Svenja Schulze, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety, Germany
On Wednesday morning, participants to the Marine Regions Forum met in parallel dialogue sessions. In the afternoon, the closing plenary convened under the theme “Accelerating progress, creating new pathways,” moderated by Alexander Müller, Managing Director, TMG - Think Tank for Sustainability, and Sébastien Treyer, Executive Director, Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI). Keynote presentations were delivered by Svenja Schulze, Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety, Germany, and Bernhardt Esau, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Namibia.
A dialogue session on “Delivering the Ocean SDG: accelerating progress” explored options for expediting integrated implementation of SDG 14 and other ocean-related goals. Karina Barquet, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), presented the SDG Synergies Approach, including a methodology and tool aiming to track how targets influence each other in positive and negative ways. Jeremy Hills, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), presented a methodology for accelerating the delivery of SDGs, including intervention scenarios developed on the basis of identified interlinkages. Participants then conducted two roundtable exercises, one to explore interactions among different targets, and the second to plan policy interventions taking benefits from the identified interactions.
A dialogue session titled “Towards coherent and connected marine protected area (MPA) networks: From challenges to possible solutions in high seas governance” heard from Carolina Hazin, BirdLife International, who presented on seabird research informing conservation action and ocean governance. She showed how a number of bird species spend significant time in areas beyond national jurisdiction, underscoring the need for a coherent network of MPAs within, across, and beyond national jurisdiction. Ben Boteler, IASS, emphasized that a coherent MPA network entails representativeness, replication, and connectivity, and that currently only 1.18 % of areas beyond national jurisdiction are covered by MPAs. In the ensuing discussion, participants discussed examples of existing scientific bodies and science-policy interfaces, and issues related to the negotiations on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).
In a dialogue session on the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030, Martin Visbeck, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, highlighted the Decade’s objectives, and challenges related to under-financed ocean science, weak governance, and unevenly distributed capacity around the globe. Robert Glazer, Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, and Gaetano Leone, UN Environment - Barcelona Convention Secretariat, highlighted challenges in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean regions, respectively. Participants addressed issues including: building national capacities for implementation and action; communicating ocean science; and lack of access to the high seas by developing countries.
A dialogue session on enhancing the role of regions in global ocean assessments heard from Ana Tejedor Arceredillo, European Environment Agency, on the European perspective; Kyle Fawkes, Future Earth Coasts, on the First Global Integrated Marine Assessment; and Val Cummins, Future Earth Coasts, on the Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
In the closing plenary, Svenja Schulze highlighted climate change-related threats to the oceans, and drew attention to MPA networks in the high seas as a tool to increase resilience. She further pointed to the “huge risks” related to deep-sea mining and the imperative for international regulation before any activity takes place. Bernhardt Esau called for a legally binding instrument to tackle illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing in the high seas, and for eliminating harmful fisheries subsidies in the negotiations under the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Alexander Müller and Sébastien Treyer then presented organizers’ draft conclusions, noting the Forum’s objective was to provide an informal space for a genuine exchange between stakeholder communities. They pointed to the role of regions in filling the gap between global agreements and local action, and emphasized the importance of the regional level in supporting national voices calling for conservation in face of adversity.
A panel discussion featured: Jens Frølich Holte, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway; Maria Damanaki, Global Managing Director Oceans, The Nature Conservancy; Árni Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN; Angelique Pouponneau, Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust; and Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany.
The Marine Regions Forum closed at 3:41 pm.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage and a summary report from the Marine Regions Forum 2019. The summary report is available in HTML and PDF.
Bernhardt Esau, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Namibia
Alexander Müller, Managing Director, TMG - Think Tank for Sustainability
From L-R: Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany (BMZ); Angelique Pouponneau, Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust; Jens Frølich Holte, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway; Árni Mathiesen, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); and Maria Damanaki, The Nature Conservancy
Sébastien Treyer, Executive Director, Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI)
Maria Damanaki, The Nature Conservancy
Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, BMZ
Angelique Pouponneau, Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust
Árni Mathiesen, FAO
Jens Frølich Holte, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway
Yvonne Waweru, WIOMSA, Network of Women in Marine Science, presented the outcomes of the Youth Ocean Professionals debriefings
Patrizia Nanz and Matthias Tang, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS)
Gaetano Leone, UN Environment - Barcelona Convention Secretariat
Martin Visbeck, GEOMAR - Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
Alex Benkenstein, South African Institute of International Affairs
Jeremy Hills, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
Manuel Castillo, ESCAP
From L-R: Ingo Narberhaus, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany; Luise von Pogrell, IASS; Ekaterina Popova, National Oceanography Centre, UK; and Piers Dunstan, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
Jérémie Fosse, Eco-Union
María del Mar Otero, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Célia da Conceição Macamo, Mozambique
Julien Rochette, IDDRI
Beatrice Yannicelli, Strong High Seas Project
Jihyun Lee, International Seabed Authority Secretariat
Ralf Sonntag, Pew Charitable Trusts
Anne-France Didier, Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, France
Sabine Christiansen and Luise von Pogrell, IASS
From L-R: Andreas Papaconstantinou, European Commission; Kristina Gjerde, IUCN; and Thembile Elphus Joyini, South African Permanent Mission to the UN
The organizing team behind the 2019 Marine Regions Forum
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