To contribute to the forthcoming BBNJ negotiations, a multi-author, multi-institutional Policy Briefon Capacity Development as a Key Aspect of a New International Agreement on Marine Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ)has been prepared within the framework of the GEF/FAO/GOF Common Oceans Project on Strengthening Global Capacity to Effectively Manage Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ). The Policy Brief addresses: The capacity that will be needed at national and regional levels to implement the new Agreement; relevant international prescriptions on capacity development and summary of BBNJ discussions to date; existing efforts at providing capacity relevant to BBNJ; options for a clearing-house mechanism; options for a financing mechanism; and possible modalities for linking capacity development actions at global, regional, and national levels.
The Policy Brief will be launched at a United Nations Side Event to be held on 6 September 2018 (13:15 to 14:30, Conference Room 11, UNHQ, New York) on Approaches, Modalities, and Strategies for Capacity Development for a New International Agreement on Marine Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction, co-organized by the Government of France, Permanent Mission of Barbados to the United Nations, Global Ocean Forum, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, and Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan. See the Side Event agenda here.
There are plans for a follow-up meeting to further advance discussions on BBNJ capacity development which will be held on September 10, 2018 in UN Conference Room 12, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. The invitation can be found here.
Please find the IISD/ENB summary of the event here.
For further information about the Policy Brief, the UN Side Event, and related capacity development efforts, please contact Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain, President, Global Ocean Forum (firstname.lastname@example.org)
 Intergovernmental Conference 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 (General Assembly resolution 72/249). First Session: 4 to 17 September 2018
We are delighted to announce an upcoming event, a High-Level Dialogue and Media Workshop on Common Oceans–Why Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) Are Essential for People and Planet, to be held on June 26-28, 2018 at NAUSICAÁ, The French National Sea Center in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, on the occasion of the inauguration of the world’s first-ever large-scale high seas aquarium and exhibit at NAUSICAÁ. The Event is organized by the Common Oceans Program through the GEF/FAO/GOF ABNJ Capacity Development Project.
The High-Level Event on Common Oceans–Why Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction Are Essential for People and Planet, taking place on June 27, will showcase the major issues facing the ABNJ as well as possible solutions to the issues, with sessions highlighting: The values and issues surrounding ABNJ; the Common Oceans Program experiences; discussions on solutions to challenges in ABNJ; and dialogue with media representatives. A special media workshop featuring additional discussions with media representatives will take place on June 26 and June 28 prior to and following the High-Level Event.
This important event is aimed at building and improving cross-sectoral multi-stakeholder dialogue, engaging high-level decision-makers, and contributing to information sharing and public awareness of ABNJ issues. The outstanding venue of the new NAUSICAÁ exhibit will no doubt provide heightened inspiration and motivation for the achievement of wise stewardship of the marine areas beyond national jurisdiction.
Please see attached the program for the event, and kindly consider registering to attend.
Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain, President, Global Ocean Forum, Project Manager, GEF/FAO/GOF Project on ABNJ Capacity Development, Tel: +1 202 329 4127, Email: email@example.com
Dr. Jacqueline Alder, FISHCODE Programme Manager, Manager, Common Oceans Program, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Tel: +39 06 5705 4873, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Tina Farmer, Communication Advisor, Office of the Deputy Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Lead Technical Officer, Commons Oceans Capacity Project, Tel: +39 06 5705 6846, Email: email@example.com
Mr. Philippe Vallette, Directeur Général, Nausicaá Centre National de la Mer – Boulogne sur mer, Tel: + 33 (0) 3 21 30 99 99, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Side Event on Capacity Building as a Key Aspect of a New International Agreement on Marine Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) and Options on Approaches, Modalities, and Strategies that took place on April 17, 2018 during the organizational meeting of the Intergovernmental Conference 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) (General Assembly resolution 72/249)16 to 18 April 2018, New York, focused on tangible recommendations on options for capacity building and technology transfer for discussion by decision makers at the BBNJ Intergovernmental Conference. The event featured eleven key speakers, and drew about 85 participants. Co-organizers of the event included the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Tonga to the United Nations, Global Ocean Forum/International Coastal and Ocean Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, and Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan. See the side event agenda here.
The Side Event highlighted the work being done on the Policy Brief on Capacity Building as a Key Aspect of a New International Agreement on Marine Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ), a multi-author, multi-institutional effort, led by the GEF/FAO/GOF Capacity Development Project and its Communities of Practice, involving a set of 38 Organizing Authors and Contributing Authors from around the world. The Policy Brief focuses, in particular, on alternative modalities for capacity building and technology transfer in BBNJ taking into account the diversity of needs/capacities in different regions and of existing efforts in capacity building by the United Nations, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the academic sector relevant to BBNJ; options for and relevant experiences related to building a clearinghouse mechanisms for capacity building and technology transfer; and considerations and options relevant to financing. Various experiences with and perspectives on capacity building and technology transfer by the Kingdom of Tonga, the IOC/UNESCO, the Nippon Foundation and Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Government of Portugal, and the World Maritime University were highlighted at the side event. The presentations are available here.
Initial draft sections of the Policy Brief on Capacity Development on the following topics—Overview of Capacity Policy Brief, Clearing-house Mechanism, Options for Financing, and Possible Modalities for Linking Global, Regional, and National Level Capacity Building Efforts are available here. Please send any comments to Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain, Global Ocean Forum, bilianacicin-sain@ globaloceans.org, preferably by May 1, 2018. A draft of the Policy Brief will be completed by June 1, 2018.
Work is underway to prepare aPolicy Brief on Capacity Building as a Key Aspect of a New International Agreement on Marine Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ). The Policy Brief is intended to contribute to the discussions at the Intergovernmental Conference on development of an international legally binding instrument under UNCLOS on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).
This is a multi-author, multi-institutional effort, led by the GEF/FAO/GOF Capacity Development Project and its Communities of Practice, involving a set of 38 Organizing Authors and Contributing Authors (see below). This effort represents an iterative process and other colleagues from all regions of the world are invited to participate; please contact Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain, email@example.com if you would like to contribute to the Policy Brief.
The following draft sections of the Policy Brief may be found here:
A Possible Clearing-House Mechanism for BBNJ: Considerations and Lessons From Existing Clearing-houses
Financing Capacity Building for BBNJ
Possible Modalities and Approaches for Linking Global, Regional, and National Processes and Perspectives on BBNJ
This interim working draft is offered for review to contribute to the discussions of the April 16-18, 2018 Organizational Meeting of the Intergovernmental Conference.
Biliana Cicin-Sain, Marjo Vierros, Miriam Balgos, Alexis Maxwell, Global Ocean Forum; Tina Farmer, FAO, Lead Technical Officer, GEF/FAO/GOF Capacity Development Project; Atsushi Sunami, Miko Maekawa, Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (OPRI-SPF); Awni Benham, International Ocean Institute; Julian Barbiere, Salvatore Arico, Kirsten Isensee, Ward Appeltans and Harriet Harden-Davies, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC/UNESCO); Aimee Gonzales, Stephen Adrian Ross, Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA); Alfonso Ascencio Herrera, International Seabed Authority; Ronán Long, Larry Hildebrand, World Maritime University (WMU); Philippe Vallette, Nausicaa/World Ocean Network; Mish Hamid, Ivica Trumbic, International Waters Learning Exchange and Resource Network (IW:LEARN); Joseph Appiott, Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat
Policy Brief Contributing Authors:
Yugraj Yadava, Bay of Bengal Programme Inter-Governmental Organisation; Kouete Koffi Afachawo, Office of the Special Adviser of the President of Republic of Togo; Margaret Chizoba, Federal Ministry of Justice Abuja, Nigeria; Kanako Hasegawa, UN Environment; Fredrik Haag, International Maritime Organization; Abdul Rahman Bin Abdul Wahab, International Section, Department of Fisheries, Malaysia; Andre Polejack, Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation, and Communication, Brazil; Lizanne Aching, Permanent Mission of Trinidad and Tobago to the UN; Jenny Bowie-Wilches, Embassy of Colombia in The Hague, The Netherlands; Transform Aqorau, Parties to the Nauru Agreement; Rudolf Hermes, former Chief Technical Advisor, Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem Project (BOBLME); Dominique Benzaken, Government of Seychelles; Laleta Davis-Mattis, University of the West Indies, Jamaica; Nguyen Chu Hoi, Vietnam National University; Abou Bamba, Abidjan Convention; Rose Lesley Kautoke, Attorney General’s Office, Government of the Kingdom of Tonga; Bojotlhe Butale, Principal State Counsel, International Law Unit of the International and Commercial Division, Attorney General’s Chambers, Botswana
 The project is supported by the Global Environment Facility and co-executed by the Global Ocean Forum and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
 Dr. Cicin-Sain is the Project Manager of the GEF/FAO/GOF Project on ABNJ Capacity Development and Lead Organizer of the Policy Brief.
 Dr. Vierros is the Lead Author of the Policy Brief.
The United Nations held the fourth meeting of the Preparatory Committee established by the General Assembly resolution 69/292: Development of 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 PrepCom 4) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 10 to 21 July 2017. In parallel to this important effort to strengthen legal institutions around ABNJ, the Global Ocean Forum, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), UNEP World Conservation and Monitoring Centre (WCMC), Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) and the Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation co-organized the side event. Please see the attached leaflet for the event.
The side event focused on modalities, experiences, and lessons learned in existing efforts at capacity development in ABNJ, and explored possible ways of moving forward on this central issue in the BBNJ process. 13 speakers presented their perspectives on the capacity development discussions in the BBNJ process thus far, best practices from existing capacity development efforts, and options for future capacity development in ABNJ to over 60 attendees. Members of the Global Ocean Forum also presented the results of a capacity development needs assessment survey, conducted as part of the GEF/FAO/GOF Common Oceans Project.
The Roadmap to Oceans and Climate Action (ROCA) is a multi-stakeholder initiative involving governments, international agencies, NGOs, scientific institutions, private sector, and subnational authorities to advance the oceans and climate agenda (especially in the UNFCCC, the UN Ocean Conference, and in other United Nations fora), and at the national level in all countries. ROCA was launched at the UNFCCC COP 22 in Marrakech, Morocco. The ROCA works to implement the Strategic Action Roadmap on Oceans and Climate: 2016-2021, first discussed at the Oceans Day at COP 21 in Paris 2015, and then prepared in detail by 37 international experts throughout 2016 and highlighted at the Oceans Action Day at COP 22 Marrakech (November 12, 2016).
The ROCA partners held their first Working Meeting on 22-23 May 2017 at the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) headquarters in Paris, France. The purpose of this Working Meeting was to operationalize the five-year ROCA initiative together with partners and other interested parties, and to discuss and move forward on priority actions to advance the oceans and climate agenda in the next five years. A more detailed description of the ROCA initiative is found later in this post.
The intent of the Working Meeting is to move forward on the oceans and climate agenda, with special emphasis on the low carbon Blue Economy, at the national level and in all relevant UN fora, especially the UNFCCC, contributing as well to advancing the oceans and climate issues through the forthcoming Our Ocean Conferences (Malta 2017, European Commission; Indonesia 2018, Government of Indonesia; Norway 2019, Government of Norway).
Type of Partners involved
Governments, international agencies, provincial and local governments, civil society (NGOs, private sector, academic/scientific institutions)
Global Ocean Forum * Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO * Ocean Policy Research Institute, Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan * Oceano Azul Foundation, Portugal
Coastal Zone Canada Association * Conservation International * Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative * Duke University * EUCC * Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations * Future Ocean Alliance * IUCN * Global Ocean Forum * Government of Grenada * Government of Palau * Government of Seychelles * Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, UNESCO * International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification* Ocean Policy Research Institute, Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan * Oceano Azul Foundation, Portugal * Ocean Recovery Alliance, Hong Kong* Pacific Community * Plymouth Marine Laboratory * Scripps Institution of Oceanography * South Pacific Regional Environment Programme * The Nature Conservancy * University of Delaware * UN Environment * World Ocean Network * World Ocean Observatory *
Formal Registration of ROCA
ROCA is being registered as an initiative in the UNFCCC context and as a voluntary commitment in the UN Ocean Conference, June 2017
Expressions of Interest in ROCA
Expressions of interest to participate in the ROCA initiative will be considered by the ROCA leadership. Please send a note regarding your interest to Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain, Global Ocean Forum, firstname.lastname@example.org
Implementing the Roadmap to Oceans and Climate Action
ROCA works to implement the recommendations the Roadmap presents in six major areas: 1. Central of role of oceans in regulating climate, 2. Mitigation, 3. Adaptation and Blue Economy, 4. Displacement, 5. Financing, and 6. Capacity development, for implementation in the next 5 years.
For each of these issues, the Roadmap addresses:
1) the current status of the issue (and, as relevant, the science related to the issue)
2) the current state of play of the issue within the UNFCCC
3) the opportunities and pathways that may be available within the UNFCCC to advance the issue in the next five years
4) the opportunities and pathways that may be available outside of the UNFCCC to advance the issue
5) financial considerations regarding each issue
The Roadmap report features a Foreword by H.E. Ambassador Ronald Jumeau, Ambassador for Climate Change and Small Island Developing State Issues, Republic of Seychelles; H.E. Ambassador Caleb Otto, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Palau to the United Nations; and H.E. Ambassador Angus Friday, Ambassador to the Unites States of America, the United Mexican States, and the Organization of American States, Embassy of Grenada, Washington DC.
The Oceans Action Day at COP 22, part of the UNFCCC Global Climate Action Agenda, is organized under the leadership of H.E. Minister Hakima El Haité, High-Level Champion for Climate Change, Morocco, and H.E. Mr. Aziz Akhannouch, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Morocco. The main organizers of Oceans Action Day at COP 22 are the Government of Morocco, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Global Ocean Forum, and the Ocean and Climate Platform. The co-organizers include the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission/UNESCO; the Ocean Policy Research Institute, Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan; the Oceano Azul Foundation and Oceanario de Lisboa, Portugal; and the World Bank. Please see the Oceans Action Day at COP 22 leaflet.
The Oceans Action Day at COP 22 will bring together leaders in the UNFCCC negotiations, high-level representatives from governments, intergovernmental/international organizations, and civil society to advance the oceans and climate change agenda at COP 22 and beyond. The major objectives are to:
– Highlight examples of adoption and implementation of the Paris Agreement;
– Lend political support and provide suitable policy options in the implementation of actions on oceans, seas, coasts, and small island developing States (SIDS) issues in the context of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 14 on oceans and seas;
– Connect the oceans, coasts and climate initiatives generated at and following COP 21 with national actions plans, initiatives and commitments, such as the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the SDGs (as called for in the Road Map for Global Climate Action);
– Showcase and promote financial support and capacity development to enable nations to fulfill their NDCs, with special emphasis on oceans, seas and coasts, and on the concerns from SIDS and African States;
– Develop specific next steps for advancing the oceans and climate issues in the UNFCCC process in the next phase, as part of the Road Map for Global Climate Action, and to implement UN SDG 14.
As part of the UNFCCC Global Climate Action Agenda, all presentations at the Oceans Action Day are expected to stress their connection to particular initiatives and actions that will be taken to advance the oceans and climate issues in the context of the UNFCCC.
All are welcome to participate in the Oceans Action Day at COP 22. However, space is limited and priority will be given to government delegations. All participants need to register by sending a filled out registration form to Ms. Nicole Rucker, email@example.com, by November 7, 2016. Please note that all participants must be accredited to the Blue Zone.
As a part of Blue Week Grenada 2016, the Global Ocean Forum, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the University of Delaware’s Gerard J. Mangone Center for Marine Policy, and the project partners of the Global Environment Facility/ Food and Agriculture Organization/ Global Ocean Forum Project on Strengthening Capacity to Effectively Manage ABNJ as part of the GEF/FAO Program on Global Sustainable Fisheries Management and Biodiversity Conservation in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (“CommonOceans,” www.commonoceans.org) organized a workshop on Capacity Development to Improve the Management of Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ): Needs, Experiences, Options, and Opportunities, held from May 18-21, 2016 in St. George’s, Grenada.
The workshop brought together 55 participants representing various stakeholders, including governments, international organizations, civil society and national and regional ocean leaders to:
1. Discuss and exchange information and perspectives towards a broader understanding of the needs and opportunities in the development of capacity regarding ABNJ
2. Contribute information on capacity development to the global deliberations towards a legally-binding international instrument on BBNJ under UNCLOS; and
3. Formulate next steps in the way forward in advancing capacity development regarding ABNJ, building on past and ongoing initiatives and experiences (especially the outputs of the GEF/FAO Common Oceans Program), and responding to global prescriptions on capacity development regarding marine resources and their management.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Global Ocean Forum (GOF) project on Strengthening Global Capacity to Effectively Manage Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction has developed the Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) Regional Leaders Program. This program is designed to strengthen the capacity of leaders from developing countries and small island developing States (SIDS) at the regional and national levels to better address ABNJ resources and issues and to more effectively participate in global and regional ABNJ discussions.
The 2016 session of the ABNJ Regional Leaders Program, organized by the GOF and University of Delaware with FAO and other project partners, will select up to 8 regional and national leaders to participate in the session on March 21 to April 2, 2016 at the United Nations in New York. Travel and per diem costs of the participants will be supported by the project, with preference given to applicants from developing countries and SIDS. Additional self-funded qualified participants may be accommodated, subject to space considerations.
“Regional leaders” include staff/officers of, and representatives of state parties to, regional organizations (e.g., Regional Seas Programs, regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs), Large Marine Ecosystem Programs, regional economic organizations), which carry out regional activities related to the management of the environment and resources relevant to areas beyond national jurisdiction. “National leaders” include government officers and subject matter specialists in relevant government agencies, e.g., Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Fisheries, responsible for the management of national activities (or activities of their nationals) in ABNJ, either based in national capitals or those assigned to the permanent missions to the UN in New York.
The application period for the 2016 session of the ABNJ Regional Leaders Program has now ended.
For more information about the ABNJ Regional Leaders Program, please click here.
Side Event at the 1st Session of the Preparatory Committee Established by the UN General Assembly Resolution 69/292 “Development of 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” on Regional and National Perspectives on Area-Based Management and Capacity Development Needs in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ): Examples from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands Regions
The Global Ocean Forum, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission/UNESCO, the United Nations Environment Programme, the Ocean and Climate Platform, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (Japan), and the University of Delaware, together with 40 collaborating partners organized the Oceans Day at COP 21 in Paris. The purpose of the Oceans Day was to advance the oceans and climate change agenda at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 21) and beyond. The Oceans Day at COP 21 (Friday, December 4, 2015) was held at the Rio Conventions Pavilion (in the Civil Society Zone) in cooperation with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat.
For more information about the Oceans Day at COP 21, including the summary report and coverage, please click here.