Ocean Action Hub

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Negotiating legally-binding agreement to provide future generations with a ‘healthy, resilient and productive ocean’

21 Aug 2019 - This week the United Nations is meeting to negotiate a treaty that would protect the open ocean by 2030 from climate change, pollution and over-exploitation.

21 Aug 2019 - While the world’s oceans contain some 200,000 identified living species, the actual numbers could reach the millions ­­– all exposed to the dangers of climate change, pollution and over-exploitation. To stem these threats, the United Nations is meeting to negotiate a treaty that would protect three-quarters of the earth’s surface by 2030.

On Monday, the Intergovernmental Conference on an international legally binding instrument kicked off its third of four rounds of UN meetings toward achieving a global treaty for the oceans under the UN Convention for the Law of the Sea, known as UNCLOS.

“I’m confident that our common interest in providing future generations with a healthy, resilient and productive ocean will continue to guide delegations in their negotiations,” said Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, in his remarks opening the session at UN Headquarter in New York, which aims to reach an agreement by the first half of 2020.

Marine Wildlife off Atauro Island, Timor-Leste.A dolphin leaps through the waters off Atauro Island, Timor-Leste. According to joint research conducted in 2008 between the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Timorese Government, the deep water , by UN Photo/Martine Perret

Since their last meeting, the 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services has revealed that, across most of the globe, humans have significantly altered nature, with ecosystems and biodiversity showing rapid decline, he said. 

Due to projected impacts of increasing land- and sea-use change, exploitation of organisms and climate change, negative trends are expected to continue through 2050 and beyond, according to the report. 

It further notes that 66 per cent of the ocean is experiencing increasing cumulative human impacts, primarily from climate change stressors, including sea surface temperature anomalies, ocean acidification and ultraviolet radiation. 

However, hope prevails for sustaining and conserving marine species and ecosystem using a coordinated mix of interventions, including multilevel coordination. 

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/08/1044571

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UN oceans treaty ‘essential’ to combat ‘unprecedented pressure’ on the ocean – UNSG

18 Jun 2019 - The ocean is under “unprecedented pressure” due to climate change, António Guterres said to the meeting of countries party to the UN CLOS.

18 Jun 2019 - The ocean is not only under “unprecedented pressure” due to climate change, but “half of all living coral has been lost in the past 150 years”, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday, addressing the latest gathering of nations which are party to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

“Conflicting demands from industry, fishing, shipping, mining and tourism are creating unsustainable levels of stress on marine and coastal ecosystems”, he laid out, adding “we must act across an array of sectors to address these challenges”.

Pointing to the UN Law of the Sea Convention as “one of our best tools”, Mr. Guterres appealed to all States Parties to “approach the task of the Convention’s full implementation with renewed commitment and vigour”.

“Let us be the generation that reverses the cycle of continuous decline in our oceans and ensures their conservation and sustainable use, for the benefit of current and future generations”, concluded the Secretary-General.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/06/1040641

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Promoting gender equality ‘crucial contribution’ to restore, protect our ocean

10 Jun 2019 - Women are engaged in all aspects of interaction with our ocean, yet their voices are often missing at the decision-making level, the head of the United Nations cultural agenc

10 Jun 2019 - Women are engaged in all aspects of interaction with our ocean, yet their voices are often missing at the decision-making level, the head of the United Nations cultural agency said on World Oceans Day, emphasizing that “we must ensure diversity and gender inclusiveness at all levels” to set a balanced course for humanity and foster innovative solutions for the ocean.

“We need to empower each and every citizen to take care of the ocean and enable all women to play transformative and ambitious roles in understanding, exploring, protecting and sustainably managing our ocean”, said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, pointing out that this year’s “special edition” of World Oceans Day links the themes of gender equality and ocean preservation.

Women engage in all aspects of ocean interaction, yet in many parts of the world, women’s contribution, both towards ocean-based livelihoods like fishing, and conservation efforts, are invisible and, gender inequality persists “from the marine industry to the field of ocean science”.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/06/1040091