Ocean & Coasts

A healthy ocean and coastal ecosystems are vitally important for humans and the environment. The ocean regulates the climate, absorbs much of the carbon dioxide emitted from human activity, and provides fish, the main source of protein for over three billion people. The ecosystem goods and services the ocean provides are estimated to be worth USD 12 trillion. The biological diversity of ocean and coastal regions also provides important services including food security, feed for livestock, raw materials for medicines, building materials from coral rock and sand, and natural defenses against coastal erosion and flooding. Millions of people rely on marine and coastal biodiversity for their food security, income, and socio-cultural and economic development. Human activities put pressure on coastal and marine ecosystems, including through climate change, overfishing, and pollution. Ninety percent of the world's fisheries are either fully or over-exploited. Eight million tons of plastics enter the sea each year and contaminate a quarter of all seafood. Eighty percent of wastewater is discharged without treatment, damaging human health and biodiversity.

Events and Articles

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1st Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment (INC-1)

While most delegations seem to agree that there are negative effects surrounding plastic pollution, it was clear they have yet to find common ground on the details and contents of key substantive themes that will determine the scope and guide the implementation of the future international treaty.
Event 26 November 2022 - 2 December 2022

Ocean Futures Lab

UN climate and biodiversity processes happen too often in siloes, each attracting a different set of experts and thus creating separate conversations. In an event on Ocean-based climate solutions, panelists called for much greater cooperation between biodiversity and climate international frameworks.
Event 8 November 2022

GEO Week 2022

Convening under the theme, “Global Action for Local Impact,” GEO Week 2022 brought together practitioners to discuss the potential for earth observation to assist in addressing global challenges. The week was heavily focused on the future direction of GEO, with participants engaging in sessions related to the road to GEO post-2025.
Event 31 October 2022 - 4 November 2022

5th Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on the BBNJ

Despite more progress at this two-week session than over the last decade, delegates were unable to reach consensus on a new high seas treaty addressing marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction and, instead, suspended the session, to be resumed in early 2023.
Event 15 August 2022 - 26 August 2022