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UN Consultative Process on Oceans Focuses on Ocean Acidification

UN _Consultative_Process20 June 2013: The 14th meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (UNICPOLOS or ICP) focused its discussions on the impacts of ocean acidification on the marine environment. ICP 14 took place in New York, US, from 17-20 June 2013.

ICP 14, which was Co-Chaired by Ambassador Don MacKay (New Zealand) and Ambassador Milan Jaya Nyamrajsing Meetarbhan (Mauritius), took place at a time when many issues on the global oceans agenda are competing for attention, including the post-2015 development agenda and the drafting of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Informal Working Group to Study Issues Relating to the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity Beyond Areas of National Jurisdiction (BBNJ). According to several participants and delegates, the Consultative Process held a fruitful discussion on a matter of grave importance to the oceans that, to date, has been under the radar of decision makers.

Delegates convened in plenary sessions throughout the week to discuss: views on ocean acidification; inter-agency cooperation and coordination; the process for the selection of topics and panelists so as to facilitate the work of the UN General Assembly (UNGA); issues that could benefit from attention in the UNGA's future work on oceans and the law of the sea; and other topics.

In addition, three panel discussions were held on: the process of ocean acidification; impacts of ocean acidification and ongoing activities at the global, regional and national levels to address those impacts; and opportunities and challenges for addressing the impacts of ocean acidification on the marine environment, including through enhanced cooperation on scientific and technical aspects. [IISD RS Coverage of ICP 14] [ICP 14 Website] [UN Press Release]