The Oceans We Need for the Future We Want

Mr. Miliband explained that the Global Ocean Commission bridges ocean experts with business communities to explore environmental and political interests. Experts are concerned with the loss of ocean biodiversity due to increases in technology, demand for resources, and subsidies. The Global Ocean Commission proposed an SDG and addressed the Implementing Agreement to deal with the lack of governance in parts of the high seas, provide monetary benefits, and build partnerships. The Implementing Agreement solves the need for clearer routes in unprotected areas of the ocean and addresses the use of genetic marine resources. The decline of the ocean is evident, bringing a new matter to the debate: urgency.

The Global Ocean Commission promotes transparency among stakeholders and aligns interests (political) with UN leadership, national leadership, and economic incentives. Ms. Richards discussed the importance of the Implementing Agreement for marine biodiversity, climate change, ocean acidification, and SIDS. Strategies must be developed to sustain the ocean and stabilize SIDS’ economies. Governments need to promote swift and decisive action to protect, conserve, and share marine resources. Existing measures to conserve biodiversity are negligent. Saving the ocean is a joint effort. Mr. Deaner mentioned there are a couple of “ocean problems” piling up. He stated that countries are at a crucial point for tackling problems and offering solutions. The deepest dilemma agencies are facing is governance of the ocean. Part of the solution is creating a global, complementary framework to align current ideas for ocean sustainability. Ms. Svensson emphasized the need to have global and regional work linking climate change to ocean issues and the land to the sea. Human actions on land lead to waste in the ocean from higher plastic content to acidification. She concluded that the ocean is an economic, social, and cultural problem and not just an environmental issue.

Meeting: The Oceans We Need for the Future We Want: High time for the BBNJ to make the call to action

Date/Location: Wednesday, January 21st, 2015; 1:15 pm to 2:30 pm; Conference Room 5

Speakers: David Miliband, Co-Chair of the Global Ocean Commission; Max Diener, Legal Consultant of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico; Lisa Emelia Svensson, Sweden’s Ambassador for Oceans, Seas, and Freshwater Support; Shorna-Kay Richards, Deputy Permanent Representative of Jamaica

Written by: Paige Stokols and Ellie Guner

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