Ocean Action Hub

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Talks on New High Seas Treaty Open at UNHQ this week

26 Mar 2019 - Delegates call for increased cooperation and special attention to developing states in talks on new treaty as conference opens second session.

26 Mar 2019 - Delegates call for increased cooperation and special attention to developing states in talks on new treaty as conference opens second session.

Increased cooperation and recognizing the needs of developing States must lead discussions towards a legally binding convention to govern the high seas, delegates said, as an intergovernmental conference to draft the first‑ever treaty addressing the ocean’s biological diversity opened its second substantive session.

Convened pursuant to General Assembly resolution 72/249, the Intergovernmental Conference on an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction will continue through 5 April.

Opening the session, conference President Rena Lee (Singapore) recalled its mandate to elaborate such a treaty as soon as possible, building upon the first session in 2018, which was “an excellent start to our work and put us on a good path towards the development of the instrument”.  (For more information on the Conference’s first session, please see Press Release SEA/2086.)

Ahead of this session, Ms. Lee called on delegations to work towards a fair, effective outcome, stressing that “we must show flexibility and cooperative spirit to fulfil our mandate”.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.un.org/press/en/2019/sea2093.doc.htm

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World Oceans Day 2019
On 8 June every year, World Oceans Day provides a unique opportunity to honor, help protect, and conserve our world’s shared ocean. Register your event here.

What is World Oceans Day?

The United Nations celebrates World Oceans Day every year on 8 June. Many countries have celebrated this special day since 1992, following the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro.

In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly decided that, as of 2009, 8 June would be designated by the United Nations as “World Oceans Day”.

Every 8 June, we have an opportunity to raise global awareness of the benefits humankind derives from the ocean and our individual and collective duty to use its resources sustainably. Future generations will also depend on the ocean for their livelihoods!

Aquariums, science centers and research institutions, NGOs, communities and governments all around the world mobilize millions of people around events big and small. This is your portal to finding which events are happening around the world and in your neighborhood.

Together with the United Nations Family and our partners, let’s celebrate all that the ocean gives us every day: from the oxygen we breathe to the inspiration that moves our poets.

Our theme this year is: Gender and Ocean

Visit the official UN World Oceans Day Portal here: https://unworldoceansday.org

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11th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group of the Whole on the Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, including Socioeconomic Aspects (Regular Process)

UN HQ, New York - The General Assembly, in its resolution 71/257 of 23 December 2017, on 'Oceans and the law of the sea,' recalled that the Regular Process shall be overseen and guided by its Ad Ho

c Working Group of the Whole, and decided that the Working Group shall facilitate the delivery of the outputs of the second cycle as outlined in the programme of work for the period 2017-2020 for the second cycle of the Regular Process.

The Regular Process is expected to meet twice in 2018 to: approve an outline of the 'World Ocean Assessment;' and to provide recommendations to the UN General Assembly on the preparation of the assessment.

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First Session of the Intergovernmental Conference on BBNJ

UNHQ, New York - Aims to elaborate the text of an international legally binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).

UNHQ, New York - Intergovernmental Conference, under the auspices of the United Nations, to consider recommendations on the elements and to elaborate the text of an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), with a view to developing the instrument as soon as possible.

The Conference will meet for four sessions, with the first session to be convened from 4 to 17 September 2018. The second and third sessions will take place in 2019, and the fourth session in the first half of 2020.

The Conference held a three-day organizational meeting in New York, from 16 to 18 April 2018. 

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Deputy Secretary-General's remarks on Sustainable Management of Ocean Resources

20 Sep 2017 - The importance of oceans for sustainable development is of unparalleled significance to human life.

20 Sep 2017 - [As prepared for delivery]

The importance of oceans for sustainable development is of unparalleled significance to human life.

The international community embodied this critical significance in the Sustainable Development Goal 14 to “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources”.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

More than 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal resources for their livelihoods.

The global oceans-based economy is estimated at between 3 and 6 trillion dollars a year. 

At least 90 per cent of the volume of global trade is seaborne.

Oceans also capture and store about 30 per cent of carbon dioxide produced by humans.

Mangroves and coral reefs offer shoreline protection.

Global coral reefs protect around 150,000 kilometres of shoreline in more than 100 countries and territories and are essential breeding grounds for fisheries. Coral reefs are the Amazon of the oceans.

Marine phytoplankton produces 50 per cent of oxygen on Earth.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

These few examples illustrate how the oceans relate to all aspects of human life. Science is telling us that rising ocean temperatures are accelerating the overall warming trends.

According scientific studies, this June, the world's oceans reached 17 degrees Celsius, their highest average temperature since record keeping for these data began in the 19th century.

The growing warming of oceans is challenging nearly all aspects of how they contribute to human life.            

Besides, there is significant increase in the intensity and frequencies of the storms, some of which we have witnessed a few days ago,. This is what science has been warning us.  Warming oceans are also endangering polar creatures and threatening coral reefs and fisheries.

Warming is also attributed to the ferocity of hurricanes and storms that we are witnessing.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The UN led World’s Ocean Conference, which concluded in June this year, altered global consciousness and highlighted the problems facing the oceans ranging from marine pollution to illegal and over fishing, from ocean acidification to lack of high seas governance and above all warming.

The Conference concluded that the sustainable management of ocean resources will reduce poverty, increase prosperity and economic growth, enhance food security and help us fight against the negative impacts of climate change. The Conference produced a comprehensive and actionable range of solutions.

It was a major success in laying a pathway for the sustainable management of oceans and the implementation of Goal 14.

Time has come to implement the Call for Action made by the Conference.

This is particularly important for Small Island Developing States and coastal Least Developed Countries as they often solely depend on ocean for their livelihood.

Oceans – either by way of tourism or food, contribute nearly 25% or more to the economies of the Small Island Developing States economies. Warming oceans or the continued unsustainable consumption of Oceans can only undermine their economies and prospects of meeting the SDGs.

So, for these countries to get economic benefit from the ocean, the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism is essential.

To guarantee these benefits, several elements are needed:

First, a stronger national framework on implementing SDG14 and its coherence with all other SDGs. Effective national legal and policy frameworks, as well as requisite national institutions and cooperation mechanisms are vital;

Second, enhanced conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources consistent with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea;

Third, increased cross-sectoral cooperation and coordination at all levels through stakeholder involvement and empowerment.

Finally, changed consumption and production patterns which are damaging the world’s oceans, particularly through land-based sources of pollution and over fishing.

Last week, the Secretary-General appointed Ambassador Peter Thomson as his Special Envoy for the Ocean.

 

 Ambassador Thomson will, with support from Member States, the Secretariat and the UN system, continue to work on galvanizing the outcomes of the Ocean Conference, spearhead the follow-up, and encourage monitoring and evaluation of advances in the sustainable management of ocean resources.

I take this opportunity to thank Norway for your announcement of support, including funding support, to the Special Envoy.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Without the ocean there would be no life on Earth.

If we prove to be good stewards, the world’s oceans and seas it will continue to be invaluable sources of well-being for the whole of humanity for our generation and those to come.

Thank you.

CONTINUE READING: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/dsg/statement/2017-09-20/deputy-secreta...

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Secretary-General appoints Peter Thomson of Fiji as his Special Envoy for the Ocean

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Peter Thomson of Fiji as his Special Envoy for the Ocean, aiming at galvanizing concerted efforts to follow up on the outcomes of the

United Nations (UN) Ocean Conference in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, maintaining the momentum for action to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Mr. Thomson will lead UN’s advocacy and public outreach efforts inside and outside of the UN system, ensuring that the many positive outcomes of The Ocean Conference, including the close to 1400 voluntary commitments, are fully analysed and implemented.  He will also work with civil society, the scientific community, the private sector, and other relevant stakeholders, to coalesce and encourage their activities in support of the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14.

Mr. Thomson brings a distinguished experience in diplomatic services, including as Permanent Representative of Fiji to the UN and President of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly during which he provided visionary leadership in guiding the preparation of The Ocean Conference.

Elected President of the Assembly of the International Seabed Authority’s 2011-2012 session and President of the Council of the Authority’s 2015-2016 session, Mr. Thomson chaired the Group of 77 and China (2013) and served as President of the Executive Board of UN Development Programme/UN Population Fund/UN Office for Programme Support (UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS) from 2014 to 2015.  As a civil servant in the Government of Fiji, he devoted many years of his life to working in the fields of rural development and then foreign affairs.

More: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/personnel-appointments/2017-09-12/mr-peter-thomson-fiji-special-envoy-ocean

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PRESS RELEASE: President of the UN General Assembly to Ring the Nasdaq Stock Market Opening Bell on Monday, 21 August, 2017

18 Aug 2017 - The President of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, will ring the Opening Bell of the Nasdaq Stock Market at its MarketSite Headquarters in Times Square, New York, on Monday, 21 August 2017 at 9:30 am EDT, to raise awareness on the urgency of measures required to improve the health of the Ocean.

18 Aug 2017 - The President of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, will ring the Opening Bell of the Nasdaq Stock Market at its MarketSite Headquarters in Times Square, New York, on Monday, 21 August 2017 at 9:30 am EDT, to raise awareness on the urgency of measures required to improve the health of the Ocean.

The meaningful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals – the set of 17 goals committed to by 193 countries to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all by the year 2030 – has been the major theme of the 71st Session of the General Assembly. Supporting Sustainable Development Goal 14, the Ocean goal, was the focus of The Ocean Conference held at the United Nations Headquarters in June 2017. The Conference was a milestone in raising global consciousness on the need for Ocean action.

President Thomson said, “I am honored to have this opportunity to ring the Nasdaq Stock Market Opening Bell to continue to send the message to humanity that the Ocean’s health is in trouble. Every second breath we take comes from the Ocean; so if we don’t protect its health, we compromise all life on Earth. The time has come for us to reverse the decline in which the Ocean has been caught.”

To watch a live stream of the Opening Bell, please visit https://new.livestream.com/nasdaq/live.

About the Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit. With their fifteen year span, the SDGs will guide all countries to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle environmental and climate change challenges. For more information, please visit: http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/development-agenda/

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FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT:

Naomi Parekh, Communications Adviser for the President of the General Assembly, T: + 1 917 436 0214| E: parekh1@un.org

CONTINUE READING: http://www.un.org/pga/71/2017/08/18/press-release-president-of-the-un-ge...

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The Ocean and the Sustainable Development Goals under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

This technical abstract is based upon the First Global Integrated Marine Assessment (first World Ocean Assessment), which was released in January 2016, and, in particular, upon the summary of that

Assessment, which was approved by the General Assembly in December 2015. It has been prepared pursuant to the programme of work for the period 2017-2020 for the second cycle of the Regular Process of the Ad Hoc Working Group of the Whole of the General Assembly on the Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, including Socioeconomic Aspects, which was adopted by the Working Group in August 2016 and endorsed by the Assembly in December 2016.

The programme of work provides, inter alia, for support for other ongoing ocean-related intergovernmental processes, including the preparation of technical absracts specifically tailored to meet the needs of, among other intergovernmental processes, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In this regard, this technical abstract provides a synthesis of the information presented in the first World Ocean Assessment and does not introduce any new material or interpretation of the information presented in the Assessment.

READ MORE: http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/environment-and-cli... media&utm_campaign=HLPF#page7

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BBNJ PrepCom 3, UN HQ, New York

Conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ)

3rd meeting of the Preparatory Committee established by GA Resolution 69/292, "Development of an international legally binding instrument under UNCLOS on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ)"

The meeting will address marine genetic resources, area-based management tools, EIAs, capacity building, transfer of marine technology and crosscutting issues.

For more information visit: http://www.un.org/depts/los/biodiversity/prepcom.htm

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Nuclear Science and Ocean Acidification (2014) | UN

About one billion people rely on seafood as a primary source of animal protein.

Projects led by the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, are using nuclear and isotopic techniques to examine how marine organisms might respond to future ocean acidification caused by harmful carbon dioxide emissions - protecting our marine species, livelihoods, and economy in the process.

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