This Oceans Action Event at COP 22, Marrakech covers solutions to Core Issues, i.e. Food Security, Mitigation, Adaptation and Resilience – challenges are far more easily identified than solutions, with this being a time of ‘Action’, the first step to the solutions space is a recognition of the role the Oceans play.
Moderator, Manuel Barange, Director, FAO – Fisheries and Aquaculture Division, who explained that the impacts of climate change will impact fishing communities differently, given that some communities are more dependent on fish resources than others.
Catherine Novelli, Under Secretary of State, US, noted that oceans could be reaching a tipping point, and explained that climate change is already pushing some fish populations to migrate towards cooler waters. She drew attention to the Obama Administration’s contributions to global efforts to protect oceans including the “Our Ocean” movement, which she explained has helped secure the protection of an ocean area corresponding nearly to the size of continental Africa in three years.
Laura Tuck, World Bank, drew attention to World Bank initiatives such as: developing a blue economy development framework for developing countries; promoting climate resilience in coastal management; and mainstreaming natural resources in development planning and national economic accounts through the Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) global partnership.
Premdut Koonjoo, Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands, Mauritius, stated that climate change is a threat multiplier for the marine environment and underscored the need to mobilise both the private and public sectors to meet the demands ahead. He urged using public resources to mobilise private resources and develop fit-for-purpose financial mechanisms.
Greg Stone, Conservation International, for Anote Tong, former President of Kiribati, opened saying to solve the climate problem oceans have to be part of the solution He noted that when mainstreaming oceans into the climate agenda, all stakeholders should be involved, including Indigenous Peoples whom he explained, have a deep knowledge of the ocean that provides a critical understanding of how the world works.
As a keynote speaker at this event, Ségolène Royal, Minister of the Environment, Energy and the Sea, France, stated – ‘The protection of seas presents a potential for ‘blue growth’ to address the food and health challenges currently being faced, and advocated for oceans to be recognised as a common heritage to humanity’.
The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2016. Flyer
Huffington Post – Our Ocean and the Beginning of a Movement
Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services