Ocean Action Hub

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WWF Initiative Aims to Help Companies Translate Commitments on Plastic into Measurable Action

24 May 2019 - WWF has launched an “activation hub” to help companies and organizations translate commitments to reduce or eliminate plastic into measurable action. The hub is part of WWF’s global ‘No Plastic in Nature’ campaign, which tackles marine litter and plastic consumption as part of efforts to protect the world’s biodiversity and oceans.

  • Companies and organizations are committing to tackle plastic pollution but many lack a concrete way to implement their commitments.
  • Through ReSource, WWF will help member companies to “maximize, measure and multiply their impact” on addressing the plastic pollution crisis.
  • Six companies have signed on to ReSource as Principal Members: The Coca-Cola Company; Keurig Dr Pepper; McDonald’s; Procter and Gamble; Starbucks; and Tetra Pak.

24 May 2019 - The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) launched an “activation hub” to help companies and organizations translate commitments to reduce or eliminate plastic into measurable action. The hub is part of WWF’s global ‘No Plastic in Nature’ campaign, which tackles marine litter and plastic consumption as part of efforts to protect the world’s biodiversity and oceans.

According to WWF, “just 100 companies could prevent 10 million tons of plastic waste.” WWF observes that companies and organizations are committing to tackle plastic pollution but many lack a concrete way to implement their commitments. In a recent publication titled, ‘No Plastic in Nature: A Practical Guide for Business Engagement,’ WWF analyzed the causes and scope of the global plastic crisis, and outlined a guide for businesses to lead a “plastics revolution.” This guide provided the vision for designing the ‘ReSource: Plastic’ activation hub. ReSource aims to promote a systems-based approach to tackling plastic production, consumption, waste management and recycling as a single system.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: http://sdg.iisd.org/news/wwf-initiative-aims-to-help-companies-translate-commitments-on-plastic-into-measurable-action/

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Special Edition of SDG Progress Report Finds Need for ‘Trajectory Shift’

20 May 2019 - The Report demonstrates slow progress on Goals including SDGs 14 and 15 with biodiversity being lost “at an alarming rate” with one million species facing extinction and invasive species and illegal wildlife trafficking continue to undermine efforts to protect and restore ecosystems and species. 

20 May 2019 - The UN Secretary-General has released the advance, unedited version of his annual report on progress towards the SDGs. The report identifies cross-cutting areas where political leadership and urgent, scalable multi-stakeholder action are critical to shift the world onto a trajectory compatible with achieving the SDGs by 2030. The 2019 SDG Progress Report finds that progress has been made on a number of SDGs and targets over the past four years. On SDG 14 (life below water), the proportion of waters under national jurisdiction covered by marine protected areas (MPAs) has increased more than two-fold since 2010.

However, the SDG Progress Report also demonstrates slow progress on many Goals.  On SDGs 14 and 15 (life on land), biodiversity is being lost “at an alarming rate” with one million species facing extinction, many within decades. Invasive species and illegal wildlife trafficking continue to undermine efforts to protect and restore ecosystems and species. 

Despite these positive signs of progress, the report observes that the shift in development pathways needed to meet the SDGs by 2030 is “not yet advancing at the speed or scale required.” The SDG Progress Report expresses a number of other concerns related to SDG implementation, monitoring and review, including the availability of timely, disaggregated data across all countries, targets and indicators. Other challenges addressed in the report include: challenges in multilateral cooperation; intensified conflict and instability, which have reversed progress made; and increased challenges as a result of disasters, particularly among vulnerable developing countries.

The report calls for world leaders to have an “honest and frank reflection on our current direction” in September 2019, stressing that a much greater urgency and ambition in the SDG response is required, particularly on climate change. The report cautions that a failure to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change will “directly threaten attainment of all other SDGs.”

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://sdg.iisd.org/news/special-edition-of-sdg-progress-report-finds-need-for-trajectory-shift/

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Researchers Call for Efforts to Quantify “Social Cost of Marine Plastic”

10 Apr 2019 - An article published in Marine Pollution Bulletin takes a first step at calculating the cost of marine plastic pollution and finds that all ecosystem services are im

10 Apr 2019 - An article published in Marine Pollution Bulletin takes a first step at calculating the cost of marine plastic pollution and finds that all ecosystem services are impacted by marine plastic pollution to at least some extent. The authors warn that reduction in ecosystem service provision will have negative impacts on human health and well-being, and recommends a global transition in the way the world makes, uses and reuses plastic.

The article titled, ‘Global Ecological, Social and Economic Impacts of Marine Plastic,’ synthesizes currently available research to conduct a global assessment of the “ecological, ecosystem service” and social and economic impacts of marine plastic, including examining the drivers, sources and distribution of marine plastics. The assessment finds that the presence of marine plastic impacts all ecosystem services and reduces the provision predicted for all these ecosystem services, with one exception (“regulation of the chemical condition of salt waters by living processes”). In particular, the article identifies the negative impacts of marine plastic pollution on three critical ecosystem services: provision of fisheries, aquaculture and materials for agricultural use; heritage, or the cultural and emotional importance to individuals of charismatic marine organisms, such as turtles; and experiential recreation, with visitors choosing to spend less time in recreational areas with litter or being exposed to sharp debris or unsanitary items. The authors further caution that shifts in biodiversity and an altered marine environment can lead to additional impacts, including impairing ecosystem recovery and resilience.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: http://sdg.iisd.org/news/researchers-call-for-efforts-to-quantify-social-cost-of-marine-plastic/

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Intergovernmental discussions on the future of the high seas continue at UNHQ

4 Apr 2019 - The Intergovernmental Conference on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) continued discussions on Wednesday

4 Apr 2019 - The Intergovernmental Conference on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) continued discussions on Wednesday, 3 April at United Nations Headquarters in New York. 

Delegates finalized discussions on capacity building and the transfer of marine technology (CB&TT) and began discussions on cross-cutting issues.



Under the latter, they considered institutional arrangements, outlining positions on:

•    the decision-making body/forum;

•    scientific and/or technical bodies;

•    other subsidiary bodies; and

•    a secretariat.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: http://enb.iisd.org/oceans/bbnj/igc2/3apr.html

See photos and the ENB here: http://enb.iisd.org/oceans/bbnj/igc2/3apr.html …

PHOTO: Delegates from the Federated States of Micronesia and Nauru in conversation with the US, IISD Reporting Services

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Monaco Blue Initiative Explores Requirements and Benefits of Marine Protected Areas

1 Apr 2019 - SDG Knowledge Hub - Participants at the tenth edition of the Monaco Blue Initiative (MBI) discussed topics related to marine protected areas (MPAs), including the ambition and

1 Apr 2019 - SDG Knowledge Hub - Participants at the tenth edition of the Monaco Blue Initiative (MBI) discussed topics related to marine protected areas (MPAs), including the ambition and actions needed to set the scene for the post-2020 period when the current target to conserve at least ten percent of coastal and marine areas is to be achieved, the importance of ecological and social networks for ensuring the effectiveness of MPAs, and the links between MPAs and the economy of the ocean.

Links with ongoing negotiations on the protection of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction were highlighted, as were links to the 2019 meeting of the G7, the 2020 meeting of the World Conservation Congress, CBD COP 15, and the 2020 UN Ocean Conference.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://sdg.iisd.org/news/monaco-blue-initiative-explores-requirements-and-benefits-of-marine-protected-areas/

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Women's role underestimated in coastal and marine management - report

15 Mar 2019 - UN Environment's new report argues that sustainable and integrated marine and coastal ecosystem management requires gender sensitive and gender responsive planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

15 Mar 2019 - The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) launched a report that analyzes the gendered nature of the conservation, management and use of coastal and marine environments and shares good practices for elevating women’s roles in coastal and marine management. The report titled, ‘Gender Mainstreaming in the Management of the Marine and Coastal Ecosystems,’ is one of several publications on the conservation and sustainable use of marine environments released by UNEP in conjunction with the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4).

  • Report states that contributions of women have historically been underestimated and even “routinely ignored” in coastal and marine management, policy and research.
  • Shares practical experiences, lessons learned and recommendations from four case studies that have focused on specific needs of women and other “marginalized groups” in coastal and marine management.

UNEP Marine and Coastal Ecosystems Branch coordinator, Lisa Svensson, emphasized, that “we have largely been gender-blind in the management of our marine and coastal areas.” There is now increasing recognition that sustainable and integrated marine and coastal ecosystem management “requires gender sensitive and gender responsive planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.” The 2017 UN Conference to Support the Implementation of SDG 14 (UN Ocean Conference) highlighted the critical role of women in implementing SDG 14 (life below water) in its Call for Action.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: http://sdg.iisd.org/news/unep-report-showcases-womens-role-in-management-of-coastal-and-marine-environments/

Report: https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/27633/Gender_MarEco.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

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IUU Fishing Index Finds World Off Track on SDG Targets 14.4 and 14.6

11 Mar 2019 - Index uses 40 indicators to benchmark vulnerability, prevalence and response to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

11 Mar 2019 - IISD SDG Knowledge Hub - The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime and Poseidon – Aquatic Resource Management Ltd. launched an index to track illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The Index scores “provide a strong indication” that SDG targets on ending IUU fishing “will not be achieved and that combatting IUU fishing remains a huge global challenge.”

  • The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime and Poseidon developed the ‘IUU Fishing Index,’ which uses a suite of 40 indicators to benchmark vulnerability, prevalence and response to IUU fishing among all of the world’s 152 coastal countries.
  • The Index aims to help policymakers identify where interventions to stop IUU are most needed.

The Global Initiative argues that while SDG 14 (life below water) focuses on ending IUU fishing, there has been insufficient evidence to track levels of IUU fishing and of countries’ vulnerability. SDG target 14.4 aims to end overfishing, illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing and destructive fishing practices. SDG target 14.6 aims to, by 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing and eliminate subsides that contribute to IUU fishing. The Global Initiative argues that the indicators against which progress on these targets is measured are not a direct measure of IUU fishing levels. This poses challenges for governments, regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs), donors and civil society interested in identifying where interventions to tackle IUU are most needed and in comparing country performance.

To address this evidence gap, the Global Initiative and Poseidon developed the ‘IUU Fishing Index,’ which uses a suite of 40 indicators to benchmark vulnerability, prevalence and response to IUU fishing among all of the world’s 152 coastal countries. Scores range from one for the best performing to five for the worst performing countries. Users can filter the Index by regional, country and ocean basin levels and by indicator. The Index aims to help policymakers identify where interventions to stop IUU are most needed.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: http://sdg.iisd.org/news/iuu-index-finds-world-off-track-on-sdg-targets-14-4-and-14-6/

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UNEP Report Finds Positive Trend Towards Marine Litter Reduction

28 Feb 2019 - Finds that if the scale of commitments continues to rise in a similar manner to 2016-2018 and funding is secured, there will be a positive trend towards reductions in marine litte

r by 2025 in some areas.

  • In advance of UNEA-4, UNEP released an analysis of voluntary commitments targeting marine litter and microplastics.
  • The analysis highlights the scaling up of stakeholder engagement and innovation and the increase in the number of voluntary commitments with the potential to significantly improve plastic removal and reduce leakage into coastal and marine environments.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has shared a report analyzing voluntary commitments made in support of SDG 14 (life below water) and efforts to address marine litter and microplastics. The report is one of several that UNEP has released in advance of the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4).

The report titled, ‘Analysis of Voluntary Commitments Targeting Marine Litter and Microplastics Pursuant to Resolution 3/7’ (UNEP/EA.4/11), analyzes commitments in the context of the UN Conference to Support the Implementation of SDG 14, the Our Ocean Conference, the UN Sustainable Development Platform, the Clean Seas campaign and the Environment Assembly portal for voluntary reporting relating to marine litter. The commitments analyzed focus on two tracks: targeted interventions that specifically address marine litter and microplastics, such as improved management of land-based waste; and system-wide actions to help shift the economy away from plastics and fossil fuel use towards a circular economy of reuse, remanufacturing and recycling of plastics, such as behavioral change and societal transformation.

The analysis finds that the main difference in 2018 commitments is the scaling up of stakeholder engagement and innovation and the increase in the number of voluntary commitments with the potential to significantly improve plastic removal and reduce leakage into coastal and marine environments. The analysis finds that governments “remain at the forefront” of activities to reduce marine litter and debris and tackle plastics in the ocean, although the role of civil society and foundations is growing. In comparison to 2017, there has been a greater emphasis in voluntary commitments on addressing marine plastics, including microbeads, at the source, through their removal from the supply chain, changing packaging and sourcing alternatives.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: http://sdg.iisd.org/news/unep-report-finds-positive-trend-towards-marine-litter-reduction/

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High-level Conference Issues Declaration on Oceans and Climate Change

22 Feb 2019 - IISD - Signatories to the Brussels Declaration on the ocean and climate change commit to continue developing, by 2020, an international legally binding instrument under the U

22 Feb 2019 - IISD - Signatories to the Brussels Declaration on the ocean and climate change commit to continue developing, by 2020, an international legally binding instrument under the UNCLOS on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, and state that combating adverse climate impacts “must be in accordance with this future instrument”.

  • The Declaration also calls for urgent action to reduce GHGs in the international shipping sector.

A high-level conference has issued a declaration on the ocean and climate change as part of the strategy developed by the Ocean Pathway process, which aims to include oceans on the formal agenda of the climate negotiations. Participants discussed the impact of climate change on marine biodiversity, the role of offshore energy production and the need to reduce ship emissions.

The Conference on ‘Climate Change and Oceans Preservation’ convened on 19 February in Brussels, Belgium. Belgium’s Federal Public Service (FPS) Health organized the Conference, which welcomed over 500 participants.

On sustainable development, climate change and ocean biodiversity, the Brussels Declaration reaffirms the commitments in SDGs 1 (no poverty), 2 (zero hunger), 7 (affordable and clean energy), 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), 14 (life below water), 15 (life on land) and 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions), recognizing their interconnectivity, and expresses support to enhance ocean, climate and biodiversity-related actions. Signatories commit to continue engaging constructively in developing an international legally binding instrument under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) by 2020 and recognize that conservation and sustainable use of ocean biodiversity require tools, particularly area-based management tools (ABMT), to improve resilience to climate change. The Declaration states that combating adverse climate impacts “must be in accordance with this future instrument.”

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: http://sdg.iisd.org/news/high-level-conference-issues-declaration-on-oceans-and-climate-change/

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Plastic Boat Setting Sail to Raise Awareness on Plastic Pollution

24 Jan 2019 - The ‘Flipflopi’ Project has produced the world’s first traditional dhow boat built entirely of ten tonnes of plastic trash collected from Kenya’s beaches and towns.

24 Jan 2019

  • The Flopflopi Project created the nine meter sailing boat using 10 tonnes of plastic trash collected from Kenya’s beaches and towns to highlight the potential for plastic waste to be reused.
  • Following its East African voyage, the Flipflopi dhow will travel to UNEA-4, which is focusing on ‘Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Consumption and Production’.

The ‘Flipflopi’ Project has produced the world’s first traditional dhow boat built entirely of ten tonnes of plastic trash collected from Kenya’s beaches and towns. The boat aims to raise awareness on marine plastic pollution and highlight the impact of plastic on marine ecosystems.

The Flipflopi Project created the dhow to highlight the potential for plastic waste to be reused. The project aims to raise awareness on how much plastic ends up in the ocean and how plastic pollution affects us all, share the value of repurposing plastic waste and bring an end to single-use plastic, in line with SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), SDG 14 (life below water) and SDG 15 (life on land). Flipflopi co-founder, Ben Morison, explained that the project encourages change in a positive way, first “making people smile” and then “sharing the very simple message that single-use plastics really don’t make sense.” He said Flipflopi created the boat using locally available resources and low-tech solutions, underscoring the potential for its ideas and techniques to be easily emulated. Morrison hoped people around the world would be “inspired by our beautiful multicolored boat and find their own ways to repurpose ‘already-used’ plastics.”

The Flopflopi project seeks to share the very simple message that single-use plastics really don’t make sense.

According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment), which is partnering with the project, only 9 percent of the 9 billion tonnes of plastic the world has produced has ever been recycled. The majority of plastics are thrown away after a single use, resulting in billions of tonnes of plastic that ends up in landfills and in the environment. This marine debris threatens marine ecosystem viability, economic development and food security. UNEP’s Clean Seas Campaign engages governments, the public and private sector in the fight against marine pollution. Kenya is one of nine African countries engaged in the Campaign.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE: http://sdg.iisd.org/news/plastic-boat-setting-sail-to-raise-awareness-on-plastic-pollution

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