ENBOTS selected side events coverage for 5 June 2017


The following side events were covered by ENBOTS on Monday, 5 June 2017:

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the Side (ENBOTS) Meeting Coverage, will provide daily web coverage of selected side events at the Ocean Conference. Kindly return to this site on Monday, 5 Jun 2017, for more information.

Photos by IISD/ENBOTS | Francis DejonFor photo reprint permissions, please follow instructions at our Attribution Regulations for Meeting Photo Usage Page

High-level Dialogue on Oceans and Small Island States
Presented by: the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), SIDS-DOCK and the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS)

Mohamed Shainee, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Maldives, and Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), noted that Maldives will expand the Parley partnership and, through it, make a one million km2 area in the Indian Ocean plastic-free.

Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer and Explorer, Mission Blue, Sylvia Earle Alliance, stressed that “we are at a critical crossroads as actions taken now will affect the health of the planet for thousands of years.” She highlighted the unique chance in history of the current generation to take action, stating that her generation was not aware of the problem due to the lack of spatial imaginary technology.

Cyrill Gutsch, Founder, Parley for the Oceans, stressed that “we have all the technology that we need to save the Ocean,” but what is needed is someone to come with the necessary strategy to leverage it for current challenges. Highlighting that almost all environmental issues are failed economic schemes, he said that the creative industries are the ones who can come with the needed innovative solutions.

Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank (EIB), said the EIB will invest USD 100 million in loans until 2020 to fund mitigation and adaptation projects in the Caribbean. Noting that the EIB is already supporting USD 2.5 billion worth of blue economy initiatives yearly, he stressed the need to make progress on blending private and public resources to meet the financing needs for saving the Ocean.

Douglas Frantz, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), said the blue economy is the “blue bullet” needed to save the Ocean, requiring innovative investments and expertise from many different fields. He noted that the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee is giving “high priority” to reviewing the graduating conditions of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Middle Income Countries (MICs) and that the OECD will expand its work on biodiversity and ecosystems.

Nishan Degnarain, World Economic Forum (WEF), introduced the “Tuna Traceability Declaration,” launched today, in which leaders of the world’s biggest retailers, tuna processors, marketers, traders and harvesters, with the support of civil society organizations and governments, pledge that, by 2020, all tuna products in their supply chains will be fully traceable to the vessel and trip dates, and that this information will be disclosed upon request at the point of sale either on the packaging or via an online system.

In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed, inter alia, the problem of reduced access to concessional funding caused by SIDS graduation and the need for a comprehensive assessment of the UN development system’s support to SIDS.

Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN OHRLLS) welcomed the participants.

Mohamed Shainee, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Maldives, and Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), higlighted the positive impacts of the Maldives expansion of the Parley partnership.

Douglas Frantz, OECD, said the OECD will expand its work on biodiversity and ecosystems.

More Information:

Interconnections Among the SDGs as a Force Multiplier for Implementation of SDG 14
Presented by: International Council for Science (ICSU), in partnership with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Future Earth Ocean Knowledge Action Network, and the Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean”

Douglas McCauley, University of California, noted that the first point of connectivity of SDG 14 is SDG 8 (economic growth), and explained that if the Ocean was an economy it would be the 7th economy in the world, at USD 24 trillion. He also presented examples of strong connections with SDGs 2 (on hunger), 1 (on poverty), 13 (on climate change), 7 (on energy), and 15 (on biodiversity).

Stefanie Schmidt, IASS, spoke about challenges that appear in SDG implementation because the interlinkages between the goals are not mentioned in their targets and there is no guidance on how to effectively tackle them. She said her research shows strong connections between SDG 14 and SDGs 1, 2, 8, 13, 11 (on cities) and 12 (on sustainable consumption and production).

David Obura, Coastal Oceans Research and Development – Indian Ocean (CORDIO) East Africa, identified several key action areas with regards to the interconnections between SDG 14 and the other SDGs, including: ensuring the sustainability of small-scale and artisanal fisheries and agriculture (related to SDGs 2 and 12); transitioning to a carbon-neutral environment (related to SDG 13); implementing integrated Ocean planning and management (related to SDG 8); and investing in social capital as pathway to future prosperity (related to SDG 5 on gender equality, SDG 3 on health, and SDG 4 on education).

Leopoldo Cavaleri Gerhardinger, University of the Region of Joinville, Brazil, spoke about the importance of mobilizing non-state networks related to fisheries, marine protected areas and integrated coastal management to support an integrative approach to SDG 14’s implementation. He called for connecting transformative actions into coherent narratives and testing strategic advice derived from theories of transformative agency to promote regime shifts in Ocean governance systems.

In the ensuing discussion, participants raised issues related to, inter alia: the importance of spreading the word on the interlinkages between SDG 14 and the other SDGs to advance the Ocean agenda; the need to set a governance review framework and a follow-up strategy on SDG 14; the importance of regional partnerships to address transboundary issues; and using the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) as a follow-up fora on SDG interconnectivity.

Stefanie Schmidt, IASS, highlighted the need for a refined assessment of the interlinkages and tradeoffs between the SDGs.

Douglas McCauley, University of California, stressed that “our faith is intrinsically linked with the faith of oceans.”

Participants underscored the need to set a governance review framework and a follow-up strategy on SDG 14.

More Information:

Healers of Our Ocean: Asia-Pacific Women Leading Ocean Action to Achieve SDG 14 – How Can We Learn from Them?
Presented by: World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), UN Environment, and partners

This event was moderated by Tiffany Straza, UN Environment, who stressed that Ocean management without women will not work, and invited participants to share lessons and strategies on how women’s inclusion can create more effective ocean management for all. She urged everyone to visit the profiles of women leaders on the “Ocean Healers” page of the SPREP website.

Karolina Skog, Minister for the Environment, Sweden, emphasized Sweden’s commitment to gender equality in all SDGs implementation. She highlighted: the need to consider how land actions affect Ocean health; the importance of women having an equal part in decision-making on sustainable development, whether on land or in oceans; and the importance of "Ocean Literacy" to SDG 14 implementation.

Cristelle Pratt, Deputy Secretary-General, Pacific Islands Forum, said the involvement of women is essential to implementing SDG 14, and this principle is enshrined in the Ocean management instruments of the Pacific region. She noted the Pacific Ocean Alliance facilitated by the Pacific Ocean Commissioner and urged everyone interested in oceans to join it.

Tarusila Veibi, Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area (FLMMA) Network, discussed her role as the sole female representative for her province on a resource committee. She highlighted local success stories in protecting mangrove habitats and in promoting sustainable fishing practices and alternative sustainable livelihoods.

Rindah Melsen, President, Nusatuva Women’s Savings Club, Solomon Islands, spoke on the importance of fisheries to island livelihoods and food security, the role women play, and how her community savings club encourages women and girls to explore alternative sources of income and livelihood.

Wendy Watson-Wright, CEO, Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI), Canada, discussed the importance of creating female heros, or “she-ros,” and OFI's efforts to promote greater female participation in ocean research and management.

Carol Phua, WWF-Netherlands, introduced the “Ocean Witness” initiative seeking to amplify and empower the voices of people experiencing first-hand the changes to the Ocean.

In the ensuing discussion, participants discussed, inter alia: the importance of incorporating gender dimensions in all Ocean Conference discussions and partnership dialogues; the need for strengthening “Southern” civil society organizations so they can take up the promotion of gender equity; the importance of addressing the special challenges facing indigenous women leaders; and the launch of a “Women for Oceans” global platform to support women involved in ocean management.

Panel (L-R):
Tiffany Straza, UN Environment;
Cristelle Pratt, Pacific Islands Forum;
Karolina Skog, Minister for the Environment, Sweden;
Rindah Melsen, President, Nusatuva Women’s Saving Club, Solomon Islands;
Wendy Watson-Wright, CEO, Ocean Frontier Institute, Canada;
Tarusila Veibi, FLMMA Network; and
Carol Phua, WWF-Netherlands.

Karolina Skog, Minister for the Environment, Sweden, said women should have an equal part in decision-making on sustainable development, whether regarding land actions or the oceans.

Cristelle Pratt, Deputy Secretary General, Pacific Islands Forum, said oceans management represents significant economic and leadership opportunities for women.

Tarusila Veibi, FLMMA Network, discussed being the only woman presenting her province on a resources committee, and her role in helping organizing protection of mangroves habitats and promoting sustainable fishing practices.

Carol Phua, WWF-Netherlands, introduced the launch of the “Ocean Witness” initiative seeking to amplify and empower the voices of people experiencing first hand the changes to the ocean.

More Information:

Ocean Health, Climate Change and Migration: Understanding the Nexus and Implications for People on the Move
Presented by: International Organization for Migration (IOM) and World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF)

This session, moderated by Rosiland Jordan, Al Jazeera, discussed the interlinkages between Ocean, migration and climate change.

Opening the session, Ashraf El Nour, Director, IOM Office to the UN, said that meeting on World Environment Day was an important opportunity to voice concern about threats facing the Ocean.

Naipote Katonitabua, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, Fiji, spoke on the threats to oceans and coastal communities, including loss of livelihood linked to sea level rises, coastal erosion and others. He spoke on various phenomena that impact the migration of communities, giving the example of fishermen migrating inland, and natural disasters that displace many each year.

Luis Oña Garcés, Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the UN, stressed the fundamental role of the Ocean in many key societal issues, including development, poverty eradication and food security. He stated the critical need to bring the human dimension to the debates, noting the risks to the survival of many societies as well as to the biological support system of the planet.

Jean Edmond Randrianantenaina, Director General, Regional Maritime Information Fusion Center (RMIFC), Madagascar, stressed Madagascar’s strong dependence on maritime issues, since 41% of the land is coastal and 65% of the population lives in coastal areas. He spoke on Madagascar’s Ocean, climate change and mitigation initiatives, noting that more work needed to be done to improve data collection for interaction between these interlinked themes.

Françoise Gaill, Ocean and Climate Platform, underscored the importance of interdisciplinary methods. She called for a two-step approach to first understand the Ocean system, to then develop tools to predict and identify impacts on ecosystems and their resulting economic and human consequences, among others.

Stating the estimated USD 24 trillion value of Ocean assets, John Tanzer, WWF, said that while you cannot reduce the Ocean’s value to a monetary figure, it does have economic importance. He cautioned that this economic value of Ocean assets is declining, explaining the resulting negative impacts on those dependent on it.

Mariam Traore Chazalnoel, IOM, spoke on her organization’s work on the Ocean dimensions of migration, underscoring that 220 million people currently live in coastal areas of the world and may be threatened by displacement due to future coastal erosion. She explained work on responses to this threat, including to help populations stay where they are, through disaster risk reduction management and climate change adaptation.

John Tanzer, WWF, said the destruction of coral reefs is real and rapid, underscoring that those depending on that ecosystem are very exposed.

Françoise Gaill, Ocean and Climate Platform, discussed the role of the research community in environmental sustainability and migration issues.

Jean Edmond Randrianantenaina, RMIFC, Madagascar, said that Madagascar is already experiencing internal displacement of its population due to climate change impacts on the Ocean.

Ashraf El Nour, Director, IOM Office to the UN, drew attention to the importance of the climate change, migration and ocean nexus, and called for innovative and integrated approaches to these issues, both at the national level and at the UN level.

Panel (L-R):
Luis Oña Garcés, Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the UN;
Ashraf El Nour, Director, IOM Office to the UN;
Jean Edmond Randrianantenaina, Director General, RMIFC, Madagascar;
John Tanzer, WWF;
Rosiland Jordan, Al Jazeera; and
Françoise Gaill, Ocean and Climate Platform.

More Information:

How Scientific Knowledge on Oceans Can Contribute to the Implementation of National Action Plans on Climate and Human-induced Changes
Presented by: Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI), UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Governments of the Dominican Republic and Argentina, and the Cousteau Society

This event, moderated by Jessica Faieta, Assistant Secretary-General and Director, Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, UNDP, focused on current scientific knowledge on oceans to identify knowledge gaps and contribute towards national action plans on climate and human induced changes in the oceans.

Francisco Domínguez Brito, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Dominican Republic, stressed the specific challenge of understanding what is happening in the ocean compared to terrestrial ecosystems. Noting that his country is among the 10 countries most affected by climate change, he outlined areas of particular importance for his country, including overfishing by local and foreign actors and plastic pollution.

Diego Moreno, Vice Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Argentina, presented three policy tools: the Pampa Azul Initiative, which aims to produce more knowledge regarding the Argentine Sea; a marine spatial planning tool designed to share information from all activity sectors; and the national system of protected areas.

Alberto Piola, Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI), stressed the exceptional productivity of the Southern Ocean. He highlighted the project’s goals to: understand exchange processes between marine costal ecosystems and the deep ocean; characterize the temporal scales of variability of these processes; and build interdisciplinary bridges for that understanding.

Jose Muelbert, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande and IAI, highlighted the need to better understand ecosystem functioning, especially regarding ocean acidification and processes leading to dead zones. He stressed that “we cannot manage what we do not observe” and outlined three needs: enhance science on the way climate change impacts oceans; improve technological development regarding ecosystem management; and enhance planning and strategic cooperation between countries.

Rebecca Klaus, Cousteau Society, presented tools to support ecosystem-based management. She stressed the need to improve the way we communicate the data we have and the particular importance of realistic indicators for policy makers.

Nik Sekhran, UNDP, highlighted that three main challenges facing oceans are unsustainable fisheries, climate change, and plastic accumulation. He pointed to two actions by UNDP in that domain: to demystify Ocean science for better incorporation into policy and to build capacity, notably in working on transboundary assessments and on finding solutions collectively.

In the ensuing discussion, participants considered means of improving international cooperation and the role of business for enhancing capacity, notably through industry clusters.

Jessica Faieta, UNDP, said the deadline for SDG 14 is 2020 and 2025, not 2030, and that is why it is one of the first conferences on the SDGs.

Francisco Domínguez Brito, Environment Minister, Dominican Republic, said that, due to climate change, there is desertification in the oceans too but the difference is that we cannot see it.

Alberto Piola, IAI, stressed that the Southern Ocean is among the most productive of the global oceans.

Rebecca Klaus, the Cousteau Society, stressed the need for better communicating the knowledge we have and for developing tools for poor countries in order to influence the policy-making process and inform society.

Diego Moreno, Argentina, stressed the huge potential of the Argentine Sea and the need to protect its resources.

Jose Muelbert, IAI, presented on how science can be useful for policy makers and the societies that rely on the ocean.

Panel (L-R):
Ione Anderson, IAI;
Diego Moreno, Vice Minister, National Secretary of Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Argentina;
Jessica Faieta, Director, Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, UNDP;
Nik Sekhran, UN Development Programme (UNDP);
Francisco Domínguez Brito, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Dominican Republic;
Alberto Piola, IAI;
Rebecca Klaus, Cousteau Society;
and Jose Muelbert, IAI.

More Information:

Transitioning to the Blue Economy: Partnerships, Innovation and Approaches for Small Island States
Presented by: the Governments of Grenada and Cabo Verde, The Nature Conservancy, and the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
Partners: The Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, The Nordic Council, OECD, UNDP, FAO, and the World Bank Small States Forum.

Árni Mathiesen, Assistant Director General, FAO, opened the event that was moderated by Angus Friday, Ambassador to the US and Mexico and Permanent Representative of the Organization of American States.

José da Silva Goncalves, Minister of Economy and Employment, Cabo Verde, stressed the importance of the blue economy for SIDS, highlighting the potential for his country in tourism, renewable energy, water provision and fisheries.

Keisha McGuire, Permanent Representative of Grenada to the UN, highlighted various collaborations in place for building a blue economy in Grenada, including with the Netherlands, and the World Bank.

Douglas Frantz, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD, spoke on the opportunities for a blue economy, stressing the role of the OECD in bringing a multistakeholder and evidence-based approach to this economy.

Hans Hogeveen, the Netherlands. stressed the need for innovation and partnerships with the private sector and NGOs, leading to a blue economy that brings sustainable growth, inclusion and social equity.

Speaking on innovation in finance, Kathy McLeod, The Nature Conservancy, gave an example of wave attenuation by mangroves and coral reefs, explaining how economic value can be created from these natural services.

David Robin, Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission, presented the OECS’ framework for fisheries governance, based on an inclusive and multistakeholder approach, stressing that Ocean resources are the last frontier for a self-reliant development for Eastern Caribbean States.

Geir Oddsson, Nordic Council of Ministers, underscored the importance of telling success stories on how to create revenues from oceans resources. He also stressed that the Nordic Council was particularly dedicated to addressing plastic pollution and criminality in fisheries.

Carlos Rocha, Cabo Verde, cited several axes of progress towards a blue economy, including integrated management of resources and resilient ecosystem management.

Patrick Gomes, Secretary General, African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, stressed the importance of bringing the problem of harmful subsidies to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to ensure that overfishing is no longer perpetuated at the expense of SIDS countries.

John Virdin, Duke University, highlighted the importance of small-scale fisheries as the largest employer in the blue economy, and the need to reinforce them.

Doreen Kibuka-Musoke, World Bank Group, presented the priority areas of the Small States Secretariat, based on the necessities of job creation and attracting investment.

Spencer Thomas, Grenada, underlined that the transition to a blue economy is a transformation from a fossil-fuel economy, and that issues of communication and capacity building are critical for SIDS.

Tumi Tómasson, UN University, announced commitment assistance to SIDS through a transdisciplinary fisheries training programme that formed 350 fellows, among them 65 from SIDS.

In closing remarks, Dessima Williams, Special Adviser on SDGs to the President of the UN General Assembly, stressed the importance of discussions around SDG 14 as a push for all other SDGs and the central role for the register of voluntary commitments.

Kathy McLeod, The Nature Conservancy, said that coral reefs and mangrove are critical for wave attenuation and must be monetizised.

Hans Hogeveen, the Netherlands, said that we need a paradigm shift for the blue economy, with the private sector and NGOs at the forefront of its implementation.

Doreen Kibuka-Musoke, the World Bank Group, said that they consolidated seven priority action areas for a blue economy in Grenada.

Panel (L-R):

Douglas Frantz, OECD;
Árni Mathiesen, FAO;
Keisha McGuire, Grenada;
José da Silva Goncalves, Cabo Verde;
Hans Hogeveen, the Netherlands; and
Angus Friday, Grenada.

More Information: