Highlights and images for 18 June 2018


The nineteenth meeting of the United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP-19) opened on 18 June 2018 at the UN Headquarters in New York, under the theme, “Anthropogenic underwater noise.” Delegates heard opening remarks from: Co-Chair Kornelios Korneliou (Cyprus) and Pennelope Althea Beckles (Trinidad and Tobago); Miguel de Serpa Soares, UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs; Elliott Harris, Assistant Secretary-General UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA); and Omar Hilale, Permanent Representative of Morocco.

During the general exchange of views, delegates highlighted, inter alia:

  • Impacts of underwater noise on marine biota;
  • Capacity building for identifying, measuring and addressing underwater marine noise;
  • Considering underwater noise as a form of marine pollution;
  • Guidelines for reducing underwater marine noise, including consideration of International Maritime Organization (IMO) guidelines for commercial shipping;
  • Relevance of the issue to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  • Consideration of including ocean noise in the negotiations on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ);
  • Research and data gaps; and
  • Application of the precautionary approach.

In the afternoon, the ICP focused on sources and environmental socioeconomic impacts of underwater marine noise. Five presentations provided overviews on sound and its propagation through water; sounds from submarine cables and pipeline operations; shipping as a source of noise; offshore energy development; and sonar imaging and ocean mapping.

During ensuing discussions, delegates highlighted the “win-win” link between energy-efficiency improvements for ships and noise reductions; standardization of survey methodologies; and selection of ecologically sensitive areas for prioritizing solutions.

During the afternoon break, delegates attended a side event on “The Role of Environmental Impact Assessments in Managing the Impacts of Noise on Marine Food Web and Higher Trophic Levels.”

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, provided daily digital coverage from the 19th Meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea. In addition IISD Reporting Services has published a summary and analysis report from the meeting, which is available in HTML and PDF.

Photos by IISD/ENB | Diego Noguera
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L-R: Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli, Director, UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (UNDOALOS); Elliott Harris, Assistant Secretary-General, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA); Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs; Omar Hilale, Vice-President of the UN General Assembly, Morocco; Co-Chair Kornelios Korneliou, Cyprus; Co-Chair Pennelope Althea Beckles, Trinidad and Tobago; Dmitry Gonchar, UNDOALOS; and Michele Ameri, UNDOALOS Secretariat

Co-Chair Kornelios Korneliou, Cyprus

Elliott Harris, Assistant Secretary-General, UNDESA

Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs

Omar Hilale, Vice-President of the UN General Assembly

Co-Chair Pennelope Althea Beckles, Trinidad and Tobago

Emad Morcos Mattar, Egypt

Amadou Jaiteh, The Gambia

Lachezara Stoeva, European Union (EU)

Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, Peru

Rishy Bukoree, Mauritius

Panel Discussion on “Sources and Environmental and Socioeconomic Aspects of Anthropogenic Underwater Noise”

The dais during the afternoon panel

Lee Kindberg, Maersk Line

A slide from Lee Kindberg’s presentation

Jill Lewandowski, US Department of Interior

A slide from Jill Lewandowski’s presentation

Larry Mayer, University of New Hampshire

A slide from Larry Mayer’s presentation

Christopher Clark, Cornell University

Richard Hale, Director, EGS Survey Group

John Brincat, EU

Yasufumi Onishi, Japan

Ramona Sladic, Canada

Adrián Madirolas, Argentina

Rebecca Lent, International Whaling Commission

G. Latha, India

Delegates discussing informally

Around the Venue


Negotiating blocs
European Union