Ocean Action Hub

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Outer islands; inner sanctum: Expanding the Seychelles' protected area network

 6 Apr 2020 - Will include its biodiverse coralline Outer Islands.

 6 Apr 2020 - Will include its biodiverse coralline Outer Islands.

The Republic of Seychelles is facing a perfect storm: on one hand, government and industry increasingly see the ocean as an important source of economic growth; on the other, they are tasked with countering the existential threat the ocean faces.

But this productive challenge has resulted in a success worthy of celebration.

On March 26, 2020, the Government of Seychelles announced a landmark achievement: protecting 30% of the country’s ocean territory.

The expansion of Marine Protected Areas to nearly a third of Seychelles’ ocean territory, totalling an area of 410,000 square kilometres - an area larger than Germany - is an exemplar of green practices supporting their blue economy.



CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://undp-biodiversity.exposure.co/outer-islands-inner-sanctum

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A Holistic Approach for Sustainable Fisheries and a Blue Economy

8 Apr 2020 - To help overfished stocks recover, as well as to safeguard those that are still within sustainable harvesting limits, both the private and public sectors have important roles to play. 

8 Apr 2020 - As consumer demand for wild caught seafood continues to grow, so do the pressures that lead to overfishing and collapses of global fisheries.  To help overfished stocks recover, as well as to safeguard those that are still within sustainable harvesting limits, both the private and public sectors have important roles to play.  The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is currently implementing an innovative project, the Global Sustainable Supply Chains for Marine Commodities Project (GMC Project), and just released a new publication "The GMC Project: Our Model and Early Results", that describes its unique approach to engage different public and private sector actors along the seafood supply chain to drive sustainability into 9 distinct fisheries in Asia and Latin America. 

“As we enter the first year of the UN Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, UNDP is working actively with multiple partners to build a sustainable Blue Economy that fosters a healthy marine environment,” said Diego Orellana, GMC International Project Coordinator.“Collective action and public private partnerships will help unlock society's potential to achieve the 2030 Agenda and safeguard the resources, services and livelihoods that are linked to our oceans.” added Orellana.

After two years of implementation, the GMC Project has produced compelling results in the four countries in which it operates: Costa Rica, Ecuador, Indonesia and the Philippines.

On the one hand, the project focuses on assisting national planning and fisheries authorities to facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogue spaces called Sustainable Marine Commodity Platforms to formulate policies aimed at improving the sustainability and effective management of the targeted fisheries in their corresponding Large Marine Ecosystems. 

The Sustainable Marine Commodity Platforms adapt the UNDP-Green Commodities Programme methodology to the fisheries context and seek at once to promote systemic change for commodity supply chains (sustainable production and demand) while assisting state actors to apply the ecosystem approach to fisheries management. These platforms aim to produce National Action Plans or Fisheries Management Plans with active multi-stakeholder participation.

Simultaneously, the GMC project’s NGO partner, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), works to engage international seafood retailers and buyers to help support the critical improvements needed for the sustainability of fisheries. In short, the model harnesses market incentive tools and bottom-up public governance efforts to effectively drive sustainability to meet in the middle of fishery supply chains.

To date, the project has facilitated new fisheries policy consultation forums in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Indonesia and has strengthened the fisheries management Technical Working Groups in the Philippines. The GMC Project is also providing direct assistance to seven Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) and indirect support to another two.  Between these nine FIPs the project is contributing to improve the sustainability of an estimated 344,313 metric tons of annual seafood landings.  SFP has also helped eight major global seafood retailers to adopt or improve their sustainable seafood purchasing policies, and have engaged an additional 29 international seafood supplying companies in four relevant Supply Chain Roundtables to support fisheries improvements across the globe.

The GMC Project with the support of its partner SFP has helped secure industry financing for the sustainability of fisheries.  In Ecuador, for example, the GMC Project provided seed funding to initiate the Small Pelagic FIP, and in return, the Ecuadorian private sector FIP implementers committed more than $1.5 million dollars to implement the FIP’s five-year work plan.  This FIP, which is comprised of 19 Ecuadorian fishing and fishmeal producing companies, is aiming to achieve sustainable certified from IFFO-RS, the world’s leading sustainable certifying agency for reduction fisheries.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE: https://globalmarinecommoditiesproject.exposure.co/a-holistic-approach-for-sustainable-fisheries-and-a-blue-economy

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The GMC Project: Our Model and Early Results

8 Apr 2020 - This UNDP report aims to serve as a first public presentation or the model and early results of the The Global Sustainable Supply Chains for Marine Commodities (GMC) Project, and that it may open a door for collaboration and sharing with institutions and stakeholders working to promote systemic change in the fisheries sector.

8 Apr 2020 - The Global Sustainable Supply Chains for Marine Commodities (GMC) Project is a Global Environment Facility (GEF)-funded interregional initiative implemented by the Ministries and Bureaus of Fisheries, Production and Planning of Costa Rica, Ecuador, Indonesia and Philippines, with technical support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and facilitated by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP).

The GMC Project contributes to the transformation of international seafood markets by mainstreaming sustainability in seafood supply chains originating in developing countries. The project harnesses the power of emerging market-based tools such as seafood ecolabelling programs, international retailer corporate purchasing policies, Sustainable Marine Commodity Platforms (SMCPs), and Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) to, together, integrate sustainability in fishery management and supply chain operations.

The project develops the capacities of national regulatory authorities to more effectively manage priority fisheries and it will generate lessons learned to be shared worldwide with fisheries management practitioners.

The project’s principal objective is to mainstream sustainability into seafood supply chains by employing market mechanisms and tools, and by facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogue to craft science-based and consensus-driven policies.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE: https://globalmarinecommodities.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/UNDP-GMC-Project_Report_2020.pdf

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Thank you to everyone who applied to the Ocean Innovation Challenge

25 Mar 2020 - We received a huge wave of proposals to address marine pollution. We're now reviewing all and will contact the best in the coming weeks to invite full proposals.

25 Mar 2020 - We received a huge wave of proposals to address marine pollution. We're now reviewing all and will contact the best in the coming weeks to invite full proposals. Follow us on social media for updates:

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Applying the hard lessons of coronavirus to the biodiversity crisis

26 Mar 2020 - 2020 was supposed to be a ‘Super Year for Nature,’ with a number of global meetings including the UN Ocean Conference. But the virus has lessons that apply to the global crises of biodiversity loss.

26 Mar 2020 - This year was supposed to be a ‘Super Year for Nature,’ with a number of global meetings; a World Conservation Congress, a UN Ocean Conference, and a UN Nature Summit – all culminating in a global biodiversity conference that would agree on a decade-long 'Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework'. This  was supposed to be the year that launched the Decade of Restoration, and that finally acknowledged nature-based solutions in climate negotiations. But COVID-19 had other plans. We must learn and adapt faster than ever, and the virus has lessons that apply to the global crises of biodiversity loss.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/blog/2020/applying-the-hard-lessons-of-coronavirus-to-the-biodiversity-cri.html

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Final days to enter UNDP’s Ocean Innovation Challenge

02 Mar 2020 - The OIC is seeking innovations that are transferable, replicable and scalable. Grants range from $50,000 to $250,000.

The first of several planned OICs focuses on SDG 14.1:Reduce Marine Pollution

See UNDP Press Release.

The criteria for applicants are as follows:

  • The innovations to be submitted can include technological as well as cutting edge policy, regulatory, financial, economic or other actions that address either sea-based or land-based sectors.
  •   Initial concepts can be submitted by public or private entities, including governments, private companies (including start-ups), NGO/CSO, United Nations entities, academic institutions, and intergovernmental organizations.
  • The Challenge must be implemented in and benefit stakeholders in developing countries but may be submitted by developing or developed country proponents.

For more information and to submit a preliminary concept, peruse the Ocean Innovation Challenge website at:
www.oceaninnovationchallenge.org.

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Reducing Plastic Pollution: Experiments by UNDP Ghana’s Accelerator Lab on recycling

18 Feb 2020 - One solution is a plastic recycling project which enables homes and businesses to deposit their recyclable plastic bottles in branded containers, at fuel stations across Accr

18 Feb 2020 - One solution is a plastic recycling project which enables homes and businesses to deposit their recyclable plastic bottles in branded containers, at fuel stations across Accra.

Ghana’s production of waste is rising rapidly, along with an increasing population and expanding economy. 75% of solid waste is simply discarded and only about 1.5% of plastic waste is recycled, contributing to poor sanitation and pollution. Much of this waste is recoverable, with an estimated value of US$ 15 billion. The potential for a circular economy is huge, but the current reality presents a significant policy challenge. Despite some pockets of good practice in waste-management, many issues need urgent attention.

In response to challenges such as this, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has set up an innovative network of Accelerator Labs across the globe, including in Ghana, to identify, test and scale up solutions to developmental challenges.

In synergy with other initiatives being undertaken by UNDP in Ghana, such as the ‘Waste’ Recovery Platform, the Accelerator Lab is currently identifying, mapping and testing grassroots solutions for waste management. The aim is to drive changes in behaviour, increase take-up of recycling and thus improve waste management. One such solution is a plastic recycling project which enables homes and businesses to deposit their recyclable plastic bottles in branded containers, at fuel stations across Accra.

The Ghana Accelerator Lab team is deploying Behavioural Insight techniques to understand how individuals make decisions on recycling. Early results indicate that households and businesses prefer their recyclable waste to be collected at their doorsteps, instead of taking it to recycling points. Typically, this is linked to issues of accessibility (location of recycling points), affordability (perceived costs of the journey to recycling points - including time), and the existence of alternatives (including whether there is a recyclable waste collection service in place).

Recycling is not an entirely new concept in Ghana. Some communities have always re-used items – including plastic bottles. Indeed, there is an informal community which goes from house to house collecting plastic waste, for free or for a fee. But can informal solutions cope with the volume of plastic waste being generated?

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.gh.undp.org/content/ghana/en/home/blog/2019-/_eco-conscious-kofi-and-just-passing-ama--experiments-by-undp-gh.html

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The Blue Tank – Innovative Solutions for a Sustainable Blue Economy

16 Jan 2020 - The UNDP Barbados & the Eastern Caribbean Blue Economy Accelerator Lab (Blue Lab) has launched the first-ever “Blue Tank” ­– a dynamic forum where innovators will pitch ideas to help build a sustainable blue economy in the Caribbean.

 

16 Jan 2020 - The UNDP Barbados & the Eastern Caribbean Blue Economy Accelerator Lab (Blue Lab), with support from the German Development Cooperation and the Qatar Fund for Development has launched the first-ever “Blue Tank” ­– a dynamic forum where innovators will pitch ideas to help build a sustainable blue economy in the Caribbean region.

The primary objective of the Blue Lab, as part of the world’s largest and fastest learning network, is to promote out-of-the-box-thinking and experimentation to support Small Island Developing States in the sustainable development of its ocean based economic sectors while contributing to SDG 14. Consequently, the Blue Tank has been conceptualised from this to advance the identification of new and creative grassroots solutions to the multifaceted and rapidly changing challenges of the blue economy.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.bb.undp.org/content/barbados/en/home/presscenter/articles/2019/the-blue-tank.html

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SINGLE-USE PLASTIC FREE WORKSPACES? IT IS POSSIBLE!

9 Jan 2019 - UNDP Accelerator Lab set the goal of encouraging colleagues to reduce single-use plastic use at work, assuming that behavior change will be transposed to their lives outside w

9 Jan 2019 - UNDP Accelerator Lab set the goal of encouraging colleagues to reduce single-use plastic use at work, assuming that behavior change will be transposed to their lives outside work.

This was to be our first "simple" experiment, as all our colleagues advocate daily for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and they also know a lot about sustainability. After all, what can go wrong?

After the first month of our experiment, we can say with certainty that things turned out to be not so simple.

For a month, we conducted an information campaign on single use plastic, promoting the importance of reducing the use of this plastic through audio announcements, talking to almost all employees, putting up posters with key messages in strategic locations, making video presentations with the most important data, information and trends in reducing the use of disposable plastic globally as well as locally. We have organized challenges and implemented activities to reduce the total number of waste bins, as well as activities to replace plastic bags with textile ones. We have flooded social networks through UN agency channels with the information that as the UN we are becoming the first single-use plastic-free workspace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We counted each plastic item our colleagues brought into the building and were repeating the mantra non-plastic is fantastic!

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.ba.undp.org/content/bosnia_and_herzegovina/en/home/Blog/single-use-plastic-free-workspaces--it-is-possible-.html

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UNDP launches new Ocean Innovation Challenge

23 Jan 2020 - UNDP has launched a new call to action, the Ocean Innovation Challenge (OIC) to accelerate progress on SDG14, seeking innovations that are transferable, replicable and scalable. The Challenge grants range from $50,000 to $250,000.

23 Jan 2020 - UNDP has launched a new call to action— Ocean Innovation Challenge (OIC) to accelerate progress on SDG 14 targets. The OIC seeks innovations that are transferable, replicable and scalable. The Challenge grants range from $50,000 to $250,000.

Recognizing the increasing urgency of tackling ocean pollution, particularly from plastics and nutrients, the first of several planned OICs focuses on SDG 14.1- Reduce Marine Pollution.

The momentum on ocean protection and restoration has rapidly accelerated particularly since the 2017 Ocean Conference. However, a number of the SDG 14- Life Below Water targets still lag behind.  Between overfishing, pollution, habitat loss and the multiple impacts of climate change on ocean ecosystems, the ocean has never faced such a diverse range of threats.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/news-centre/news/2020/undp-launches-new-ocean-innovation-challenge.html