IISD: Preparatory Meeting for the Ocean Conference: Our Oceans, Our Future: Partnering for the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14
On Thursday, 16 February 2017, the preparatory meeting for The Ocean Conference: Our Oceans, Our Future: Partnering for the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development) continued with the discussion on the call for action, which is to be the intergovernmentally-agreed outcome of the Conference.
Participants exchanged views on elements that the declaration should include, such as: addressing marine pollution and ocean acidification; creating sustainable fisheries; establishing marine protected areas; and transitioning to a blue economy. The “fundamental” character of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was also highlighted by many.
In the afternoon, the co-facilitators provided a summary of the discussions and identified ways forward. Noting the long list of speakers that took the floor over the two days, co-facilitator Burhan Gafoor, Permanent Representative of Singapore, thanked everyone for their constructive spirit. He explained that the co-facilitators had been in “listening mode” during the meeting because “at this early stage, it is really important that we listen to as many stakeholders as want to speak,” in order to increase participants’ collective understanding of the issues discussed.