ENB-Marine Regions Forum 2019, Highlights for Tuesday, 1 October 2019
On Tuesday morning, participants to the Marine Regions Forum met in parallel dialogue sessions. In the afternoon, the plenary focused on the role of marine regions in post-2020 ocean governance.
A dialogue session on enhancing regional cooperation for ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) discussed different regional models that take into account synergies and trade-offs between SDG 14 and other SDGs. Sebastian Unger, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), called for reflection on: promoting visibility for the regional level in global discussions; and using the SDGs as an integration driver to improve regional governance. David Obura, CORDIO East Africa, presented on the SDGs as a narrative for identifying synergies across scales. Yoshinobu Takei, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), provided an overview of developments leading up to the 2020 UN Ocean Conference. The session also featured regional-level case studies and roundtable discussions on lessons learned from different regional models.
A dialogue session on tackling climate problems with ocean solutions discussed challenges for advancing ocean-based climate solutions and identifying tangible options for increased regional cooperation. Jean-Pierre Gattuso, Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), presented findings from an assessment of ocean-based measures, such as ocean-based renewable energy or coastal vegetation to enhance greenhouse gas storage. Abou Bamba, Abidjan Convention Secretariat, shared experiences from the adoption of the Calabar Protocol on Sustainable Mangrove Management, noting it is the first international legal instrument dedicated to mangroves.
A dialogue session on mobilizing regional stakeholders for the “Blue COP” focused on concrete solutions for better integrating ocean issues in the climate regime. Kristian Teleki, World Resources Institute, provided a snapshot of the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit and shared findings from a recent report by the High-level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy. Joanna Post, Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), pointed to relevant UNFCCC processes to address ocean issues and indicated that the 2019 Nairobi Work Programme Focal Point Forum taking place during COP 25 will focus on oceans.
In a dialogue session on weaving science with traditional knowledge, Elle Merete Omma, Saami Council, spoke about the Ottawa Principles and the understanding of the Arctic Council that indigenous knowledge and science are “different yet complementary systems and sources of knowledge.” Participants explored topics including: how traditional knowledge integration at regional level contributes to a stronger ocean governance; and mechanisms, tools, and principles needed to better integrate traditional knowledge into science-policy processes.
In a keynote address to plenary, Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), presented key findings of the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. Peter Thomson, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, via video message, stressed the need for a radical transformation of consumption and production patterns, and noted that the Marine Regions Forum can be central to the development of a strategic approach bringing together different ocean-related processes while recognizing specific regional priorities and needs.