ECLAC, presented a database that shows the Caribbean’s vulnerability to sea level rise, including on threats to cities and ports. He explained potential applications of the database could include interest in greater national coordination to manage predicted impacts.
LAW OF THE SEA GOVERNANCE
This panel convened on Tuesday, 6 October and focused on the UNFSA. Introducing the panel, moderator David Balton, Department of State, US, observed that the UNFSA has changed fisheries management and thus ocean governance.
Andrés Couv, Chile, reminded participants of Chile’s ratification of the Fish Stocks Agreement and provided an overview of the Agreement, highlighting its intention to address, inter alia, the administration and conservation of straddling fish stocks and areas of conflict amongst coastal waters and distant fishing nations. He also emphasized its inclusion of the precautionary approach.
Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli, UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS), noted that the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is recognized as a valuable framework for high seas fisheries management. She called upon States to adopt the Agreement, saying 82 parties is insufficient, and urged additional support to the assistance fund for participating developing states.
Bill Mansfield, former Chairperson, the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMO), New Zealand, explained that UNCLOS looks to RFMOs to manage high seas resources and transboundary fish stocks but said RFMOS have had weak success in taking tough decisions. He urged stopping IUU fishing, describing it as a “scourge” of cooperative efforts of States to conserve and manage fisheries sustainably.
Osvaldo Urrutia, Pontificia Universidad Catolica, Chile, recommended stronger action on IUU fishing, particularly unregulated fishing, saying that States party to the UNFSA and the Port State Measures Agreement should not tolerate unregulated fishing activities.
The Permanent Commission for the South Pacific announced that the region will hold a conference to study the option of developing the first integrated oceanic regional policy in October 2015. Grenada announced it will host a Global Blue Growth Investment and Partnership Conference in April 2016 to help ocean States and entrepreneurs access public and private finance, with the aim of building natural capital, food security and livelihoods.
Recalling that the US, Canada, Denmark, Norway and the Russian Federation signed a declaration aimed at preventing IUU fishing in the high seas of the Central Arctic Ocean, Balton announced that the US will convene a broader set of nations with the goal of transforming this declaration into a binding agreement. He also informed that the US and New Zealand commit to ensure not to provide subsidies to vessels, enterprises or operators engaged in IUU fishing and encouraged others to make a similar commitment.
In a closing address, Muñoz thanked all participants, and said the Conference had generated more than US$2.1 billion in ocean commitments. He highlighted announcements on, inter alia: creating and expanding MPAs by Chile, New Zealand and Panama; tackling IUU fishing through Sea Scout; forming a Friends of the Port State Measures Agreement group; and promoting sustainable fisheries through certification, including commitments by the EU and Norway. Stressing governments alone cannot protect the oceans, he emphasized the essential role of civil society, foundations, the private sector and citizens in ocean conservation and management. Finally, he observed that issues related to the ocean should have a more substantive presence in climate change negotiations and invited government representatives to increase attention to the oceans at the Paris Climate Change Conference.
A full list of commitments can be found on the Conference website at: http://www.nuestrooceano2015.gob.cl/
First International Fisheries Stakeholders Forum: The First International Fisheries Stakeholders Forum will discuss: the Code of Conduct for responsible fisheries; fisheries and aquaculture; tuna, including Atlantic, Indian and Pacific species; shrimp; cephalopods; challenges related to consumers, industry and trade; fisheries management, including the role of RFMOs; IUU fishing; and sustainability and certification. dates:8-9 October 2015 location:Roma, Lazio, Italy contact:Audun Lem email: [email protected] www: http://www.fao.org/fishery/nems/40764/en
MarCuba 2015: The Tenth Congress on Marine Sciences, MarCuba2015, will address research and management related to marine and coastal resources, coral reef science and climate change. dates: 16-20 November 2015 location: Havanna, Cuba email: [email protected] www: http://www.congresomarcuba.com/
CITES SC66: The CITES Standing Committee will convene for its sixty-sixth meeting. dates: 11-15 January 2016 location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: CITES Secretariat phone: +41-22-917-81-39/40 fax: +41-22-797-34-17 email: [email protected] www: https://cites.org/eng/com/sc/index.php
Second Meeting of the UNEP Open-ended Committee of Permanent Representatives: The Open-ended Committee of Permanent Representatives will prepare for the next meeting of the UN Environment Assembly of the UN Environment Programme. dates: 15-19 February 2016 location: Nairobi, Kenya contact: Jorge Laguna-Celis, Secretary of Governing Bodies email: [email protected] www: http://www.unep.org/about/sgb
IPBES-4: The fourth session of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Plenary (IPBES-4) will review progress on the work programme. dates: 22-28 February 2016 location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia contact: IPBES Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-0570 email: [email protected] www: http://www.ipbes.net/index.php/plenary/ipbes-4
Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to Study Issues relating the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity Beyond Areas of National Jurisdiction (BBNJ): The Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity BBNJ will continue its work on the elements of a draft text of an international legally-binding instrument under UNCLOS. dates: 28 March-8 April 2016 venue: UN Headquarters location: New York, US contact: UN DOALOS phone: +1 212-963-3962 email: [email protected] www: http://www.un.org/depts/los/biodiversityworkinggroup/biodiversityworkinggroup.htm
Second Meeting of the UN Environment Assembly: The UNEA of the UNEP represents the highest level of governance of international environmental affairs in the UN system. dates: 23-27 May 2016 location: Nairobi, Kenya contact: Jorge Laguna-Celis, Secretary of Governing Bodies email: [email protected] www: http://www.unep.org/about/sgb/
FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) 32nd Session: The 32nd session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries is scheduled to take place at FAO headquarters. dates: June 2016 location: Rome, Italy contact: Hiromoto Watanabe phone: +39-06-570-55252 email: [email protected] www: http://www.fao.org/unfao/govbodies/gsbhome/committee-fi/en/
CITES COP17: The Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna will convene for its 17th session. dates: 24 September-5 October 2016 location: Johannesburg, South Africa contact: CITES Secretariat phone: +41-22-917-81-39/40 fax: +41-22-797-34-17 email: [email protected] www: http://www.cites.org/
For additional meetings, see http://nr.iisd.org/