Ocean Action Hub

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2020: the year for action, to ‘rise up’ and safeguard ocean life

9 Mar 2020 - António Guterres, UN Secretary-General - Our oceans are under assult. We need science-based, innovative solutions to save our ocean and the future of our plant.

With the ocean in deep crisis, members of civil society and philanthropic organisations are urging governments and corporations to take bold action to safeguard the ocean.  After a two-day preparatory meeting in New York in February ahead of June’s UN Ocean Conference in Portugal, activists handed over what they termed “A Blue Call to Action” to the UN Secretary-General António Guterres. 

Multiple stressors are eroding the ocean’s ability to function as the planet’s life support system, and so defending its capacity to produce oxygen, sequester carbon and provide food and livelihoods for billions of people is vital, delegates heard.  

With that in mind, in May last year, the Oceano Azul Foundation partnered with Ocean Unite and Oak Foundation to bring together representatives of fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, ocean conservation organizations and foundations, to agree on common priorities and solutions needed to tackle the ocean crisis and raise the level of ambition for action. 

Gathering ministers and representatives from civil society organizations, the business community, intergovernmental and United Nations agencies, the preparatory meeting of the UN Ocean Conference took place in New York this week, defining key areas of ocean action, and aiming to drive governments and other key decision-makers to deliver on their commitments. 

During the preparatory meeting, co-chaired by the Governments of Palau and Denmark, Tiago Pitta e Cunha, CEO of Oceano Azul Foundation, said that “the decisions needed to address the ocean crisis had been delayed for too long” similar to action on climate change. 

Highlighting the need to agree on concrete actions, he added that “now is the time to push tirelessly for such actions”.

The Ocean Conference, taking place in Lisbon from 2 to 6 June, aims to propel science-based innovative solutions in the form of global ocean action.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/02/1056792

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Protecting migratory species in a rapidly changing world: CMS COP13

19 Feb 2020 - Many fish, birds and mammals migrate along set routes in search of food or breeding grounds.

19 Feb 2020 - Many fish, birds and mammals migrate along set routes in search of food or breeding grounds. How best to protect them in a rapidly changing world is the focus of a major UN wildlife meeting which opened in Gandhinagar, India, on Monday.

The Thirteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, or CMS COP13, is taking place as the world faces the threat of losing one million species to extinction unless protective efforts are increased. 

“COP13 comes at a critical time for wildlife conservation, with continued downward trends of habitat loss and species decline,” said CMS Executive Secretary Amy Fraenkel.

“The conference will set in motion actions needed to better protect migratory species that rely on multilateral cooperation for their survival.”

Continue reading online here: https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/02/1057511

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Ocean Conference has potential to be a ‘global game-changer’

6 Feb 2020 - The second global Ocean Conference taking place in Portugal in June promises to be “a critical moment” for the health

of life under water and on land, the President of the UN General Assembly said on Tuesday, as preparations got underway.

Life under water is essential to life on land”, said Tijjani Muhammad-Bande. The ocean produces “half of the oxygen we breathe” and provides food for millions of around the world, playing a “fundamental role in mitigating climate change as a major heat and carbon sink”.

The Ocean Conference, which will run in Lisbon from 2 to 6 June, aims to propel science-based innovative solutions in the form of global ocean action.

The worldwide ocean economy is valued at around $1.5 trillion dollars annually, as aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector and 350 million jobs world-wide are linked to fisheries.
“A healthy marine environment holds untold potential for achieving the entirety of the Sustainable Development Agenda”, he said. “Yet the unsustainable use – and misuse – of ocean resources, climate change, and pollution all threaten the ability of our ocean to provide for us all”.

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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

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