Ocean Action Hub

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Preparatory meeting for 2020 UN Ocean Conference, UNHQ, New York

Special accreditation for the 2020 UN Ocean Conference and its preparatory meeting is now open.

Learn more here: https://oceanconference.un.org/#participate.

The meeting will take place 4-5 February 2020 at United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA.

The UN General Assembly will convene the 2020 United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. 

The overarching theme of the Conference is, “Scaling up ocean action based on science and innovation for the implementation of Goal 14: Stocktaking, partnerships and solutions.” 

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Building Community of Ocean Action on Marine pollution
Conf. Rm 14, UN Environment Assembly, Nairobi, Kenya. Event heard from various stakeholders on their innovative solutions for tackling marine pollution through their voluntary commitments, and build up the Communities of Ocean Action practitioners on marine pollution.
 

Conference Room 14, UN Environment Assembly, Nairobi, Kenya

At the Ocean Conference - held in June 2017 at UN HQ in New York, close to 1,400 voluntary commitments for concrete action to advance implementation of SDG 14 were made by governments, the United Nations system, civil society organizations, academia, the scientific community, and the private sector. These commitments, together with the Conference outcome document Our Ocean, Our Future: Call for Action, mark a global breakthrough on the path to sustainable management and conservation of our oceans, seas and marine resources.

To support implementation of the voluntary commitments, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, Ambassador Peter Thomson, with the support of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), is establishing nine clusters of Communities of Ocean Action among all stakeholders making ocean voluntary commitments to spur further action and maintain momentum until the next anticipated Ocean Conference in 2020. Marine pollution, which is addressed through SDG target 14.1, is one of the Communities of Ocean Action that have emerged through the process.

On 6 December 2017 at the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi, Kenya, Peter Thomson and UN DESA, in collaboration with UN Environment, held an event on Communities of Ocean Action on Marine Pollution. The event heard from various stakeholders on their innovative solutions for tackling marine pollution through their voluntary commitments, and built up the Communities of Ocean Action practitioners on marine pollution.

Read the concept note here >

PARTICIPATION

The event was open to all participants of UNEA.

If you are interested in providing an update of a marine pollution related Voluntary Commitment, please contact Mr. Ola Goransson, Division for Sustainable Development, UN-DESA, at goranssono@un.org.

More details: https://oceanconference.un.org/index.php?page=view&type=13&nr=2533

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PEMSEA Commits to Scale up Implementation of Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) in the East Asian Seas Region
PEMSEA partners are targeting to cover 25 percent of the region’s coastline under ICM by 2021, including Indonesia, the Philippines and Timor-Leste.

PEMEA has registered its commitment to The Ocean Conference to Scale up Implementation of Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) in the East Asian Seas Region  to cover 25 percent of the region’s coastline under ICM by 2021. This commitment is focused on SDG targets 14.1 to reduce marine pollution and 14.2 to protect marine and coastal ecosystems.

Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) is an intergovernmental organization operating in East Asia to foster and sustain healthy and resilient oceans, coasts, communities and economies across the region. PEMSEA serves as the regional coordinating institution for the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA) adopted by 14 countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, RO Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Viet Nam). For over 20 years, PEMSEA has made significant contributions and tangible benefits for coastal and ocean ecosystems and coastal communities in East Asia through partnerships and integrated solutions.

Recognizing the changing and emerging issues in ocean governance, countries of the region have adopted the SDS-SEA 2015 to contribute in meeting new global commitments on sustainable development, including the SDGs, particularly SDG14.

Building on practical experience gained in the application of integrated coastal management (ICM), PEMSEA has developed an ICM system that addresses complex coastal management concerns covering governance and various sustainable development aspects. In November 2015, PEMSEA country partners committed to scale up ICM to cover 25% of the region’s coastline. To date, PEMSEA has reached about 17% of the region’s coastline creating important impact to more than 31,000 km of coastline and over 146 million people living in coastal and watershed areas. As part of ICM implementation, PEMSEA and its partners, at the national and local government levels, are committed to improving coastal and ocean governance, as well as sustainable development aspects such as climate change, disaster risk reduction, habitat protection restoration and management, water use and supply management, food security and livelihood management, pollution reduction and waste management. 

PEMSEA’s work at the national policy level and demonstrated success with ICM has contributed to the replication and scaling of ICM by other organizations and donors in in the region, resulting in 15 percent coverage of the entire region’s coastline under some form of ICM. 

For example, in Batangas, Philippines, the ICM program started with five municipalities and one city in Batangas Bay. In coordination with 34 local governments, agencies and donors, ICM has now expanded to cover the watershed, coastal areas and bays of the entire province. Likewise, 14 coastal provinces in central Viet Nam are targeted by the government to adopt ICM practices, and in Thailand, 21 LGUs have championed the ICM approach in their respective municipalities. 

Explore PEMSEA's ICM Sites here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=12yqK3yMH7OkYa8o6j-dzzCLkPMk&usp=sharing

Read more about PEMSEA's commitment in the Commitment Registry: https://oceanconference.un.org/commitments/?id=14716

Feeling inspired? Register your commitment – big or small – to protect the ocean here: https://oceanconference.un.org/commitments/

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SACEP Commits to Build Countries' Capacity to prepare policies to implement SDG 14

11 May 2017 - The South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme is supporting countries to protect coastal and marine ecosystems and build regional resilience.

The South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) is supporting countries to protect coastal and marine ecosystems and build regional resilience

11 May 2017 - SACEP has registered its commitment to The Ocean Conference to build the capacity of its member countries to prepare policies to implement SDG 14. This commitment is focused on SDG targets 14.1 to reduce marine pollution and 14.2 to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience by 2020.

Based in Sri Lanka, the South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) is an inter-governmental Organization, established in 1982 by Governments of the eight South Asian countries to promote and support protection, management and enhancement of the environment in the region. Countries, namely; Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have ratified the articles of Association of SACEP. SACEP is also the Secretariat for the South Asian Seas Programme (SASP), one of UN Environment's 18 Regional Seas Programmes.

Their approach includes: a scoping study of nutrient pollution on the coastal and marine systems of South Asia; developing a Regional Oil and Chemical Spill Contingency Plan for the South Asian seas region; developing a Marine and Coastal Biodiversity Strategy for the region and a Regional Strategy and task force to address Ballast Water Management in the region by 2019.

Read more about SACEP's commitment in the Commitment Registry: https://oceanconference.un.org/commitments/?id=15445

Feeling inspired? Register your commitment – big or small – to protect the ocean here: https://oceanconference.un.org/commitments/

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Voluntary commitments on ocean action picking up pace – 123 commitments received

“We have seen a surge in new commitments to address the very real concerns that our oceans are facing,” said Wu Hongbo, Secretary-General of the Conference.

New York —A growing number of countries, businesses and civil society groups are stepping forward with new commitments to improve the health of the world’s oceans in advance of The Ocean Conference that will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 5-9 June.

“For too long, we have taken the Ocean for granted, without understanding the vital role it plays in our lives,” said the President of the UN General Assembly, Peter Thomson. “The voluntary commitments being made through the website of The Ocean Conference, from countries large and small, from agencies and civil society, register the good action being taken to restore and preserve the Ocean’s health.”

“We have seen a surge in new commitments to address the very real concerns that our oceans are facing,” said Wu Hongbo, Secretary-General of The Ocean Conference and Under-Secretary-General of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. “We hope the pace will pick up even further,” he added.

A total of 123 voluntary commitments that will support the implementation of SDG14 have been made at the Voluntary Commitments registry of the Ocean Conference at https://oceanconference.un.org/commitments/.

Commitment types

Among commitments to-date are projects to protect coral reefs and coastal zones in Grenada and Bali; a commitment to increase ocean conservation philanthropy, and Belgium’s commitment to prepare a national action plan to combat marine litter that will contain several cleaning activities such as the removal of fishing nets from ship wrecks and beach clean ups.

The leading nation in the number of voluntary commitments currently is Indonesia, with six, followed by Grenada, with five.

The leading entity type for submission of voluntary commitments is non-governmental organizations, with 40, followed by governments, with 16, and intergovernmental organizations (12) and the private sector with 10.

The majority of voluntary commitments are global in nature—there are 74 so far, while the ocean basins with the most voluntary commitments are the South Pacific (28), the North Atlantic (23), and the North Pacific (20). Only two commitments (each) have been made that impact the Arctic and Southern Oceans. Of the 10 SDG14 targets, support for the sustainable management of marine ecosystems have garnered the most commitments, with 66, followed by marine pollution reduction with 50, and scientific knowledge, research capacity and technology transfer, with 57.

Stakeholders at all levels, from local civil society groups to UN member states to the largest private companies, are invited to submit their SDG14 voluntary commitments to the registry towards their official inclusion in the report of the Ocean Conference.

About the Conference

The Ocean Conference, to be held at UN Headquarters in NY from 5-9  June, aims to address and reverse the deterioration of the health of the ocean through the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.  SDG 14 calls for the conservation and sustainable use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

For more information on The Ocean Conference, please visit:  https://oceanconference.un.org/

Media contact:

UN Department of Public Information

Dan Shepard, T: +1 (212) 963-9495 | M: +1 (646) 675-3286 | E: shepard@un.org

Devi Palanivelu, T: +1(212) 963-963 1104 | Email: palanivelu@un.org

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CALAO Commits to Protect Cabo Verde's Biodiversity from marine debris

Monthly beach clean-ups in Sal island led to plans to establish a recycling facility. 

CALAO Association, a civil society organization based in Cape Verde, has registered its commitment to The Ocean Conference to protect the islands' biodiversity from marine debris. This commitment is focused on SDG target 14.1 to reduce marine pollution. 

The Cabo Verdean islands are suffering from a steady flow of plastic debris carried by the Oceanic current. They accumulate mostly on the Eastern shores of the archipelago, putting at risk the islands' marine fauna and biodiversity.

The combination of the Canary marine current (along the African coast) and the Trade Winds pushes a constant flow of debris, which are mainly produced by the international fishing industry. Containers, fishing nets, and plastic bottle represent around 90% of the collected debris.

CALAO's first beach clean-up took place in October 2015. Since then they have collected more than 9 tons of plastic debris from 6 different isolated beaches. Working with students from middle high schools and unemployed people from the island capital Espargos, they receive logistical support from the 2nd Regiment of Espargos.

Currently the debris collected through the clean-ups is disposed of in the central landfill. Hence, CALAO's next goal is to establish a recycling unit  to help the island process the masses of garbage generated by the booming tourism industry, in consultation with key stakeholders, including hoteliers and city hall.

Read more about CALAO's commitment in the Commitment Registry: https://oceanconference.un.org/commitments/?id=14087#sthash.Ec69hqen.dpuf​

Feeling inspired? Register your commitment – big or small – to protect the ocean here: https://oceanconference.un.org/commitments/

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Partnership Dialogues background notes - now available!

1 May 2017 - Concept notes for the 7 partnership dialogues to be held during the Ocean Conference (5-9 June) are now available online.

1 May 2017 - The concept notes for the seven partnership dialogues to be held during the Ocean Conference (5-9 June 2017) are now available on the Conference website and online at the links below, as advance unedited versions in English only. These notes will be translated into the official UN languages and posted on the website, once available.

The co-chairs for the partnership dialogues were announced on 21 April and the full list is as follows:

The 7 Partnership Dialogues background papers and co-chairs:

  1. Addressing marine pollution - Co-Chairs: Norway and Indonesia
  2. Managing, protecting, conserving and restoring marine and coastal ecosystems - Co-Chairs: Italy and Palau 
  3. Minimizing and addressing ocean acidification - Co-Chairs: Monaco and Mozambique 
  4. Making fisheries sustainable - Co-Chairs: Canada and Senegal
  5. Increasing economic benefits to SIDS and lDCs and providing access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets - Co-Chairs: Estonia and Grenada
  6. Increasing scientific knowledge, and developing research capacity and transfer of marine technology - Co-Chairs: Iceland and Peru 
  7. Enhancing the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the law of the Sea - Co-Chairs: Australia and Kenya

The full letter from the President of the General Assembley on the 7 Parnership Dialogues themes is available online here >

For more information on the Conference, including registration by eligible stakeholders to participate (deadline 8 May) please visit: https://oceanconference.un.org/

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Webinar: UN system & IGOs meeting with Ocean Conference Co-facilitators

UN system and IGOs meeting with Ocean conference Co-facilitators, Singapore and Portugal

Friday, April 28, 2017, 4:30 to 5:30 PM  -  EST

UN system and IGOs meeting with Ocean conference Co-facilitators, Singapore and Portugal

Friday, April 28, 2017, 4:30 to 5:30 PM  -  EST

Conference Room 11, UNHQ, New York

The purpose of the meeting is to exchange views on the "Call for Action" for the Ocean Conference and the 2nd round of informal inter-governmental consultations on the Call for Action that will be held on 24, 25 and 27 April in the Trusteeship Council Chamber, UNHQ, New York and open to observers (UN entities and IGOs will be accommodated in the gallery, although without the opportunity to speak). 

For details on how to join the webinar contact: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/contact

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Register to participate in the Ocean Conference!

Pre-registration is open online until 8 May 2017 for accredited organizations

PRE-REGISTRATION FOR THE OCEAN CONFERENCE (5-9 June 2017)

Pre-registration is required by eligible and interested representatives of NGOs and major groups identified in Agenda 21 to participate in the high-level United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development – the Ocean Conference - to be convened in New York, from 5 to 9 June 2017.

Pre-registration is open from 27 March - 8 May 2017 online at http://bit.ly/OceanConference for organizations belonging to the following categories:

- Organizations that are in consultative status with ECOSOC; 
- Organizations that were accredited to the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development and to previous United Nations conferences on sustainable development of small island developing States, held in Barbados, Mauritius and Samoa; 
- Organizations that have received special accreditation by Member States to participate in the Conference and the preparatory meeting. For list please see: 
http://www.un.org/pga/71/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2015/08/8-Feb-approved-stakeholders-for-the-ocean-conference.pdf. (Please note that the deadline for submitting applications for special accreditation was 22 January 2017 and that applications are no longer accepted). 

Please note that the Ocean Conference Secretariat will be reviewing and approving the pre-registrations on a rolling basis. Once pre-registration has been approved in the online CSO net, the system will generate a letter of confirmation for each approved participant.

For more information on the Ocean Conference please visit the conference website at https://oceanconference.un.org

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Stakeholder meeting on the Zero Draft of The Ocean Conference Call for Action with the co-facilitators - WEBEX and UNHQ

The zero draft of the Call for Action outcome document of the Ocean Conference is available here: https://susta

The zero draft of the Call for Action outcome document of the Ocean Conference is available here: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/12959Zero_Draft.pdf. The first round of intergovernmental consultations on the zero draft will be held March 20-22 at UNHQ in New York. Stakeholders with valid UN grounds passes can observe the meetings from the gallery of conference room 2. 

The co-facilitators of the preparatory process, the Permanent Representatives of Portugal and Singapore, will also hold a meeting on the zero draft with stakeholders on March 24 from 3-4pm in conference room 8 at UNHQ. You can attend in person with a valid UN grounds pass, or to participate via webex, please register by March 22 here: https://goo.gl/forms/B5FlGL0xEyGkQbv92. You will receive the webex details on March 23. 



An information note on the concept papers for the seven partnership dialogues to be held during the Conference is available at: sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/12941note_on_concept_papers_8_March_2017.pdf