Oceans Day Promotes Focus on Oceans in Climate Negotiations
14 December 2009: On the sideline of the UN Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands, the Government of Indonesia, and the European Environment Agency organized a special day to stress the central role of oceans in the Earth's life support system and to address threats faced by coastal communities, especially in developing nations and small island States.
Oceans Day was held on 14 December 2009, and highlighted the direct link between climate change, ocean health and human well-being. The Day brought together 320 participants representing governments, UN agencies, NGOs, science, and industry from 40 countries to focus on the role of the oceans in climate change and the fact that close to 50% of the world's population living in coastal areas will suffer disproportionately from ocean warming, sea level rise, extreme weather events and ocean acidification. Participants addressed, inter alia, the role of the oceans in climate change phenomena; the implications of climate change for the world's oceans and coastal communities; crafting and financing mitigation and adaptation responses; and next steps for the oceans community beyond Copenhagen.
Collaborators of the Day included various governments and international organizations, including the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and the WorldFish Center. [Oceans Day Website]