December 24, 2021
Welcome to the final issue of Ocean & Climate News for 2021. We report on the COP26 Virtual Ocean Pavilion, the ROCA report on Assessing Progress on Ocean and Climate Action: 2020-2021, a COP26 side event on Ocean solutions: Coordination and collaboration for ocean-based mitigation and adaptation, and other Global Ocean Forum news. But first, the important ocean-related outcomes of COP26…
After a decade of joint initiatives by the ocean-climate community to promote the recognition of the importance of oceans in the climate change process and ambition under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, we welcome the incorporation of the ocean into the text of the COP26 outcome document Glasgow Climate Pact, which:
- Welcomes the informal summary reports by the Chair of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice on the ocean and climate change dialogue to consider how to strengthen adaptation and mitigation action and on the dialogue on the relationship between land and climate change adaptation related matters (Paragraph 58)
- Invites the relevant work programmes and constituted bodies under the UNFCCC to consider how to integrate and strengthen ocean-based action in their existing mandates and workplans and to report on these activities within the existing reporting processes, as appropriate (Paragraph 60)
- Invites the Chair of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice to hold an annual dialogue, starting at the fifty-sixth session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (June 2022), to strengthen ocean-based action and to prepare an informal summary report thereon and make it available to the Conference of the Parties at its subsequent session (Paragraph 61).
See the COP26 outcome document here.
Virtual Ocean Pavilion
The COP26 Virtual Ocean Pavilion was the product of a coordinated effort among the Global Ocean Forum, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, the Oceano Azul Foundation, and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO under the Roadmap to Oceans and Climate Action (ROCA) Initiative, along with 30 collaborating partners. The Pavilion was live from October 31 until November 12, 2021, and served as a platform for the amplification of the voice of the ocean and for raising the visibility of ocean issues during climate negotiations at COP26. Due to the virtual nature of the Pavilion, which was held fully online, the Pavilion was able to reach a wider audience, including those who were unable to attend the COP in person due to COVID-19. Over 1900 registrants logged in during the COP to attend live events and to view the wealth of on-demand content available in the VOP’s Treasure Trove and 26 organizer booths. The Virtual Ocean Pavilion can be accessed here. The COP26 Virtual Ocean Pavilion post-event summary report and survey as well as a press release are available here. On-demand access to the VOP has been extended until March 12, 2022.
ROCA Report on Assessing Progress on Ocean and Climate Action: 2020-2021
The 2020-2021 Roadmap to Oceans and Climate Action (ROCA) Initiative Report on Assessing Progress on Ocean and Climate Action is a multi-organizational effort involving over 60 contributors from over 30 collaborating organizations. Launched on November 1 during the opening of the Virtual Ocean Pavilion, this final volume in an annual series of assessments provides a compilation of evidence for a growing recognition from various sectoral and stakeholder initiatives in science, policy development, financing and other cross-cutting efforts of the importance of oceans in the climate change process and ambition under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. See the full report here.
COP26 Side Event
The International Coastal and Ocean Organization (secretariat of the Global Ocean Forum), Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, the World Ocean Network, the Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean,the Oceano Azul Foundation, and Acadia University co-organized a COP26 side event on coordination and collaboration for ocean-based mitigation and adaptation held on November 4, 2021. This event showcased the effectiveness of action-driven, trans-disciplinary science and cross-sectoral collaboration in helping stakeholders to adapt to the climate-induced challenges placed on the ocean and to improve sustainable development, reduce emissions, and limit global warming. See the side event agenda here. A video recording of the event can be viewed here.
Global Ocean Forum & Other News
Cross-sectoral ABNJ Project
Preparation of the UNEP/GEF project on Building and Enhancing Sectoral and Cross-Sectoral Capacity to Support Sustainable Resource Use and Biodiversity Conservation in Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (Cross-Sectoral ABNJ Project) under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Common Oceans Program Phase II has completed and is now under GEF review for final approval. The project, which is expected to commence implementation in the fall of 2022 with the GOF as the lead executing agency, aims to develop and strengthen capacity for sectoral and cross-sectoral cooperation and coordination among national, regional and global institutions in the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in ABNJ. For more information about this project and other projects under the Common Oceans Program Phase II, please visit the program website here.
GOF Strategic Planning Process and New Policy Advisory Board
The Global Ocean Forum is honored to announce the formation of its new Policy Advisory Board consisting of 36 ocean experts. Members of the Policy Advisory Board come from diverse backgrounds and offer expertise in ocean and climate issues, marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction, integrated ocean and coastal management, and the blue economy at the global, regional, national, and civil society levels. Meetings were held on November 24 and November 25, 2021 to welcome the new members and to discuss the Strategic Planning process to be led by the Policy Advisory Board moving forward in the coming months. See the list of Policy Advisory Board members here.
Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain Memorial Fund
The Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain Memorial Fund was launched at the beginning of this month with the objective of supporting future graduate and undergraduate research fellows in continuation of Dr. Cicin-Sain’s mission to foster the professional growth and development of students in the marine policy field. Donations can be made through the Fund page on the Global Ocean Forum website.
One Ocean Summit, 9 – 11 February 2022, Brest, France
Organized by the French government, the One Ocean Summit is an international summit on the ocean which will focus on related topics that include: Maritime heritage and museums: Changing the way we look at the Ocean; Women, voices for the Ocean: Women conquering the seas; Greening maritime corridors: Ships of the future; Cities tackling sea level rise; Great ports green energy transition for a sustainable development; and Education on the sea: Ocean for youth. For more information about the Summit, contact Ms. Anaïs Deprez (email@example.com), Ocean and Climate Platform.
Prepared by Johanna Vonderhorst and Miriam Balgos