Ocean Action Hub

Countdown Block

Let the world know what you're doing to #SAVEOUROCEAN! Register your commitment

Resource title

New Platform to Galvanize Business Leadership on Ocean

13 Feb 2018 - The UN Global Compact has announced the establishment of a ‘Business Action Platform for the Ocean,’ a 3-year global programme focused on the ocean economy and sustainable development.

13 Feb 2018 - The UN Global Compact has announced the establishment of a ‘Business Action Platform for the Ocean,’ a 3-year global programme focused on the ocean economy and sustainable development. The Platform will be formally launched on World Ocean Day, on 8 June 2018, New York, US.

The UN Global Compact has announced the establishment of a ‘Business Action Platform for the Ocean,’ a three-year global programme bringing together a range of stakeholders to advance the ocean economy and sustainable development. The Platform will develop a business leadership framework focused on ocean growth, innovation and sustainability, with the aim of scaling up commitments and performance of companies.

The project will explore how to best protect the ocean’s health; mobilize the private sector to act, make investments and develop partnerships to leverage the ocean as a resource to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and enhance private sector engagement in advocacy and public policy. It will also gather new data and map industry-level impacts on sustainable ocean development.

Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact said that the global business community has a significant role to play in ensuring the sustainable use of oceans, and that this Platform aims to mobilize the private sector to help deliver on the SDGs. Also speaking on the Platform, the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen pointed out the importance of the ocean economy.

The Platform, which was announced on 2 February in Oslo, Norway, is one of a number of Action Platforms the UN Global Compact has introduced to help achieve the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs. Goal 14 on life below water calls for conserving and sustainably using the ocean, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Norway is the first government partner in the Platform, which will be formally launched on World Ocean Day, on 8 June 2018, New York, US. [UN Global Compact News Story] [Business Action Platform for the Ocean Website]

Resource title

INDIA: Fishing for the Future

Fishermen along India’s western coast are now using square mesh nets and practicing sustainable marine fishing.

It is earning them higher incomes, protecting marine biodiversity and paving the way for policy change in one of the country’s most important fishing coastlines.

As the first rays of the sun began to brighten the skies of Malvan, one could spot the faint outlines of a trawler against the tangerine backdrop. The day had just begun, but the seafarers had already ventured deep into the treacherous seas. As the trawler braved its way through the choppy seas, Shelestian Fernandes stood tall on the deck, overlooking the sea, narrating his story as a fisherman. “The times were much tougher when I had a smaller boat,” he said. Today he is the owner of a trawler, a reliable crew and several fishing gadgets which has made his job easier.

Highlights of this story:

  • India is the second largest producer of fish in the world, employing over 14 million people in fishing and aquaculture.
  • Partnership with the Government of Maharashtra, aims to demonstrate that biodiversity conservation of coastal areas and sustainable livelihoods can go hand in hand.
  • The partnership brought in technical expertise from the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, introducing the square mesh net in the cod end of trawl gears in Sindhudurg.
  • Over 300 trawlers have already adopted more sustainable fishing practices like use of square mesh nets.
  • The new technology has significantly increased the monthly income of fisherfolk because of diesel has declined.
  • Maharashtra’s Fisheries Department has now issued an order proposing the mandatory use of square mesh nets for all 17,000 trawlers in the region.

Within 12 fathoms of the shore, the trawler began to slow down, and the crew cast the net into the water. The net was then spread out on the deck for the crew to have a good look at the catch for the day. They rejoiced at the catch, especially the Silver Pomfret, which was the coveted prize for the day. The distinctive feature about the catch was that every single fish was big and of a marketable size, with not a single juvenile or baby fish in sight. “We owe it to the square mesh net,” they said, “for sparing the juvenile fish for later when they are worth more than what they are now.”

The square mesh net was introduced in Sindhudurg region through a partnership between the Government of Maharashtra and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which aims to demonstrate that biodiversity conservation of coastal areas and sustainable livelihoods can go hand in hand. The partnership is supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The partnership brought in technical expertise from the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, working closely with local fisherfolk to introduce the square mesh net in the cod end of trawl gears in Sindhudurg. Met with initial skepticism in this important fish landing centre, the initiative has gone a long way in becoming something that fishermen have embraced in their journey to sustainable marine fishing. Since 2015, every trawler in the district now uses square mesh nets.

READ MORE: http://www.in.undp.org/content/india/en/home/ourwork/environmentandenergy/successstories/fishing-for-the-future/

Resource title

Turtle Recovery Center in Radhima, Albania

In the frame of the second phase of the Marine and Coastal Protected Areas project that UNDP is implementing in Albania in cooperation with the National Agency of Protected Areas, and the financial

support of the AICS (Agency of the Italian Cooperation), a Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility is established in the vicinity of MPA Sazan – Karaburuni Visitor Center. The first turtle Orik is rehabilitated with the close assistance of the MPA Administration and the fishermen association. 

Resource title

Sustainable Fisheries Catches Momentum in Costa Rica

16 Nov 2017 - Just one year after launching the world’s first National Fisheries Platform, with GCP support, Costa Rica is making important headway towards creating a sustainable long-line

16 Nov 2017 - Just one year after launching the world’s first National Fisheries Platform, with GCP support, Costa Rica is making important headway towards creating a sustainable long-line industry for fishing large pelagics – such as tuna, swordfish and mahi-mahi.

In Recent years it has been a challenge for fishermen to access the fishing resource in Costa Rican waters, threatening the livelihoods of some 16,000 people directly involved as well as thousands more who work along the supply chain. And, demand is expected to only increase as large pelagics caught in the Costa Rican Pacific are mostly for export to big markets like the United States. Sustainable seafood strategies are urgently needed.

Led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, alongside the Costa Rican Institute of Fishing and Aquaculture and the Ministry of Environment and Energy, the National Platform for Sustainable Large Pelagics Fisheries was launch in December 2016. For the first time, there was a space where diverse stakeholders – such as representatives of long-line fishing, sport fishing, exporters, traders, restaurants, retailers, government authorities, academia, non-governmental organizations and even retailers in United States such as Chef Trading – could discuss the challenges that they face and what a sustainable industry for large pelagic might look like.

During 2017, stakeholders agreed on some of the most pressing challenges that they need to collectively address, which include: outdated technology, poor access to markets, illegal fishing and weak government capacity for fisheries management, research, monitoring, control and surveillance, and lack of constructive dialogue, among others.

Four working groups have now been set-up to find ways of overcoming these issues. Activities being explored include the use of precision fishing, developing responsible markets, protocols for reporting illegal fishing, and changing fishing practices to mitigate the impact on vital ecosystems. The ultimate goal is to develop and implement a National Action Plan and a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP), which is backed by the majority of stakeholders.

“This country must reach a balance between environment, economics and the social factors,” said the Minister of Agriculture, Luis Felipe Arauz Cavallini, at the December 2016 launch. “This Administration considers it of utmost urgency that these forums are opened so that the situations can be assessed from the perspective of every stakeholder, and based on this we can move collectively toward well-managed fisheries, with a vision of sustainable production.”

“The Platform is a necessary step for opening the doors to international markets, which increasingly demand more labels certifying that the products they trade come from responsible fishing and are not of illegal origin,” UNDP Resident Representative Alice Shackleford said.

The national long-line fishery sector is participating optimistically in this initiative. “For us, this dialogue is an opportunity to show our commitment to responsible fishing, and the sector’s willingness to join national initiatives, allowing us to take our products to new sustainable markets,” said Mauricio González, Executive Director of the National Long-line Fishing sector.

​With momentum continuing to build, the Sustainable Fisheries Platform is now also attracting international interest, with actors such as Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership expected to join the initiative soon, ensuring alignment with international standards of sustainable fisheries.

CONTINUE READING: http://www.undp.org/content/gcp/en/home/presscenter/articles/2017/11/10/...

Resource title

Combining nature protection and Tourism in Albania: Visitors of the Sazan Karaburun Marine Park to benefit from a new information center

If you were planning to visit the first National Marine Park in Albania and be amazed with its rich marine life, you do not have to wonder around.

Visitors can now benefit from an Information Center recently established in Radhime which serves as the hub for Karaburun - Sazan-National Park.  

The Center is established by UNDP in the framework of the project “Improving coverage and management effectiveness of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas” in Albania funded by the GEF and implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and Environment. The Information Center has also benefitted from a partnership with World Wild Fauna and Natura 2000 project funded by the European Union.

UNDP has worked with the Government of Albania to proclaim the first Marine Park Karaburun – Sazani. In cooperation with local actors and communities in Vlora, UNDP has helped to establish the framework and structure which allow the management and conservation of the Marine Park. Interventions have included awareness raising about the natural values of the protected areas, law enforcement exercises for protected areas, patrolling and monitoring of the area, development of a management and business plan for the Marine Park and implementation of priority actions on site.  The information center in Rradhima is part of communication and awareness pillar of the project. 

“UNDP has been supporting biodiversity mainstreaming in Albania and Western Balkans and many other countries in the world and we have come to appreciate that biodiversity is not simply an element which needs to be added on to the policies, plans, and practices of productive sectors. Instead biodiversity needs to be viewed as an indivisible component of, and often a prerequisite for, achieving sustainable development – including the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. We have seen this clearly through our support to protected areas, where conservation efforts have not only benefited the environment, but have also had numerous positive benefits for the lives and livelihoods of the local communities in Prespa, Kune Vaini, Vjose-Narta, Vlora”- said UNDP Resident Representative Brian Williams.

The Minister of Environment and Tourism Blendi Klosi present at the inauguration ceremony  emphasized the importance of sustainable tourism development and sustainable use of nature resources.

The UN Secretary General has proclaimed 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development recognizing tourism as an important economic engine that contributes to the three dimensions of sustainable development, especially in developing countries. In Albania tourism has the potential to promote inclusive economic growth, create jobs and attract foreign investors and in the same time, tourism can help protect the environment and build buffers against climate change.

Through a second phase of the project funded by Italian Government, UNDP will continue to work with the National Agency of Protected Areas and Coastline municipalities to forge a more sustainable use of marine and coastal resources in order to achieve sustainable and people-centered development. Vlora Region will benefit from pilot interventions.

Resource title

Tourism for all

In Vlora region there are 89 natural monuments three National Parks, (Llogara National Park, Butrint National Park and the Marine National Park of Karaburun-Sazan), two Managed Natural Reserve (MNR

Karaburun and MNR Rrëzomë) and one Protected Landscape (Protected Landscape of Vjose-Narta). In Vlora region is located the first and only marine national park established in Albania, the Karaburun-Sazan MPA.

In Llogara National Park you have the opportunity to visit numerous tourist attractions with natural and historical values. Do not leave the park without visiting the “Flag pine” natural monument; the two highest peaks of Llogara, “Qafa e Thelle” and “Maja e Qores”, which offer a fantastic view of Ionian sea, Vlora Bay and that of the park seen from above; “Caesar’s Pass,” the historical place where Caesar and his army camped during his battles against Pompey. Within the park are marked and mapped 50 km trails that connect these attractions.

Resource title

Acrobats of the Ocean: Synchronizing tourism and wildlife protection in Panama

They are natural acrobats, more than ten metres long and weighing about 40 tonnes.

Humpback whales set off on their migration from the Antarctic to the warm Panamanian waters between June and October, travelling together about 8,000 kilometres in search of a temperate climate.

The Gulf of Panama is witness to the longest migration by a mammal. Two populations of humpback whales arrive in the gulf’s waters every year: those from the Northern Hemisphere, who come from Alaska and reach the coast of Panama between January and March, and those from the Antarctic, who travel between July and October.

In their passage from the South Pacific, the whales reach Peru, Ecuador or Colombia, and many swim on some kilometres more until they reach Panamanian waters. There, they breed and bring their offspring into the world, providing a unique spectacle for locals, scientists and tourists.

The mammals settle into their new home, very close to shore, before the eyes of dozens of whale watchers perched on boats hoping for an up-close encounter with whales and dolphins. However, the growing number of boats and their proximity to the cetaceans, plus contact with fishing nets and pollution, have endangered these marine behemoths.

Responsible whale and dolphin watching is crucial to the protection of these animals and, in turn, is an opportunity for sustainable tourism that provides direct benefits to the local tour operators. This is why the Ministry of Environment partnered with the Aquatic Resources Authority of Panama, UNDP and the Marviva Foundation to build capacity among the people who do this work, to help them strengthen their businesses while safeguarding the marine habitat. With funding from the Global Environment Facility, the projects trains participants on responsible whale watching and biodiversity protection.

CONTINUE READING: https://stories.undp.org/acrobats-of-the-ocean

Resource title

UNDP hosts Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassadors from the Peace Boat

18 Oct 2017 - Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassadors and staff from the Peace Boat visited UNDP headquarters to learn about UNDP’s work on ocean conservation and sustainable development.

New York, 17 Oct 2017 - Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassadors and staff from the Peace Boat visited UNDP headquarters to learn about UNDP’s work on ocean conservation and sustainable development. Coming from the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean and Caribbean regions, the Youth Ambassadors actively engaged in this learning experience covering ocean challenges such as ocean acidification, overfishing, habitat loss, invasive species, while reiterating the role of Large Marine Protected Areas for the health of our ocean. Launched as a Voluntary Commitment of the Peace Boat to the UN Ocean Conference 2017, the "Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassadors Programme" brings together young leaders from Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to travel onboard the Peace Boat and share the voices from their communities regarding the front line impacts of climate change, whilst engaging in learning and capacity building opportunities. It is expected that these Youth Ambassadors will continue as Ocean and Climate advocates in their respective communities and will be sharing their knowledge.  

Resource title

United States' largest estuary facing increasing acidification risk

Resource title

UNDP's Water and Ocean Governance Programme

In 2015, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

This plan of action – for people, planet and prosperity – recognizes that eliminating poverty is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) helps countries build and share solutions and strengthen frameworks for governance, development and reducing risks of disaster and climate change.

UNDP’s work on water and ocean governance (WOG) focuses primarily on the challenges related to SDG 6 – sustainable management of water and sanitation for all – and SDG 14 – to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

WOG projects and programmes bring a diverse suite of actors together to jointly protect ecosystems and ensure the sustainable use of water and ocean resources to build equitable, inclusive and sustainable societies. Yet, as exemplified in this brochure, the work contributes to the achievement of all the SDGs.