Ocean & Climate News

June 8, 2022

Welcome to the World Oceans Day 2022 issue of the Ocean & Climate News. This issue focuses on the major ocean-related events in 2022, including information on concluded and upcoming events, perspectives on the UN Ocean Conference and the Fifth substantive session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) 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 (BBNJ), and preparations in the lead-up to COP27. The major events include, among others: One Planet Summit for the Ocean (9-11 February 2022); 4th IGC on BBNJ (7-18 March 2022); 7th Our Ocean Conference (12-14 April 2022); UN Ocean Conference (27 June-1 July 2022); CBD COP-15 Part Two: Face-to-Face Meetings (29 August–9 September 2022 tentative); 5th IGC on BBNJ (15-26 August 2022); and UNFCCC COP27 (7-18 November 2022). The plethora of events provides an opportunity for the ocean community to practice and apply proven ways of integration, coordination, and collaboration, e.g., increasing interlinkages among sectors to reflect the common nature of their goals; use the sustainable development goals (SDGs) as a checklist; hosting cross-sectoral events; promoting the links between environment and sustainable development; tying funding to joint development and environmental outcomes, among others (see Purvis 2016).

But first, we’d like to greet you all a Happy World Oceans Day! The global celebration of World Oceans Day 2022 focuses on the communities, ideas, and solutions that are working together to protect and revitalize the ocean and everything it sustains.

TITLE: Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean
TIME: 10:00 AM-1:30 PM EDT
LIVESTREAM: https://unworldoceansday.org/un-world-oceans-day-2022/
HOST: UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs
RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2022-united-nations-world-oceans-day-event-registration-272875797857

TITLE: For a global mobilization for the ocean
TIME: 11:00AM (GMT)
ORGANIZER: University of Brest
EVENT POINT OF CONTACT: Joelle Richard, University of Brest, Joelle.Richard@univ-brest.fr
REGISTRATION: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_MQ7w8uHHRbOnqlYK8b33dQ

TITLE: High-level event on the Human rights of Small-scale Fishers
DATE AND TIME: Monday 6 June, 13:00-15:00 GMT
ORGANIZER: One Ocean Hub
EVENT POINT OF CONTACT: Senia Febrica, One Ocean Hub, senia.febrica@strath.ac.uk

TITLE: Blue Heritage: The Role of Ocean Art and Culture in Ocean Science and Management
DATE AND TIME: Tuesday, 7 June, 13:00-14:30 GMT
EVENT POINT OF CONTACT: Senia Febrica, One Ocean Hub, senia.febrica@strath.ac.uk

Major Ocean and Ocean-related Events in 2022
High-level segment panelists at One Ocean Summit

One Planet Summit for the Ocean

After two days of discussions and debates, some 40 Heads of State and Government responded positively to the invitation of the President of the French Republic to commit for the ocean at the One Planet Summit for the Ocean in Brest (9-11 February 2022). Addressing 4 main themes: the protection of marine ecosystems, the fight against pollution, the fight against climate change, and ocean governance, political and private sector representatives met to discuss the future of our global ocean. The meeting showed a promising dynamic ahead of the many ocean-related international meetings to come in 2022. Read the synthesis of the summit’s main announcements here. – Anaïs Deprez, Ocean & Climate Platform


7th Our Ocean Conference, Palau

The seventh Our Ocean Conference, titled “Our Ocean, Our People, Our Prosperity,” was held in Koror, Palau on April 13-14, 2022. Co-hosted by the Republic of Palau and the United States, the conference drew more than 600 participants representing more than 70 foreign delegations and 150 non-state actors. The first to be held in a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), the conference placed special attention on the importance of ocean-based climate solutions, including offshore renewable energy, marine nature-based solutions, and shipping decarbonization, as well as the importance of a healthy ocean to small island states and communities around the globe. The conference concluded with 410 commitments worth $16.35 billion to support concrete action to advance ocean issues, including ocean-climate issues. To read more about the Conference, please go here; see who the Conference partners were here; see the Conference photos here. – Bridge Thomas, Office of the President, Republic of Palau


7th Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction 2022

The seventh session of the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction 2022 (GP2022) was held from 23 to 28 May 2022, in Bali Indonesia under the theme “From Risk to Resilience: Towards Sustainable Development for All in a COVID-19 Transformed World.” On the occasion of GP2022, a seminar on “Migration, Dignity, Fragility and Pandemics: Livelihoods of immigrants before and after COVID-19 Pandemics” was organized by the Environmental Law Institute, the Global Infrastructure Fund Research Foundation Japan and the Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, on 24 May 2022 in Bali, to discuss the research results published in the Journal of Disaster Research Vol.17 (2022) No.3 (Apr), Special issue on Migration, Dignity, Fragility, and Pandemics, which can be accessed here. – Miko Maekawa, Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation


The UN Ocean Conference, Lisbon

The UN Ocean Conference is upon us at last! Postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Conference will be held on June 27 to July 1, 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal. We invited Dr. Nigel Bradly, GOF Policy Advisory Board Member, to provide his perspective on Blue Economy, one of the recurring themes of the Conference, which focuses on the implementation of SDG14. We also provided a list of some of the side events that we have information on.

  • Perspective on Blue Economy by Nigel Bradly, CEO, Envirostrat

The Blue Economy involves recognizing the ocean as a primary life source of our planet, vital for human well-being and a thriving global economy. Blue Economy requires a move beyond the business-as-usual approach underpinned by simple resource extraction and depletion. It fosters new and emerging sectors with innovation and climate as core elements and a systems-wide view of development to maximize the benefits of marine ecosystem services. It also enables low impact growth of traditional ocean industries with a transition toward restorative marine economies that are defined by circular and inclusive economic models.

The current scope and variety of challenges facing oceans call for making hard, strategic investment choices about where the most impact can be most efficient. Investments in the Blue Economy cannot be considered in isolation. Instead, they should be seen as part of a dynamic, sustainable and interconnected ocean economy where socioeconomic growth is pursued in an integrated fashion. Enabling investments in blue economy sectors requires an interactive engagement of governments, businesses, investors, and funds, each playing a complementary or synergistic role. Their collective action can promote economic growth by altering practices and regulations, engaging in new performance measures, developing low-carbon and resource-efficient opportunities while improving livelihoods, creating jobs, and preserving the health of ocean ecosystems.

Blue economy can thrive if governments regulating marine-dependent economic sectors switch from siloed approaches to integrated ones. Most externalities generated by one sector are borne by others and are neither monitored nor accurately measured. A purely sectoral approach does not allow the Blue Economy to grow as fast as it could, as the development of one sector can prevent the full optimal development of the others. Governments can ensure climate change and environmental degradation prevention are mainstreamed into policies and requirements for future investments while developing strategic planning for using marine space and resources. Integrated coastal zone management plans and marine spatial planning are examples of policy instruments that can be designed or improved to address impacts of land-based sources of marine pollution, incorporate marine natural capital accounting, identify ecosystem thresholds, improve climate resilience, and maximize socioeconomic and cultural benefits from marine resources.

A Blue Economic approach will require scaling up the available financial resources, including fostering sustainable private investment. While governments may lead additional actions to promote Blue Economy by engaging in public expenditure reviews, value chain assessments, and natural capital accounting, collaborating with funds and private investors can expand and reveal new funding venues for innovative blue economy ventures. Leveraging the Blue Economy potential includes fostering sustainable private investment, building a favorable climate for investors and innovative finance products, such as blue bonds or climate bonds. Natural asset valuation incorporated into payments for ecosystem services (PES) schemes and Nature-based Solutions (NbS) strategies are also examples of innovative investable approaches. The combination of an enabling environment promoted by public investment and the strategic deployment of impact funding and concessional grants or loans can enable ‘crowding in’ of private finance and the integration of blue-related risks in financing decisions.

The motivation for blue economy investments which is increasing given the awareness of the risks of climate change, biodiversity loss, and ecosystem degradation in coastal and marine areas is rising fast amongst policymakers and investors. However, capturing investors’ interest in Blue Economy solutions still requires a greater focus on developing investment-ready projects, developing project pipelines, and validating models for investable projects that are replicable and scalable.

  • Side Events at the UN Ocean Conference

TITLE: From Science to Action: Blueing the Paris Agreement
DATE AND TIME: Monday 27 June, 13.00-14.15 WEST
LOCATION: Altice Arena (Room 2)
LEAD ORGANIZERS: Government of France, the UNFCCC, and the Ocean & Climate Platform
EVENT POINT OF CONTACT: Loreley Picourt, Ocean & Climate Platform, lpicourt@ocean-climate.org

TITLE: The future and ocean WE (ALL) want: Inclusion and integration for strong, sustainable and equitable blue economies
DATE AND TIME: Tuesday 28 June, 13:00-15:00 Lisbon Time (12:00-14:00 GMT)
LOCATION: Alfama room, Tivoli Oriente Hotel, Lisbon, Portugal
LEAD ORGANIZER: One Ocean Hub
EVENT POINT OF CONTACT: Senia Febrica, One Ocean Hub, senia.febrica@strath.ac.uk

TITLE: Welcome out of the box! From blue food for thought to blue food for action: Making ocean protection the norm rather than the exception
DATE AND TIME: Tuesday 28 June, 16h00-17h30
LOCATION: Auditorio III – PT Meeting Centre, R. do Bojador 1990-048 Lisbon
LEAD ORGANIZER: Varda Group
EVENT POINT OF CONTACT: Remi Parmentier, The Varda Group, remi@vardagroup.org

TITLE: Celebrating over 10 years of building capacity and catalyzing partnerships towards achieving global ocean goals
DATE AND TIME: Wednesday 29 June, 8:30-11:00 PM
LOCATION: York House, Rua das Janelas Verdes, N.º 32 1200-691, Lisboa – Portugal
LEAD ORGANIZER: University of Brest
EVENT POINT OF CONTACT: Joelle Richard, University of Brest, Joelle.Richard@univ-brest.fr

TITLE: Creating a Blue Society: Innovative solutions for sustainable ocean and coastal management action
DATE AND TIME: Thursday 30 June, 10:00 AM – 11:15 AM
LOCATION: Altice Arena (Side event room 2)
LEAD ORGANIZER: Global Ocean Forum
EVENT POINT OF CONTACT: Miriam Balgos, Global Ocean Forum, mbalgos@globaloceanforum.com


5th Intergovernmental Conference on BBNJ

  • Perspective: High Seas within our reach! Progress report on the UN treaty for marine biodiversity conservation and sustainable use beyond national boundaries by Peggy Kalas (Director, High Seas Alliance), Kristina M. Gjerde (Senior High Seas Advisor, IUCN), and Nichola Clark (Officer, The Pew Charitable Trusts; PhD candidate, University of Wollongong)

After decades of work to progress discussions surrounding the need for an international treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, world governments are now engaged in the final stages of negotiations at the United Nations. The final round was delayed from March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following two years of informal, virtual, intersessional work, the fourth negotiating session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC4) took place at UN headquarters from 7-18 March 2022, where encouraging progress was made. However, pandemic-related challenges, including the inability to participate in in-person meetings ahead of the session, high turnover of UN delegates, and restrictions on country and civil society participation, stymied hopes of concluding treaty negotiations during this last session.

Nonetheless, the IGC was still a remarkable success considering the circumstances. Many governments engaged with a renewed sense of urgency and flexibility, and States delved deeply into substantive negotiations. Delegations were eager to work together to progress key issues, which resulted in new areas of convergence amongst many regional groupings.

An additional negotiating session (IGC5) has been scheduled to address remaining gaps and sticking points. Taking place from 15-26 August, many regional groups and countries are working to ensure that this fifth meeting produces a finalized treaty text. This goal is supported by the 47 Heads of State who have joined the BBNJ “High Ambition Coalition” (HAC), which commits to achieve an ambitious outcome in 2022.

In this short intersessional period before IGC5, the High Seas Alliance including IUCN is making every effort to keep and build momentum through upcoming opportunities at international fora (e.g., UN Ocean Conference) and beyond. To facilitate more targeted negotiations, the President of the IGC, Rena Lee, released a further revised draft text of the BBNJ Agreement in late May, with comments due 25 July.

A number of key issues still need to be resolved, likely at political levels, and it is also not too early to start thinking of ways to accelerate the eventual treaty’s entry into force, and to enhance the capacity, science, technology, financial, and other resources of all States, particularly developing countries, to effectively and equitably implement the treaty. Critical gaps in management, scientific, and technological capacity to safeguard marine biodiversity in the face of accelerating climate and other human pressures need to be addressed now. The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration are excellent opportunities to advance collective knowledge and action.

After nearly two decades of discussions and negotiations, it is vital that we conclude the high seas treaty negotiations in 2022. It is even more important that the substance of the treaty be worth the twenty-year-long process– it should reflect the ambition that we need to meaningfully transform ocean governance and finally put into place legal safeguards to protect marine life, ensure use of our shared global commons is sustainable, and promote an ocean future that will benefit generations to come.


Ocean & Climate News

SBSTA 56

The 56th session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) will be held from 6 to 16 June 2022, in Bonn, Germany.

Side Event on Coordination and collaboration on Ocean-based climate actions towards sustainable development, June 7, 2022

This event showcased action-driven trans-disciplinary science and cross-sectoral collaboration towards strengthening cooperation and collaboration among stakeholders and relevant UN bodies to adapt to the climate-induced challenges placed on the ocean and thus improve sustainable development, limiting warming to 1.5 °C, enhancing NDCs, and helping achieve Net Zero. Co-organized by the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK; Global Ocean Forum; Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan; Réseau Océan Mondial (World Ocean Network), Belgium and Nausicaá Centre National de la Mer, France. View event here. – Thecla Keizer, Plymouth Marine Laboratory

SBSTA Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue 2022

This year’s iteration of the mandated dialogue on the ocean and climate change to consider how to strengthen ocean-based action on climate change to be held annually, takes place on 15 June, 15:00 – 19:00 at the World Conference Center in Bonn. An in-person event with webcast, the dialogue will explore two topics through moderated panels: 1) Strengthening and integrating national ocean climate action under the Paris Agreement; and 2) Enabling ocean climate solutions and optimizing institutional connections. See the dialogue agenda here. To participate, go here.

Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action Meetings

A Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (MP-GCA) Meeting held on 20 May 2022 provided an opportunity for the High-Level Champions to share their vision and priorities for COP 27 as well as provide updates on the progress made in the operationalization of the improved Partnership for enhancing ambition, the Global Stocktake and the plans towards the UN Climate Change SB sessions in June. Meeting participants welcomed Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, the new UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for Egypt.

A MP-GCA Ocean & Coastal Zones Meeting on Planning for the Ocean and Climate Change SBSTA Dialogue and the UN Ocean Conference was held on 31 May 2022. Contacts: MP-GCA Ocean & Coastal Zones co-focal points: Loreley Picourt, Ocean & Climate Platform (lpicourt@ocean-climate.org) and Tamara Thomas, Conservation International (tthomas@conservation.org)

Virtual Ocean Pavilion

COP26 VOP’s new home

The COP26 Virtual Ocean Pavilion assets have been migrated to the Roadmap to Oceans and Climate Action (ROCA) Initiative website. You may view the webpage here, where visitors can continue to access the VOP event recordings and the information and resources provided in the exhibit booths.

Opportunity for further collaboration: COP27 Virtual Ocean Pavilion

To help realize the ocean and climate change agenda through the Virtual Ocean Pavilion at COP27, the co-organizers are welcoming sponsors as well as additional partners. The design of the COP27 Virtual Ocean Pavilion will take into consideration the cascade of ocean and ocean-related events in 2022, the COP27 priorities, as well as the lessons learned in the development of the platform and feedback received from the survey of COP26 Pavilion attendees.


Other Stories

Cross-sectoral Capacity Development in ABNJ Project endorsed for GEF financing

The project on Building and Enhancing Sectoral and Cross-sectoral capacity to support sustainable resource use and biodiversity conservation in marine areas beyond national jurisdiction, one of the child projects under the Global Environment Facility-funded Common Oceans Programme, received the GEF CEO endorsement for financing. The Global Ocean Forum will lead the execution of the project which is scheduled to start in December 2022, together with implementing agency UNEP, and executing partners UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre, GRID-Arendal, Comisión Permanente del Pacífico Sur, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat/OPOC, University of the South Pacific, and Universidad Católica del Norte.

Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain Memorial Fund

The Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain Memorial Fund campaign, launched by the Global Ocean Forum in December 2021 to support the development of an internship and fellowship program, has surpassed its goal. Additional contributions are welcome.

A celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain among colleagues, family, and friends will be held on September 4, 2022, at the Decatur House in Washington DC. In addition to remarks commemorating the life and works of Biliana, the event will feature the announcement about the Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain Fellowship Program. For more information on the event, please contact Ms. Vanessa Cicin-Sain Knecht (vcs.knecht@gmail.com).

Ocean Gallery: St. Lucia

LaVerne Walker, GOF Policy Advisory Board member, provided a teaser on the lovely views of the coast of St. Lucia.


Prepared by Miriam Balgos and Johanna Vonderhorst

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