This meeting was organized by the Global Ocean Forum and partners within the framework of the Roadmap to Ocean and Climate Action (ROCA) Initiative, which 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. The meeting aimed to foster the exchange of information on plans and perspectives on the way forward in advancing the ocean agenda at COP26 as well as the sharing of ideas on how to coordinate participating organizations’ initiatives for better synergy and integration of efforts. Over 40 participants representing 24 organizations participated in the meeting.
Together with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), and GRID-Arendal, the Global Ocean Forum is collaborating in the preparation of a project on Building and Enhancing Sectoral and Cross-Sectoral Capacity to Support Sustainable Resource Use and Biodiversity Conservation in Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (The Cross-Sectoral Capacity Development Project, Common Oceans Program, Phase II). This project, to be implemented by UNEP, is part of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) intervention on ABNJ through the Common Oceans Program led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). To be executed by the GOF, WCMC, and GRID-Arendal, together with regional organizations in two pilot regions, this project 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. Specifically, the project will build the capacity of regional organizations (e.g., inter alia, Regional Fishery Management Organizations (RFMOs), Regional Seas Programmes (RSPs), Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) programs), their Member States (officials, managers, ministerial representatives), and representatives from global ocean-related organizations, to facilitate cross-sectoral coordination to achieve sustainable ocean use.
The project, which is expected to start in 2022, will have two components:
- Building and strengthening capacity for sectoral and cross-sectoral cooperation and coordination in ABNJ in two pilot regions.
The project will enhance functional capacity of national, regional and global organizations in sectoral and cross-sectoral cooperation and coordination initiatives in ABNJ management. In particular, the project would like to improve capacity for enhanced application of area-based management tools (ABMTs), environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and marine spatial planning in the pilot regions.
- Improving sectoral and cross-sectoral knowledge management on and public awareness of ABNJ in the pilot regions.
The project will demonstrate effective knowledge exchange and improved access to the best available information for well-informed decision-making in cross-sectoral cooperation and coordination among key ABNJ management organizations (national, regional and global). The project will aim to put in place a cross-organizational knowledge exchange process tested in each pilot region.
For more information about this project, contact:
Isabelle Vanderbeck, UNEP (email@example.com)
Miriam Balgos, Global Ocean Forum (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Nina Bhola, UNEP-WCMC (Nina.Bhola@unep-wcmc.org)
Louise Lieberknecht, GRID-Arendal (email@example.com)
Dear Colleagues and Friends:
It is with great personal sadness that we announce the death of Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain. Our beloved leader and friend passed away last Tuesday, 1 September 2020 as a result of lung cancer.
Biliana was a leader in the field of integrated coastal and ocean governance, both in the United States and around the world, and has forged international collaboration among various sectors of the international oceans community to advance the global oceans agenda. She was also a passionate leader in promoting the role of oceans in climate change mitigation and adaptation through multi-stakeholder initiatives involving governments, international agencies, NGOs, scientific institutions, private sector, and subnational authorities especially in the UNFCCC, the UN Ocean Conference, and in other United Nations fora.
Biliana received her doctoral degree in political science from UCLA and completed postdoctoral training at Harvard University. In addition to her roles as director of the Gerard J. Mangone Center for Marine Policy and professor of Marine Policy at the University of Delaware’s College of Earth and Marine Studies, she was editor-in-chief of the international journal Ocean & Coastal Management. She was also a professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations and in the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Delaware.
Biliana was the organizer, co-chair and head of secretariat of the Global Ocean Forum, initially mobilized in 2001 to place issues related to oceans, coasts and island states on the agenda of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development and to agree on a detailed set of global ocean targets and timelines. With Biliana’s farseeing direction, the Global Ocean Forum has:
1. Filled an important gap in tracking progress achieved (or lack thereof) on major ocean-related goals, bringing together national and international data on the range of issues related to oceans, especially regarding the cross-cutting goals (integrated, ecosystem-based management) through the Global Oceans Conferences and other multi-stakeholder meetings;
2. Stimulated the achievement of strong ocean outcomes at major global level political fora, including the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and the 2012 Rio+20 Conference;
3. Built an inclusive and mutually-supportive global network of ocean policy leaders from 110 countries, facilitating cross-sectoral linkages, informal diplomacy, and goodwill among the ocean community;
4. Mobilized high-level political attention on critical ocean and climate issues in the context of the UN climate negotiations, serving to heighten political attention on previously-ignored ocean issues in this important global forum; and
5. Fostered some of the first cross-sectoral dialogue on the emerging issue of areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), and continues to foster discussion and analysis on current developments as well as build capacity among various actors in this issue area. The GOF is actively involved in a supportive role as part of civil society, in 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).
Biliana’s work on ocean management and governance has been recognized through various awards, including 2019 Prince Albert I of Monaco Grand Prize of Marine Sciences; 2018 Pioneer of the High Seas, French National Sea Center, France; 2017 Champion of the Ocean award, Monmouth University; 2010 Laureate for the Elizabeth Haub Award for Environmental Diplomacy; 2010 honorary doctorate in maritime law by Korea Maritime University; 2007 US Coastal Zone Foundation Award; 2007 Elizabeth Mann Borgese Meerespreis (Prize of the Sea), Germany; 2002 co-recipient of the Ocean and Coastal Stewardship Award (US).
On a personal level, we all remember Biliana’s love for dancing, travel, and good wine. She leaves behind beloved daughter Vanessa, son-in-law Ryan, and granddaughter Pippa. The GOF family will never be the same without her warm camaraderie and faithful friendship.
Her family has created a website (celebrationofbilianaslifeandlegacy.com) where you can express your thoughts and wishes for Biliana and her family. This site will also serve as the platform for the planning of a future event to celebrate Biliana’s life, work, and global leadership as soon as current circumstances related to the Covid pandemic have improved.
With great respect, fondest memories and deepest affection.
International Coastal and Ocean Organization (Secretariat of the Global Ocean Forum)
Board of Directors:
Dr. Chua Thia-Eng, former Director, Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA)
Mr. Richard Delaney, President and CEO, Center for Coastal Studies, Provincetown, Massachusetts
Dr. David Freestone, Executive Secretary, Sargasso Sea Commission
Dr. Indumathie Hewawasam, former Senior Environmental Specialist, World Bank
Dr. Magnus Ngoile, former Policy and Governance Coordinator, Agulhas and Somali Currents Large Marine Ecosystems (ASCLME) Project, and founding member and first President/Chair of the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA)
Mr. Philippe Vallette, Director General of Nausicaa, National Centre of the Sea (Centre National de la Mer, Boulogne-sur-Mer), France
Ms. Vanessa Cicin-Sain Knecht, Strategic Leadership, Global Ocean Forum
Dr. Miriam Balgos, Senior Associate, Global Ocean Forum
An Informal Meeting of Friends of BBNJ Capacity Development was held on Tuesday, August 27 2019, 18:15 to 19:45 in Room S-1522FC/S-1523FC, 15th Floor, UN Secretariat. Convened by the Global Ocean Forum and the State of Palestine, the event drew 52 Member States, UN agencies, and civil society participants to actively consider and act on ways of advancing capacity building with adequate financing in the BBNJ process. Please find the official leaflet of the informal meeting here.
A well-structured BBNJ capacity building system involving global, regional, and national levels, and with adequate and stable financial support, will be essential for achieving the major purposes of the BBNJ Agreement. Capacity Development and Technology Transfer, the fourth major issue being addressed in the BBNJ process, is in fact, the “enabler” of the other three major issues (marine genetic resources and access to benefit sharing, area-based management, and environmental impact assessment).
The meeting provided an informal opportunity for discussing how an informal “Friends” group could assist Member States in achieving, and ultimately implementing, a set of ambitious capacity building measures in the International Agreement, by, e.g.: 1. Providing additional information/knowledge/research on issues requiring additional clarification; 2. Providing a forum for informal discussion of the issues; 3. Promoting pathways for the identification and eventual mobilization of resources from public and private sources to support capacity development and technology transfer. Please find the draft questions discussed at the meeting here.
Please find the official summary report of the meeting here.
The meeting referenced two multi-author, multi-institutional Policy Briefs on capacity development:
–A Policy Brief on Capacity Development for Implementing the BBNJ Agreement: Possible Modalities for Addressing Area-Based Management, Environmental Impact Assessment, and Marine Genetic Resources in the Context of Climate Change
Please find a summary of the two Policy Briefs on Capacity Development here.
A brief overview/synopsis of the GEF/FAO/GOF project on Strengthening Global Capacity to Effectively Manage Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) can be found here.
For further information about the Friends of BBNJ Capacity or the two Policy Briefs and related capacity development efforts, please contact Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain, President, Global Ocean Forum (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Acknowledgement for informal meeting photography and photos is owed to Iwao Fujii, Ocean Policy Research Institute of Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan.
A SEORS event titled Addressing the IPCC Findings Relevant to the Ocean and Climate Nexus took place on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 from 18:30 to 20:00 in the Berlin Room at the World Conference Center Bonn during the Bonn UN Climate Change Conference June 2019 (SB 50). Please find the official SEORS Leaflet here.
The co-sponsors of the event include the International Coastal and Ocean Organization (ICO/Global Ocean Forum), IOC/UNESCO, the Government of Maldives, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK, Ocean Policy Research Institute, Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan, and the Governments of Fiji, Sweden, Chile and Indonesia.
Please find a summary of the SEORS event here.
Please find PDFs of the PowerPoint presentations give at the SEORS event here.
To contribute to the forthcoming BBNJ negotiations, a Draft of the Policy Brief on Capacity Development for Implementing the BBNJ Agreement: Possible Modalities for Addressing Area-Based Management, Environmental Impact Assessment, and Marine Genetic Resources in the Context of Climate Change 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 Draft Policy Brief will be launched at a United Nations Side Event to be held on 26 March 2019 (13:15 to 14:30, Conference Room A, UNHQ, New York) on BBNJ Capacity Development in the Context of Climate Change: Possible Modalities for Implementing BBNJ Capacity Development Regarding Area-based Management, Environmental Impact Assessment, and Marine Genetic Resources, co-organized by the International Coastal and Ocean Organization (Secretariat of the Global Ocean Forum (GOF)), the Permanent Mission of Monaco to the United Nations, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, ATLAS, and the Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan. See the Side Event agenda here.
The Side Event builds on a multi-institutional Policy Brief on BBNJ Capacity Development presented at the First BBNJ session (https://bit.ly/2C0FuvD), this Side Event addresses possible modalities for capacity development on the other three major emphases of the BBNJ Agreement—area-based management (ABMTs), environmental impact assessment (EIAs), and marine genetic resources (MGRs), taking into consideration the possible impacts of climate change. The ultimate purpose of the Side Event is to be of assistance to States in the BBNJ process in crafting an effective and well supported system of BBNJ capacity development and technology transfer—with beneficial linkages to EEZ management—bringing together global, regional, and national levels of governance. Please find the Side Event PowerPoints here.
Please find a summary of the Side 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 (email@example.com)
The High-Level Event on Common Oceans–Why Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction Are Essential for People and Planet that took place on June 27, 2018 at the Nausicaá French National Sea Center in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France sought to boost the general public’s understanding of areas beyond national jurisdiction. The event, which drew 85 participants and speakers, showcased discussion of the complex issues related to our common oceans – areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), as well as possible solutions.
This high level event aimed to build and improve cross-sectoral multi-stakeholder dialogue, engage high-level decision-makers, and contribute to information sharing and public awareness of ABNJ issues. Sessions highlighted the values and issues surrounding ABNJ and the Common Oceans Program experiences. Participants discussed solutions to challenges in ABNJ. The event also featured a global media workshop with media representatives and ABNJ experts where a media guide to ABNJ was launched. The High Level Event both exposed and spurred deliberations on the major ABNJ issues and examined and drew lessons from existing experiences related to ABNJ, especially highlighting the efforts of the Common Oceans Program in achieving sustainable fisheries management and biodiversity conservation in the ABNJ.
The outstanding venue of the new Nausicaá high seas exhibit provided heightened inspiration and motivation for the achievement of wise stewardship of the marine ABNJ. Nausicaáa, a major tourist attraction located in the northern French city of Boulogne-sur-Mer, has unveiled the world’s first-ever large-scale high-seas exhibit, Voyage on the High Seas, on 19 May 2018. With its 9-meter deep tank and 60,000 marine creatures, the Exhibit allows the general public to explore and learn about this vast ocean ecosystem. The Exhibit (35,000 square meters and built at the cost of 75 million Euros from local bodies in the North of France and the European Commission) is intended to rally the public around efforts to improve the way in which oceans and their resources are managed, with emphasis on the areas beyond national jurisdiction.
The event was part of planned public outreach activities and exhibits through the Common Oceans ABNJ Program’s Project on Strengthening Global Capacity to Effectively Manage ABNJ, in close collaboration with fellow Common Oceans ABNJ Projects, and partners FAO, Global Ocean Forum, Nausicaá and the World Ocean Network.
Summary of the event: Link to Summary when available
ABNJ Media Guide: Link to media guide when available
FAO Common Oceans ABNJ Newsletter article: International conference on common oceans at world’s first high seas aquarium, 24 July 2018
For further information about this event, please contact:
- Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain, Common Oceans Capacity Project Manager and President of the Global Ocean Forum
- Ms. Tina Farmer, Lead Technical Officer of the Common Oceans Capacity Project, Communication Adviser, Office of the Deputy Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations