Ocean Action Hub

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IOC Assembly Welcomes Progress on SDG 14 and Cooperation on Ocean-Climate Nexus

22 Jul 2019 - SDG Knowledge Hub - The Assembly recognized the Commission’s progress in developing accepted methodologies for measuring SDG target 14.3 on ocean acidification and SDG target

22 Jul 2019 - SDG Knowledge Hub - The Assembly recognized the Commission’s progress in developing accepted methodologies for measuring SDG target 14.3 on ocean acidification and SDG target 14.a on marine scientific research.

  • The Assembly agreed to support countries to formulate ocean-related climate mitigation and adaptation strategies and on further cooperation and research on the ocean-climate nexus.
  • The Assembly encouraged the IOC Secretariat to strengthen joint activities in support of the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

The 30th session of the Assembly of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) reviewed progress on the Commission’s work, and agreed on future priorities. The Assembly welcomed the Commission’s progress on elevating awareness on SDG 14 (life below water) and the Commission’s role in developing accelerated methodologies for SDG 14 indicators.

The 30th session of the IOC Assembly convened from 26 June to 4 July at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. The Assembly is composed of 150 member States, and is charged with establishing IOC-UNESCO’s general policy and main areas of work.

The Assembly acknowledged the IOC’s role in advancing increased visibility on SDG 14. IOC-UNESCO is the custodian agency for the indicators for SDG target 14.3 on ocean acidification, and SDG target 14.a on marine scientific research. The Assembly recognized the Commission’s progress in developing accepted methodologies for measuring these two indicators, both of which are now classified as Tier II indicators. According to the UN Inter-Agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), a Tier II indicator has a clear methodology but inadequate data. Countries can now begin collecting global data for both indicators.

Continue reading online here: https://sdg.iisd.org/news/ioc-assembly-welcomes-progress-on-sdg-14-indicators-supports-cooperation-on-ocean-climate-nexus/

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SDG Summit Outcome Document Agreed, includes reference to marine plastic litter for first time

5 Jul 2019 - UNGA President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces said she looks forward to its adoption "by consensus" during the opening session of the Summit, on 24 September.

5 Jul 2019 - UNGA President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces said she looks forward to its adoption "by consensus" during the opening session of the Summit, on 24 September.

  • UN Member States have reached agreement on the outcome document of the SDG Summit.
  • The final text includes "discharge of plastic litter into the oceans" among the issues on which progress is slow, and which could bring disastrous consequences for humanity.

UN Member States have reached agreement on the outcome document of the SDG Summit. The final text includes a reference to marine plastic litter that had not appeared in the previous versions.

The SDG Summit is the meeting of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) to be convened under the auspices of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) at the level of Heads of State and Government, from 24-25 September 2019. The UNGA is expected to adopt the political declaration during the opening session of the Summit.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: http://sdg.iisd.org/news/sdg-summit-outcome-document-agreed-by-un-member-states/

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WTO Fisheries Negotiations: Failure Is Not An Option - Rémi Parmentier

1 Jul 2019 - SDG 14 target 14.6 establishes the need to reach agreement on eliminating harmful fisheries subsidies “by 2020” – i.e. before the end of this year.

1 Jul 2019 - SDG 14 target 14.6 establishes the need to reach agreement on eliminating harmful fisheries subsidies “by 2020” – i.e. before the end of this year.

  • The WTO negotiations on eliminating certain types of fisheries subsidies - the main driver of overfishing - must be completed by the end of 2019.
  • China recently proposed capping such subisdies with exceptions to be included in a “green box” of exemptions, which we argue should include only subsidies that improve biodiversity conservation; this would force fishing interests to prove they are not hurting ocean life.
  • Now is the time to demonstrate that multilateral negotiations – and the WTO itself – can play a positive role on the global stage.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://sdg.iisd.org/commentary/guest-articles/wto-fisheries-negotiations-failure-is-not-an-option/

Photo: Duangphorn Wiriya on Unsplash

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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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