Oceans & Coasts

This section addresses issues related to the oceans as a carbon sink, as well as the interactions between climate change and oceans, such as carbon dioxide-driven acidification, increases in temperature, dwindling fish stocks, or the spread of invasive species. It also covers the consequences of these impacts on coastal areas and populations. The carbon storage in the ocean seabed and ocean fertilization is also included in this section.

UNGA Debate Speakers Cite Actions to Implement SDGs, Paris Agreement [viewed]

ga-71-logo22 September 2016: UN Member States highlighted national actions to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change, as the 71st session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) entered the third day of its general debate at UN Headquarters in New York, US, on 22 September 2016. The debate is focusing on the theme 'The SDGs: a universal push to transform our world.'

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UNGA Continues Addressing SDG Priorities, Ratification of Paris Agreement [viewed]

ga-71-logo21 September 2016: On its second day, the 71st session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) continued its annual general debate under the theme, ‘The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): a universal push to transform our world,' at UN Headquarters in New York, US. Countries focused on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change, among other topics, sharing national progress and urging further action on a range of issues from financing to the relationship between peace and development.

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UN General Debate Opens with Focus on SDG Implementation, Paris Agreement Ratification [viewed]

ga-71-logo20 September 2016: The 71st session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) opened its general debate, which is taking place on the theme, 'The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): a universal push to transform our world.' Many countries expressed support for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change, with Heads of State and Government describing their countries' implementation efforts, highlighting challenges and calling for action on issues ranging from gender equality to ocean conservation.

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2016 Our Ocean Conference Generates 136 Initiatives on Oceans, with US$5.24 Billion in Support [viewed]

our_oceans16 September 2016: Participants at the third Our Ocean Conference announced over 136 initiatives on protecting ocean areas, promoting sustainable fisheries, reducing marine pollution, addressing climate and the ocean, building capacity, supporting coastal communities, and mapping and further understanding the ocean. Financial commitments included more than US$5.24 billion in support and commitments to protect nearly four million square kilometers of the ocean.

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Event: 2016 Arctic Circle Assembly [viewed]

The Arctic Circle is the largest network of international dialogue and cooperation on the future of the Arctic. The annual Arctic Circle Assembly is the largest annual international gathering on the Arctic, attended by more than 2000 participants from 50 countries. The Assembly is held every October at the Harpa Conference Center and Concert Hall in Reykjavík, Iceland. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend the 2016 Arctic Circle Assembly and deliver a keynote speech.  

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Workshop Explores Climate-Ocean Linkages Ahead of Third Our Ocean Conference [viewed]

oceans_paris_agreement14 September 2016: On the eve of the opening of the Third Our Ocean Conference, the Division of Environment and Oceanic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile and the National Geographic Society organized a workshop to consider the theme, "Is the Paris Agreement Good News for the Ocean?”

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Event: Conference on Vulnerable States and Territories: Special Session on the Blue Economy [viewed]

This event is taking place in advance of the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UNFCCC and will focus on climate change and oceans and the blue economy.  

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IUCN WCC Adopts 85 Motions, Hawai'i Commitments; Calls for Action on Oceans, Wildlife Trafficking, Climate Change [viewed]

iucn201611 September 2016: Participants at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress (WCC) adopted the Hawai'i Commitments, titled ‘Navigating Island Earth,' which outline opportunities to address conservation challenges, including maintaining the health of the world's oceans, tackling wildlife trafficking, addressing species loss and ecosystem declines, building resilience to climate change, and sustaining world food supplies. The IUCN Members' Assembly adopted 85 Motions, inclusive of over 100 resolutions and recommendations, including to create a membership category for indigenous peoples' organizations.

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Event: Is the Paris Agreement Good News for the Ocean? [viewed]

This workshop is being organized by the Division of Environment and Ocean Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile and the National Geographic Society. It will seek to build on the momentum generated with the “Because the Ocean” initiative that took place during the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which concluded with the adoption of the Paris Agreement on climate change. This workshop will bring together the ocean and climate communities, including representatives from governments, climate change negotiators, scientists and civil society, to identify challenges related to including the ocean in the UNFCCC agenda and to develop an action plan for addressing ocean-related issues through the climate action to take place under the Paris Agreement. The objectives of the workshop include creating a multidisciplinary core group to explore ways to address climate-ocean issues at the UNFCCC and building a strategy for COP22, including content for a possible second “Because the Ocean” declaration. This full-day workshop will also seek to develop a report for the Third Our Ocean Conference's session on Climate and Ocean. The Third Our Ocean Conference will convene in Washington, DC, from 15-16 September.  

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Event: 2016 Our Ocean Conference [viewed]

The third 'Our Ocean' conference, organized by the US Department of State and hosted by US Secretary of State John Kerry, will convene under the theme, ‘Our Ocean, One Future'. The conference, in addition to tracking progress made on commitments from the first two conferences, is expected to focus on marine protected areas (MPAs), sustainable fishing, marine pollution, and climate and ocean. The meeting will aim to catalyze actions to protect the ocean from threats posed by unsustainable and illegal fishing, pollution and climate change as well as empower a new generation of leaders to identify solutions and commit to protecting and conserving the ocean and its resources. The conference is also expected to generate commitments to protect the ocean with a focus on the role of technological innovation and entrepreneurship in ocean conservation and sustainable use; and partnerships with relevant industries, such as fisheries, technologists, plastics producers, waste management companies, major retailers and producers, as well as multilateral development banks (MDBs) and civil society, including philanthropies, academia and the faith-based community. A parallel event at Georgetown University, 'Our Ocean, One Future Leadership Summit,' will focus on youth and student engagement in ocean policy and advocacy.  

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