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11th Meeting of the Monaco Blue Initiative

The 11th meeting of the Monaco Blue Initiative convened for its first-ever digital edition under the presidency of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. This meeting, initially scheduled to take place from 22-23 March 2020, was postponed due to the global health crisis related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and took place virtually through three workshop beginning 28 May 2020. These workshops addressed the following themes: How marine protected areas and other effective conservation measures, can be placed at the center of international discussions, and act collectively for development; What lessons can be learned from community-led initiatives, in the management and preservation of protected areas; and How to reconcile the blue economy with the sustainable management of oceans in the fields of tourism, transport, energy, fisheries and aquaculture. The objective of these online workshops was to maintain momentum on global discussions on oceans, and articulate key recommendations to important global ocean meetings, many of which have also been affected by the global pandemic. IISD produced a briefing note following the three workshops.
Event 28 May 2020 - 24 June 2020

Highlights and images of main proceedings for 10 April 2019

The Before the Blue COP workshop opened on Wednesday 10 April, at the Royal Botanical Garden in Madrid, Spain. Teresa Ribera, Minister for Ecological Transition, Spain, welcomed participants and called for increasing public awareness on ocean and climate interlinkages. In a video message HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco reiterated his commitment to champion interlinkages between the ocean and climate agendas. Rémi Parmentier, Because the Ocean Initiative, and Loreley Picourt, Ocean and Climate Platform, moderated a roundtable featuring: Peter Thomson, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Ocean, Fiji; Manuel Barange, UN FAO; Anders Jessen, EU Commission; and Sébastien Treyer, CEO, Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI). In his concluding remarks, Thomson underscored that holding a blue COP is a “one and only opportunity,” stressing the need to grasp this opportunity. Via a video message, the President of the upcoming 25th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Carolina Schmidt, Chile, invited workshop participants to the “blue COP.” She underscored that an effective global response to climate change is not possible without a global response to ocean challenges. In the afternoon session, which took place at the Fundación Biodiversidad, participants outlined their expectations for the workshop, including: the need to identify milestones to foster interlinkages between the climate and ocean agendas; and exchanging knowledge with ocean and climate experts. Rémi Parmentier emphasized the workshop series’ objective to provide room for breaking down silos and exploring the design of ocean-enhanced NDCs, bearing in mind regional differences. Iñigo Losada, University of Cantabria, noted ocean acidification, deoxygenation, and sea level rise are key threats. Joanna Post, UNFCCC Secretariat, and Paul Watkinson, Chair of UNFCCC SBSTA, provided insights into how ocean issues are included in institutional arrangements under the UNFCCC. On regional perspectives, Susana Salvador, OSPAR Commission, delineated how the interlinkages between ocean and climate issues are considered in the North-East Atlantic. Gaetano Leone, UNEP-MAP-Barcelona Convention highlighted it is oftentimes more manageable to agree on political processes and mobilize higher levels of commitment at the regional rather than at the global level.
Daily Highlights

Highlights and images of main proceedings for 25 March 2019

10th Meeting of the Monaco Blue Initiative

  Family photo at the entrance of the Oceanographic Institute The 10th edition of the Monaco Blue Initiative (MBI) convened on Monday, 25 March, at the Oceanographic Institute of Monaco. The meeting addressed the theme of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) and took place under the presidency of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. The event gathered more than 140 participants representing international organizations, governments, academia, the private sector and NGOs. HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco opened the meeting, stating that the MBI helped put MPAs on the international agenda. He stressed the role of MPAs as an effective tool against the threats facing the ocean, as well as their economic benefits. In the first session, participants discussed how to collectively continue developing MPAs whilst ensuring their efficiency. The discussion highlighted the work carried out to clarify the classification system of MPAs. It also underlined the need for effective MPA management through regular financial resources and the gaps in knowledge in marine ecosystems. In the second session, participants considered how coherent MPA networks contribute to protecting species, in particular the role of local communities’ knowledge and social skills. Discussions highlighted the importance of international cooperation for building ecological corridors, and coherence across jurisdictions to secure effective MPA networks. Keynote speeches were delivered by: Brune Poirson, Secretary of State to the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, France Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Chuanlin Huo, Deputy Director General of the Department of Marine Ecology and Environment, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, China José Apolinario, Portuguese Secretary of State for Fisheries, underlined Portugal’s efforts to lead the race on MPAs in Europe and announced that the Second UN Ocean Conference will be held in Lisbon in June 2020. He also stressed the creation of a coalition of Portuguese stakeholders that brings knowledge and expertise upon which to design new MPAs. Updates were also provided regarding several key current topics: Peggy Kalas, the High Seas Alliance, and Marco Lambertini Director General, WWF International, presented the work of the High Seas Alliance to foster an ambitious Treaty with a global mechanism to establish a network of MPAs in the high seas. Geneviève Pons, Jacques Delors Institute, presented the efforts of the Antarctica2020 platform to secure large MPAs in the Southern Ocean. Sabine Jessen, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, and Dan Laffoley, IUCN, presented the outcomes of the last International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC4) and what is to be expected from the next edition in Vancouver, Canada. François Simard, on behalf of Inger Andersen, Director General, IUCN, concluded the meeting by stressing that for MPAs to be effectively and equitably managed, more work needs to be done on: partnerships, connectivity aspects, and MPAs’ integration into the wider seascape and blue economy. IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, provided a web update from the 10th Monaco Blue Initiative. In addition, IISD Reporting Services produced a briefing note, which is now available in HTML and PDF. Photos by M. Dagnino - Institut océanographique   L-R: Vincent Meriton, Vice President of the Republic of Seychelles; Jane Lubchenco, Oregon State University; HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco; Brune Poirson, Secretary of State to the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, France; Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries; and Haydee Rodríguez, Vice Minister of Waters and Seas, Costa Rica   L-R: Romain Renoux, Association for sustainable financing of MPAs in the Mediterranean; Mark J. Spalding, Ocean Foundation and Commissioner of the Sargasso Sea Commission; Jane Lubchenco, Oregon State University; and François Houllier, Institut français de recherche pour l’exploitation de la mer   Jane Lubchenco, Oregon State University   François Houllier, Institut français de recherche pour l’exploitation de la mer   L-R: Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries; Alexander Tudhope, University of Edinburgh; Puri Canals, Mediterranean Network of Marine Protected Areas; Olivier Laroussinie, Deputy delegate to the Sea and Coastline, Ministry for the Ecological & Inclusive Transition, France; Haydee Rodríguez, Vice-Minister of Waters and Seas, Costa Rica; Serge Planes, National Centre for Scientific Research, France; and Rachel Graham, MarAlliance   José María Figueres, Former President of Costa Rica and Co-Chair of Ocean Unite   Peter Thomson, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean   L-R: Olivia Langmead, Plymouth University; Abdou Karim Sall, MPA Joal Fadiouth, Senegal; Maria Damanaki, The Nature Conservancy; Vincent Meriton, Vice President of the Republic of Seychelles; Mia Pantzar, Institute for European Environmental Policy; and Peter Herzig, GEOMAR   José Apolinario, Secretary of State for Fisheries, Portugal (photo courtesy of Cedou)   Chuanlin Huo, Deputy Director General of the Department of Marine Ecology and Environment, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, China (photo courtesy of Cedou)   L-R: Peggy Kalas, the High Seas Alliance; Genevieve Pons, Jacques Delors Institute; Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International; Sabine Jessen, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society; and Dan Laffoley, International Union for the Conservation of Nature   Robert Calcagno, CEO, Oceanographic Institute, and Brune Poirson, Secretary of State to the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, France   Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International A view of the room during the event  
Daily Highlights