Oceans and Law of the Sea

United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process established by the General Assembly in its resolution 54/33 in order to facilitate the annual review by the Assembly of developments in ocean affairs
Third meeting (New York, 8-15 April 2002)

Summary of the Discussion Panels A and B (in English) for the areas of focus: (a) the protection and preservation of the marine environment, and (b) capacity-building, regional cooperation and coordination and integrated ocean management

Discussion Panel A: Protection and preservation of the marine environment Discussion Panel B: Capacity-building, regional cooperation and integrated ocean management
Part I - Integrated approach to the protection and preservation of the marine environment, and to the conservation and management of its resources Part I - Capacity-building
Part II - International rules and standards and their enforcement Part II - Regional cooperation
Part III - Practical Measures to underpin States’ activities – monitoring and assessment; Collective response to emergencies and regional considerations Part III - Integrated ocean management

Panel discussions: Areas of focus

          (a) Discussion Panel A: Protection and preservation of the marine environment

          Part I
Integrated approach to the protection and preservation of the marine environment, and to the conservation and management of its resources

1.      The discussions in Part I of Panel A on integrated approach to the protection and preservation of the marine environment, and to the conservation and management of its resources, were led off by presentations from the following representatives: Mr. Jorge Illueca, Unted Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); Mr. Richard Kenchington, Australia; Mr. Albertus Jacobus Hoffmann, Permanent Mission of South Africa to the United Nations; and Dr. Simon Cripps, World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF).

2.      Mr. Illueca stated that a top priority for UNEP was the strengthening of regional seas conventions and action plans as an effective platform for the implementation of Agenda 21, chapter 17, with special emphasis on the regional implementation of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA). To this end, UNEP had convened since 1998 5 Global Meetings of these regional seas conventions and action plans as a forum for regionally based cooperative activities for the global protection and sustainable development of the marine and coastal environment.

3.      Mr. Illueca pointed out that the Fourth Global Meeting ( Montreal, 21-23 November 2001 ) had two major achievements, namely: the establishment of a new partnership between regional seas programmes and the private sector, specifically the oil manufacturing and oil tanker shipping industries, to strengthen, within the framework of regional seas conventions and action plans, the capacity of developing countries to respond at the national and regional levels to emergencies resulting from oil spills, and the agreement by the regional seas programme secretariats to propose to Parties and member States a programmatic shift in their work plans that emphasizes the ecosystem-bases management of marine and coastal resources, with priority consideration to be given to ecosystem - based fisheries management in collaboration with the respective regional fisheries bodies.

4.      He indicated also that a Special Consultative Meeting of Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans (New York, 4 April 2002) agreed to recommend for consideration for action on oceans and seas by the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) the following five priorities: (i) the problem of land-based sources of marine pollution, with particular emphasis on response to pollution resulting from municipal wastewater, including concern about the prohibitive cost of wastewater treatment plants and the need to use low-cost technologies in developing countries; (ii) the importance of port reception facilities for wastes from ships, taking into consideration the needs of developing countries, as part of combating ship-generated marine pollution; (iii) the critical impact of increasing urbanization and coastal development on marine and coastal ecosystems, including a great urgency for capacity-building in support of integrated coastal management; (iv) the importance of the conservation and management of marine and coastal ecosystems, including protected areas and the monitoring , reporting and assessment of the marine environment; and (v) the need to shift the work of regional seas programmes from a focus on regional cooperation to combat marine pollution to a multi-sectoral work, with greater emphasis on integrated coastal management  and the sustainable development of marine and coastal resources.

5.      In addition, Mr. Illueca drew attention of the Consultative Process to the UNEP Governing Council decision 21/13 on global assessment of the state of marine environment, which “requests the Executive Director of UNEP, in cooperation with IOC  and other appropriate agencies, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and in consultation with regional seas programmes to explore the feasibility of establishing a regular process for the assessment of the state of the marine environment with active involvement by governments and regional agreements, building on ongoing assessment programmes”.

6.      As a follow-up to the above-mentioned decision, two meetings were held in Reykjavik, Iceland, and in Bremen, Germany, in September 2001 and March 2002 respectively. The Reykjavik meeting concluded that a global assessment of the marine environment was needed and welcomed the opportunity to examine the feasibility of developing a process with all relevant stakeholders, including partners in the United Nations system. The Bremen meeting, for its part, agreed that the international community should address marine environment problems in a comprehensive way. In this connection, it was indicated that a global marine assessment (GMA) mechanism was an appropriate means to provide on a regular, timely and scientific basis the necessary assessments of the state and trends of all aspects of marine ecosystems. Such a GMA should involve and be used by policy makers and all stakeholders, and should address all aspects of marine ecosystems, including identification of hotspots and priorities, as well as consideration of issues common to more than one region, transboundary impacts and the relevance of global measures to solve the problem.

7.      Furthermore, the Bremen meeting addressed several issues related to the GMA such as: (i) functions of the mechanism itself; (ii) main stakeholders; (iii) scope of its activities, including a broad ecosystem approach and the integration of global and regional assessment activities; (iv) main data providers for the mechanism, such as intergovernmental organizations, Government agencies and academia; (vi) institutional mechanisms and operational arrangements; (vii) expected outputs, including scientific/technical reports and policy-oriented reports; and (viii) costs and funding of the GMA. The meeting also provided the steps forward in the process, including identification and integration of assessments, as well as assessment-related activities in the GMA process. Of particular importance would be the utilization of regional seas assessments, as essential building blocks for the preparation of global assessments. A final report with recommendations on the subject will be presented by the Executive Director of UNEP to the Governing Council meeting in 2003.

8.      Mr. Kenchington stated that the problems currently affecting coral reefs were also relevant for many more marine ecosystems since most of them were experiencing a decline, caused by human use and impact and therefore action needed to be taken to halt such decline. He added that pollution, which he termed as ‘putting things in of a nature or at a rate that exceeds the acceptance capacity’, overfishing or ‘taking things out at a rate that exceeded replacement’, and changing food chains through pollution and badly managed fishing or deviant research, had contributed to this decline in the marine ecosystem.

9.      He also stated that the difficulty of managing the marine environment was due to the fact that although such environment was familiar, it was nonetheless strange, and would not fit our designs of management or governance systems. Further, little attention is given to the full range of goods and services provided by marine ecosystems and they had not attracted the urgency of the more familiar problems of land.

10.   He described the physical and biological characteristics of marine ecosystems. Seawater is dense: 80 times as dense as air; provides a good life support system with most marine life being invisible – microscopic or remote; is a good solvent carrying trace elements, nutrients and diluting and removing waste products; and is mobile. Those combined properties would provide marine ecosystems with “fuzzy” and variable boundaries.

11.   Mr. Kenchington mentioned also the differences in cultural perspective regarding the oceans, including the respect, care and value that island and coastal people attached to the sea, as well as the ambiguous western cultural views of the ocean as being vast and strange with frightening creatures, and inexhaustible source of wealth for the brave.

12.   As to the problem of governance, he stressed that international, national and federal/provincial jurisdictional boundaries were irrelevant to many ecosystems. He pointed out that traditional sectoral management attitude entrenched in terrestrial thinking was inadequate in the marine environment, due to the complex webs of intersectoral interactions at all scales in such environment, compelling therefore the need to operate at the ecosystem level and work jointly across boundaries.

13.   Mr. Kenchington then presented the concept of the triple bottom line (TBL) approach, which was based on optimized economic, environmental and social outcomes, as the three indicators of sustainability of an ecosystem-based management. He stated that management should at least understand the risks and have strategies for recovery when impacts exceeded predictions rather than waiting for ecosystem, economic or social collapse. He added that to achieve sustainability and maintain the biological diversity, ecosystem processes, ecosystem services, natural resource base and global endowment of the world’s seas, focus had to be put on priorities.

14.   In this connection, he referred to the examples of Australian regional partnership approaches to marine ecosystems, through the joint conservation and management of the Great Barrier Reef between Federal, and the relevant States and Territories, and the use of the TBL in conservation and management of the Great Barrier Reef BioRegions. The Australian cross jurisdictional and non-jurisdictional approaches could be adapted to other regions with similar challenges.

15.   Turning to the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), Mr. Kenchington described the nature, role and objectives of ICRI. The International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN) was the implementing partner that mobilized resources and implement action on ICRI priorities to address the threats to coral reefs and achieve sustainability.

16.   In conclusion, Mr. Kenchington raised the question as to whether the TBL approach could be applied to the high seas. He called upon the Consultative Process to create systems that would address global issues and provide the basis for effective stewardship of the 70 per cent of the surface of the planet covered by water.

17.   In his presentation, Mr. Hoffmann gave an outline of the protection and preservation of the marine environment from a developing country perspective, including inter alia, the impact of South Africa’s strategic geographic location at the confluence of the Southern Indian, Southern Atlantic and the Antarctic Oceans, with valuable fisheries and rich biodiversity, and also a high risk of marine pollution from oil tankers. Proximity to the rich fishing grounds of the Southern Oceans would also attract illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessels.

18.   Mr. Hoffmann indicated that his country was a Contracting Party to a number of international conventions, such as, the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR); the International Whaling Commission (IWC); the South East Atlantic Fisheries Organization (SEAFO) and the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT). He also stressed that although the servicing of these conventions and other agreements required excessive financial and human resources on the part of a developing country like South Africa, to do otherwise would result in the marginalisation of national objectives and rights of developing countries in international fora, in view of the role of those international instruments in the regulation and management of marine resources and thereby their contribution to the overall management of the ecosystems in which the resources occurred.

19.   Referring to the allocation of high seas fish stocks to Contracting Parties in fisheries organizations or commissions, he pointed out that despite the spirit of UNCLOS, which recognizes the special needs of the developing countries, allocation criteria have been applied to favour the fishing fleets of distant water developed countries. He stated that the international community needed to address this issue if the integrity of existing multilateral agreements was to be maintained. He added that a rationalization in the governance of oceans would improve the participation of developing countries, leading to a greater equity in the benefits derived from the use of the ocean environment.

20.   Moreover, Mr. Hoffmann stated that managing ocean and coastal areas required capacity in research, monitoring and compliance control. In this connection, he pointed out that South Africa had certain capacity in marine science but lacked capacity in monitoring and compliance control. He thus stressed the urgent need for fisheries management to recognize the importance of integrating biological research with economics and social sciences, as well with compliance control, in order to avoid the repetition of past failures caused by a reliance on biological and physical sciences only. In fact, the management of fisheries involved among other components, the management of fishers and hence the need to understand behaviour associated with profits. He pointed out that despite the complexity of integrating all these elements in fisheries management, such integration was nonetheless considered to be the backbone of ecosystem management.

21.   With respect to regional initiatives, Mr. Hoffmann referred to the establishment of SEAFO with the participation of the coastal States of the subregion as well as distant water fishing nations. He indicated that multi-agreements such as SEAFO, constituted the highest level of integrated ocean management and was indicative of the political will of States to manage oceans regionally, and as such, represented a significant move in the direction of the management of ecosystems. The agreement required the Contracting Parties to implement a regime aimed at ensuring the conservation, management and sustainable use of fishery resources in the South East Atlantic outside the exclusive economic zone s (EEZ) of coastal States. In addition to its conservation and management functions (determination of total allowable catch, applied scientific research, compilation of statistic data as a basis for the best scientific advice) SEAFO had established  cooperative mechanisms for effective monitoring, control, surveillance and enforcement. The implementation of the objectives of SEAFO would require capacity and infrastructure, especially those relating to monitoring of and compliance with agreed conservation and management measures.

22.   In addition to the establishment of SEAFO, Mr. Hoffmann provided information on other initiatives in the southern African region for the implementation of Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) approaches to ocean management, such as the Benguela Environment Fishing Interaction and Training (BENEFIT) and the Integrated Management of the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLE), whish were aimed at identifying threats and capacity requirements to preserve the ecosystem functioning, and integrating approach to the sustainable management and protection of the BCLME respectively. Another initiative undertaken under the auspices of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was the harmonization of legislation and management in the area of fisheries.

23.   With respect to marine pollution, particularly oil pollution, he indicated that South Africa had established institutional arrangements and coordinating mechanisms for the prevention and combating of this type of pollution through the Department of Transport and the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. While on the one hand, the Department of Transport was responsible for the monitoring of and compliance by foreign vessels with South African port requirements adopted in accordance with standards set by IMO, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, on the other hand, initiated contingency measures to contain and combat the effects of any oil spill, once such spill has occurred into the marine environment. Capacity-building in relation to oil disaster management has been addressed through a training programme funded by the World Bank.

24.   In conclusion, Mr. Hoffmann made note of the fact South Africa’s existing programmes did not yet incorporate a freshwater component, and were at the initial stages of integrating ocean and fresh water component. In addition, he drew attention to the need for the development of mechanism to evaluate the potential of tourism enhancing measures like conserving biodiversity or preserving the harvesting rights and culture of coastal communities against hard currency revenue from big business and industrialization, as well as the need for the adoption and enforcement of uniform operation standards for multinational enterprises operating in developing countries. In this connection, he expressed concern over the failure of States Parties to fishery bodies to take effective measures against vessels flying their flag that had conducted IUU fishing. Prosecution by flag States of offenders would alleviate the excessive costs involved in developing enforcement schemes. Finally, he noted as another area of concern, the absence of a centralized compliance, monitoring and reporting system.

25.   In his presentation of an ecosystem-based management (EBM) for marine capture fisheries, Dr. Cripps stated that limited success over the past 50 years in preventing the problems of over-fishing, degradation of the marine environment, and irreversible loss of marine biodiversity has made ecosystem-based management (EBM) approach likely to succeed where many other initiatives had failed because of its focus on managing human issues and impacts in order to achieve the maintenance of biodiversity.

26.   He indicated that EBM was aimed at achieving sustainability in exploiting natural resources through a consideration of the effect of the environment on the resource, and conversely, the effect of resource exploitation on the environment. EBM was a highly integrated approach that would encompass all the complexities of ecosystem dynamics, the social and economic needs of human communities, and the maintenance of diverse, functioning and healthy ecosystems. Its application to marine capture fisheries would require a consideration of the condition of the ecosystems that might affect fish stocks and their productivity, as well as the ways fishing activities might affect marine ecosystems. EBM also entailed the application of the precautionary approach.

27.   Dr. Cripps pointed out that in a fishery managed under EBM principles, a range of habitats and species indicators needed to be used in order to determine the health of the ecosystem, in addition to  performance evaluation procedures that measured the populations and productivity of fish stocks. He also emphasized that in order for EBM in fisheries to succeed, the following six elements needed to be in place: (i) existence of a policy framework designed to incorporate EBM principles; (ii) recognition of the economic, social and cultural interests of all stakeholders in the fishery and the ecosystems; (iii) recognition of the risk of the impacts of resource exploitation on ecological values; (iv) incorporation of adequate information on exploited species; (v) adoption of an adequate fishery management system with the full participation of all stakeholders; and (vi) consideration of externalities that might affect the resource.

28.   For EBM to be effective, Dr. Cripps noted that the principles and elements of EBM needed to be implemented into actions and control measures through operational components that would provide detailed guidance for fisheries managers in the development and application of EBM within the context of their own fisheries. He conceded that most existing international legal frameworks did not support an EBM approach for fisheries management, especially for the commercially valuable resources of the high seas. However, he was of the view that improved international governance was the key to restructuring fisheries and their management to meet the demands of EBM, and to address the conservation of migratory fish stocks, as well as the control of IUU fishing. He also believed that access agreements in areas under the national jurisdiction of a coastal State would likewise need to incorporate EBM principles to avoid damaging the livelihoods of coastal fishing communities.

                  Contribution of the Consultative Process to the process of WSSD

29.   Many delegations stressed the importance of the subject of the protection and preservation of the marine environment. One delegation noted that environmental protection was one of the key elements for national and international security. In addition, the close link between the areas of focus of Panels A and B was highlighted by many delegations, and several pointed to the relationship and the need for coordination between the work of the Consultative Process and the preparations for the WSSD.

30.   Raising public awareness was identified as a key issues in the furtherance of the ocean agenda. In this sense the Global Conference on Oceans and Coasts at Rio+10, held in Paris in December 2001 (The Paris Conference) was considered to be an excellent example of a tool to raise awareness in the ocean community. The main message that had emanated from the Paris Conference was an urgent call for action.

                  Contribution of science to protection/preservation of the marine environment and the conservation of its resources: Collection, assessment and sharing of data

31.   The importance of scientific data for the purpose of the protection and preservation of the marine environment was underscored. Oceans are characterized by inter-related ecosystems and physical and biological interaction, and therefore it is essential for their protection and preservation to look at the totality of the oceans, their complexity and their interface with the atmosphere and land, in an integrated framework.

32.   Some delegations underlined the importance of information, which makes consistent linkages between the biophysical and human systems. One delegation stressed the importance of incorporating traditional and local knowledge from the early stages of programme development right through implementation.

33.   Delegations highlighted the importance of targeting science and research as tools for decision-making, which assist in providing answers to some basic questions, such as what is introduced to the marine environment, what is extracted, what is the absorptive capacity of the ecosystem and what action policy-makers need to take. It was noted that currently the outcome of scientific research did not reach a wider audience and, in particular, policy-makers.

34.   The important role of marine scientific research, as provided for in UNCLOS, was underlined. One delegation emphasized the importance of ensuring that such research is conducted in an ethical manner and proposed the development of a code of conduct for marine scientific research.

35.   It was noted that the joint collaboration of researchers was indispensable for the collection of data. In order to make data accessible and to provide for their distribution in real time, as was the case with meteorological data, one delegation proposed the establishment of a network of regional observatories, which would operate on the basis of a harmonized approach and the sharing of their collective expertise.

36.     It was suggested that current arrangements for data collection could be improved by building on existing global and regional initiatives and by agreeing on methodologies and data needs and creating capacity to collect and analyze relevant marine scientific data. In this regard, it was noted that the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), which had been conceived as a sustained, coordinated international system for gathering data about the oceans and seas, had the greatest level of international endorsement. GOOS includes a system for processing such data to provide analytical and prognostic environmental information services and contains a capacity-building component. It was emphasized that efforts should be made to assist developing countries in actively participating in the GOOS programme so that they could develop a well-organized monitoring network. One delegation said that a framework for cooperation among regional GOOS should be established. Another delegation noted that there was a need to strengthen cooperation between GOOS and GESAMP in order to avoid duplication of efforts.

37.   Another related data collection and analysis approach that was highlighted as having seen a great deal of success was the Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) initiative. Sixty-four LMEs had been identified in the scientific literature. The current GEF sponsorship of eight LME projects had proved successful in building national support for regional ecosystem priorities that had resulted in agreed programmes of data collection and analysis. It was noted that the only Pacific Island that was covered by an LME was Hawaii, but that GEF was expected to identify more LMEs in the Pacific Ocean in the future. The IOC Sub-Commission for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions had recently submitted a Caribbean LME project to GEF for funding.

38.   It was pointed out by one delegation that many of the current global activities related to marine scientific assessment and those of numerous regional bodies did not use a common methodology and were to some extent redundant. In order to assist countries assess data, it was necessary to integrate various assessments and make their results available to policy-makers. It was proposed that IOC should refocus its efforts to facilitate this mission by integrating various assessments, aligning different methodologies and providing integrated input to the annual report of the Secretary-General on oceans and the law of the sea.

39.   It was emphasized that advanced monitoring techniques, unified standards, well-calibrated instruments and consistent methods for laboratory analysis were of great importance to the quality and success of the assessment of the state of the marine environment. One delegation proposed that IOC should conduct workshops and training courses for developing countries.

40.   The importance of providing full access to data to as many users as possible, through, for example, electronic databases, and of consolidating data infrastructure, through an international information network, was underlined. In this regard, it was noted that full use should be made of existing mechanisms. Some delegations pointed to the usefulness of the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange system (IODE), which was established to enhance marine research by facilitating the exchange of oceanographic data and information between participating member States, currently sixty-four. Through its regional networks in the United States of America, the Russian Federation and China, IODE established close working relationships with other IOC information centres. Another delegation referred to the current practices of his country regarding the sharing of ocean-related data through the North-East Asian Regional Global Ocean Observing System (NEAR-GOOS) and on R&D activities through the web page of the Japan Marine Science and Technology Centre (JAMSTEC). It said that it contributed to the capacity-building of developing countries through the conduct of joint research programmes.

41.   One delegation proposed that the General Assembly in its resolution on oceans and the law of the sea to be adopted at the forthcoming 57th session call upon UNEP working within the Global Resource Information Database (GRID) system for data and information management to host and develop a centre for research data from the outer continental margin, intended to serve the needs of coastal States, and in particular developing countries and small island developing States, in their compliance with article 76 of UNCLOS or in any other utilization of such data in the interest of States. Such a database would assist those States that do not have the proper infrastructure to store and retrieve geophysical and geological data that have been acquired on their continental shelves by foreign institutions under scientific licences and that have been made available to the coastal State according to articles 248 and 249 of UNCLOS. Another delegation noted that the proposed data centre would be expected to be linked to existing data networks within United Nations agencies. A third delegation was of the view that IOC currently maintained a similar database.

42.   Many delegations expressed their support for a global assessment of the state of the marine environment and the Global Marine Assessment (GMA) as proposed by UNEP pursuant to Governing Council decision 21/13. They underlined that the GMA should build on existing mechanisms, such as the monitoring and observing programmes of IOC, GESAMP, ICRI, CBD and involve WMO. The multi-sectoral nature of the assessment was stressed, as was the need to promote the involvement of a plurality of stakeholders. It is expected that a scientific assessment as well as a policy-orientated assessment would be produced. It was noted by some delegations that Annex IX to the report of the second consultative meeting in follow-up to Governing Council decision 21/13 held in Bremen, Germany, 18 to 20 March 2002, provided a useful model for the process for the GMA.

          From diagnosis to action

43.   With respect to the question of whether existing arrangements provide sufficient links from diagnosis to action, it was proposed by one delegation that watershed/marine ecosystem-based approaches were needed, which would define an area “diagnosed” in accordance with ecological science and not by political boundaries.

44.   It was emphasized that regional science bodies had to make significantly greater efforts to coordinate and integrate their work. All potential regional ecosystem partners should be brought together to explore cross-sectoral solutions.

45.   It was noted that there was a lack of scientific information available to map and diagnose threats to rare or fragile ecosystems that support a large variety of marine species and link that information to actions which States are required to take under article 194, paragraph 5, of UNCLOS. Seamounts were cited as an example.

46.   Emerging scientific information should be provided to all decision-makers so that they would be able to provide for the conservation of the richest and most imperiled of the ecosystems.

47.   While it was recognized that scientific data were a vital prerequisite for the protection and preservation of the marine environment, it was also pointed out that the absence or inadequacy of such data should not be used as an excuse for inaction. In this connection, it was also noted that when capacity is limited, fine-tuning of policy and rapid action is difficult and States may have to be fairly drastic in their application of the precautionary approach.

          Integrated approach to the conservation and management of marine living resources and marine biodiversity: Towards an Ecosystem-based management

48.   Many delegations stressed the view that the problems of ocean space were closely interrelated and therefore needed to be considered as a whole through an integrated, interdisciplinary and intersectoral approach. They also agreed that ecosystem-based management (EBM) would provide a holistic approach that could be applied to the protection and preservation of the marine environment, as well as to the conservation and management of its biodiversity.

49.   Several delegations expressed interest on the triple bottom line (TBL) of EBM, namely the economic, environmental and social outcomes, as these three dimensions were indicative of the sustainability of fisheries management. In this connection, they made particular reference to the Reykjavik Declaration on Responsible Fisheries in the Marine Ecosystem of October 2001, which recommended the incorporation of ecosystem considerations into fisheries management. The Declaration also emphasized that ecosystem-based management required that consideration be given to both the impact of fisheries on the ecosystem and the impact of the ecosystem on fisheries.

50.   A number of delegations expressed the view that watershed/marine ecosystem-based approaches were also needed. Moreover, these delegations noted that an integrated approach to the protection of the marine environment would necessarily cut across legal and administrative jurisdictions in order to be effective. They thus believed that regional science bodies ought to make significant efforts to coordinate and integrate their work in an approach that would bring all potential regional ecosystem partners together to explore cross-sectoral solutions. Such approach was in the process of being implemented in the Wider Caribbean Region.

51.   In order to strengthen regional governance effectiveness, several delegations made reference to the importance of the large marine ecosystem (LME) initiative, as promising regional approach to oceans and coastal management, which may include region-specific mechanisms or agreements.

52.   One delegation has also indicated that although an agreement seemed to emerge on the concept of the ecosystem approach, however, there was a lack of consensus on its implementation. Another delegation pointed out that a clarification should also be made as to whether there would be one ecosystem or several ecosystems in the implementation of the ecosystem approach.

53.   In addition, many delegations made reference to the obligations of States in UNCLOS to conserve the marine living resources of the oceans and seas, and have expressed concern over the overexploitation of fish stocks in some regions, leading to decline of fish stocks and reduction of catches. They recommended therefore the implementation of international instruments such as the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement, the FAO Compliance Agreement, the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and related International plans of Action to ensure sustainability of marine living resources.

          Protection of marine biodiversity on the high seas

54.   Several delegations indicated that there was a growing awareness of the need to consider more closely the existing conservation and management arrangements for marine biodiversity beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. They drew particular attention on the urgency of action to address unsustainable exploitation of fisheries resources on the high seas, in view of the seriousness of IUU fishing taking place in these maritime areas, including the role of flag States to ensure compliance with high seas fishing regulations vis-à-vis vessels flying their flag on the high seas, as provided in the FAO Compliance Agreement. They also expressed the need to address the issue of subsidies and its impact on overcapacity, as well as the problem of open registry and its relationship with the issue of IUU fishing.

55.   Several delegations drew attention that another deficiency in existing arrangements was the lack of scientific evidence available to map and diagnose threats to rare or fragile ecosystems that supported a large variety of marine species, and linked that information to actions States were required to take under article 194 of UNCLOS.

56.   In addition, these delegations made reference to seamounts where marine scientists were discovering an extraordinary richeness of sealife. A large number of seamounts were located on the high seas and were areas of deep-sea high in endemic biodiversity, with species unique that were not found nowhere else in the world. They had expressed concern that the growing bottom trawling on seamounts in areas of the high seas such as the Tasman Sea, the North Atlantic, the North Pacific Oceans and the Southwest Indian Ocean, in response for increased demand for seafood and as a consequence of the depletion of fisheries in more coastal waters, would provide a widespread destruction of the marine life endemic to seamounts. Indeed, scientists who surveyed seamount areas after the passage of trawl fleets, had noted that up to 95 per cent of the area was stripped of the deep-water corals, sponge and other species of benthic macrofauna that characterized these unique ecosystems. In this connection, other delegations stressed generally the importance for regional fisheries management organizations to provide conservation and management measures for benthic fish species found exclusively on the high seas not covered by the regulatory area of these organizations.

57.   In order to protect the living resources of the high seas, including the rich biodiversity found around seamounts, it has been suggested the adoption of a Framework Agreement that would focus existing arrangements on protection and sustainable management without necessarily developing new arrangements. The development of such an Agreement, in line with the concept of precautionary approach, would be of preventive nature and complementary to the process of establishing marine protected areas to enhance further protection of high seas marine living resources.

58.   One delegation asked the question as to how the Framework Agreement would be envisaged at the regional level in light of the recent entry into force of United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement and the adoption of the Convention on Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.

59.   Some delegations expressed the view that a new Framework Agreement was not needed since UNCLOS and the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement provide already sufficient legal framework for the conservation and management of ecosystems and marine living resources of the high seas, and that article 4 of the Convention on Biological Diversity addresses the legal regime of biological diversity beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. They also stated that an ecosystem management should be in conformity with UNCLOS and indicated in this respect that the establishment of marine protected areas on the high seas lacked scientific basis and would run contrary to the freedom of high seas fishing recognized in article 87 of UNCLOS.

60.   Other delegations stated, however, that the freedom of high seas fishing provided in UNCLOS came with the duty to conserve the marine living resources on high seas, as well as the duty to cooperate for such conservation, as stipulated in articles 116, 117, 118 and 119 of UNCLOS. They were also of the view that the conservation of the marine biodiversity on the high seas should be the basis of cooperation among organizations such as FAO, CBD and the International Seabed Authority, and it was the duty of the Consultative Process to send a clear message to the General Assembly on the need to provide protection to such marine biodiversity.

          Part II
International rules and standards and their enforcement

61.   The discussions in Part II of Panel A on international rules and standards and their enforcement were led off by presentations from Mr. Augustin Blanco-Bazan, Deputy Director of the Legal Office, and Head of the External Relations Division, International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Mr. Takehiro Okubo, Deputy Director, Ocean Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

62.   Mr. Agustin Blanco-Bazan in his presentation drew attention to the study on the implications of the entry into force of UNCLOS for IMO, which was prepared by the IMO Secretariat in consultation with DOALOS in 1997. He noted that the study had been widely circulated for comments, but that none had been received. Referring to an update of the study currently under preparation, which was expected to be published soon, he recommended that delegations read and comment on that document.

63.   He noted that the study contained extended references to the role of IMO under UNCLOS and reflected the consensus that when UNCLOS refers to the “competent international organization” in the context of navigation and control of marine pollution from vessels and by dumping, it is referring to IMO, which is the Organization with the global mandate to improve maritime safety, and adopt measures for the prevention of pollution from ships and by dumping.

64.   Turning to the relationship between the global mandate of IMO and developments at the regional level, Mr. Blanco-Bazan explained that, although global rules were needed governing the construction, equipment and management of ships, the regional element had to be taken into account in the protection and preservation of the marine environment because not all areas were affected by pollution in a similar manner. IMO had addressed this issue in the context of ship routeing measures, such as the establishment of areas to be avoided for navigation. In addition, MARPOL 73/78 dealt not only with vessel-source pollution, but also provided criteria for the establishment of Special Areas in enclosed and semi-enclosed seas, in which stricter discharge requirements could be applied, as well as requirements regarding the establishment of port waste reception facilities. IMO had also, in accordance with article 211 of UNCLOS, adopted Guidelines for the Identification and Designation of Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSAs). On the basis of these Guidelines, a State could request IMO to designate a sea area as a PSSA and upon designation, that State could enforce a stricter regime regarding international navigation, for example, through the establishment of areas to be avoided and other ship routeing measures. While PSSAs were of a recommendatory nature, the coastal State could enforce the regulations it had adopted at the national level to protect the PSSA. He noted that a balance had to be maintained between freedom of navigation at the global level and the establishment of limitations to this navigation through treaty and soft law provisions.

65.   A further aspect of the relationship between the global mandate of IMO and regional developments which he highlighted, was the cooperative relationship that IMO had established with regional organizations and the assistance that the Organization provided to certain regions in the implementation of IMO Conventions relating to the prevention, reduction and control of pollution of the marine environment. IMO cooperated closely with UNEP within the framework of the Regional Seas Programme.

66.   On the issue of enforcement of international rules and standards, he noted, in referring to the Study, that Part XII of UNCLOS went further than MARPOL 73/78 regarding the enforcement rights of coastal States and port States, even though some of the provisions in UNCLOS and MARPOL 73/78 regarding port State enforcement were the same, e.g., the right to inspect ship certificates. He noted that enforcement of IMO provisions relied primarily on the flag State, but that over the last years port State jurisdiction had been developed to correct the deficiencies in jurisdiction which the flag State was not in a position to correct. Flag State and port State enforcement were addressed with equal force in the IMO Sub-Committee on Flag State Implementation.

67.   He noted that pollution of the marine environment from vessels had been greatly reduced as a result of IMO’s work. IMO had developed its policy on the prevention, reduction and control of pollution of the marine environment from vessel from proactive and reactive perspectives. As a result of IMO’s proactive policy, changes had been introduced in instruments to keep pace with new technologies. The precautionary principle had thus always been the basis for the IMO treaty making policy, as demonstrated by the adoption of a new Annex VI to MARPOL 73/78 to prevent air pollution and the current development by IMO of guidelines to assist in the implementation of Annex VI, as well as the development of standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

68.   Mr. Blanco-Bazan emphasized that the adoption last year by IMO of a new International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships demonstrated the will of IMO to counter any type of risk. In addition the Organization was currently working on the development of an international convention for the control and management of ships’ ballast water and sediments.

69.   IMO was also required at times to take a reactive approach to the development of new measures in response to accidents, he noted. The accident involving the vessel Erika had led to the adoption of a number of measures: the accelerated phasing out of single-hull vessels and the adoption of amendments to the 1992 Protocol to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1969, and to the 1992 Protocol to the International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage, 1971, in order to increase the limits of compensation. A further increase in the limits of compensation was expected to be agreed on next year. He noted that the amendments to the liability related Conventions were also relevant for the implementation of article 235 of UNCLOS.

70.   Turning next to the issue of reception facilities, he noted that this subject, more than any other, reflected the blending of maritime and environmental law in an IMO treaty. He recalled the duty of States in article 195 of UNCLOS and then noted that States were required under MARPOL 73/78 to provide “adequate” port waste reception facilities for ships. The responsibility for providing reception facilities was a matter for individual Governments and he said that progress in this regard had not been satisfactory. In order to address the matter, IMO has developed a number of guidelines and had also provided technical assistance over many years to a large number of countries in the form of seminars, symposia and workshops, mostly at the regional level.

71.   In conclusion, he underlined that it was important that regulations to counteract pollution from vessels were matched with appropriate regulations to counteract pollution from land-based sources. He noted that only 10 per cent of the pollution entering the marine environment emanated from vessels; the remainder came from land-based sources. This made cooperation among IMO, UNEP, DOALOS, IGOs and NGOs, etc. an essential tool to effectively counteract pollution of the oceans at global, regional and national levels.

72.   Mr. Takehiro Okubo underlined that it was now imperative that States become parties to and implement the international rules and standards for the protection and preservation of the marine environment established in conformity with the provision of UNCLOS. In this connection, he described a series of legislative and other measures undertaken by Japan in the area of marine environment protection and preservation.

73.   Mr. Takehiro Okubo underlined that the protection and preservation of the marine environment cannot be achieved through individual countries’ efforts alone. As a result, Japan had taken measures to promote cooperation with neighboring countries in the field of protection and preservation of the marine environment. In the area of the prevention, reduction and control of pollution from land-based sources Japan participated in the North-West Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP), which is one of the Regional Seas Programmes initiated by UNEP for the preservation of semi-enclosed seas. With regard to the prevention, reduction and control of pollution from or through the atmosphere, Japan has actively participated in the Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia (EANET). Countries, which participate in the Network, monitor acid rain using a common method. This represents a first step toward international coordination relating to acid deposition in East Asia.

74.   He described two types of measures considered to be effective in ensuring fulfillment of international rules and standards:  the promotion of broader participation in international frameworks and the introduction of a Model Audit Scheme. As regards the former, he emphasized that in order to ensure implementation of international rules and standards, it was indispensable that many countries take part in the framework of those rules and standards. For example, in order to promote the 1972 London Convention and compliance with its legal regime, various programmes for technical cooperation and assistance had been conducted. These included workshops for developing countries with the aim of explaining the regime in the London Convention and its Protocol, to share know-how on waste management and the development of regional measures against marine pollution. He expressed his conviction that the further implementation of such programmes of technical cooperation and assistance under each convention would constitute an effective way of increasing the number of States parties to each convention and improve implementation.

75.   He expressed the view that the introduction of a model audit scheme, in which a third party international organization conducted inspections to determine whether international rules and conventions were appropriately implemented by each State party, was another effective means of ensuring the implementation of international rules and standards. The scheme would be voluntary, since he did not consider that the time was ripe for a compulsory scheme of inspections carried out without the consent of the interested State. Under the voluntary scheme, the inspectors would be dispatched from each country to international organizations, such as the IMO, and conduct audits on the basis of the voluntary requests of countries for such inspections.

          The legal instruments

76.   During the discussions, many delegations underlined the central role of UNCLOS and Agenda 21, chapter 17 as the framework for the protection and preservation of the marine environment. It was also pointed out that considerable advancement has been made in the development of international rules and standards for the protection and preservation of the marine environment, which included the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA), the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto (MARPOL 73/78); the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, 1972 (London Convention) and its 1996 Protocol. In addition, a number of conventions and other instruments had been adopted, which while not specifically addressing the various sources of pollution in UNCLOS, were of central importance to the protection and preservation of the marine environment. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol, the Jakarta Mandate, the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement, the FAO Compliance Agreement, the FAO Plan of Action on IUU Fishing were mentioned in this regard, as were CBD decision V/3 and General Assembly resolution 56/12 concerning the protection of coral reefs.

          Pollution from land-based activities

77.   Several delegations pointed out that pollution from land-based was responsible for 80 per cent of the total pollution entering the marine environment. It was thus essential for all States to implement and further develop the GPA. The First Intergovernmental Review Meeting of the GPA, held in Montreal in November 2001, was welcomed and its Declaration supported. Concern was expressed regarding to pollution arising from sewage, persistent organic pollutants, radioactive substances, heavy metals, oils, litter, as well as the destruction of habitats and the alteration of timing, volume and quality of freshwater inflows. States were encouraged to become parties to the 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

78.   Other delegations stressed that to meet the objectives of the GPA, greater urgency was required in taking action both at the regional and national levels. The need for ratification of existing regional agreements and the adoption or development of new ones was highlighted by several delegations. In this context, the adoption of the 1999 Aruba Protocol concerning Pollution from Land-based Sources in the Wider Caribbean Region, and the 2002 Antigua Convention for Cooperation in the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Northeast Pacific Region was welcomed. The Plan of Action for the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the North-east Pacific was also adopted in 2002. It was noted that the regional application of the GPA had long been one of the priorities within the Plan of Action for the Southeast Pacific. In fact, the Protocol on the Protection of Southeast Pacific from Land-Based Activities was already adopted in 1983. The need for cooperation between all the regional conventions was underlined.

79.   The sharing of experience of some States in the adoption of national plans of action was regarded as potential useful assistance for other countries striving to implement the GPA nationally. The following key lessons were highlighed: (1) follow the six-step GPA methodology; (2) be inclusive of all relevant stakeholders; (3) carry out pilot projects to obtain political commitment; (4) consider a phased approach by beginning with high priorities; (5) assign clear roles by examining gaps and overlaps in authority and coordinate concerted actions; (6) build on existing mechanisms; (7) build capacity by developing provisions for improving and enhancing community engagement; (8) ensure sustainable financing, in particular through partnerships; and (9) use a flexible approach to evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of programmes of action and adapt them to changing and emerging priorities.

          Pollution by dumping

80.   Several delegations underlined that the global regime on control of dumping in the London Convention has been considerably strengthened by the 1996 Protocol. A call for all States to accept the Protocol was put forward, so that it may come into force as soon as possible, as well as for a broader ratification of the Convention itself. In view of the small percentage of Parties that have been meeting their notification and reporting obligations, the adoption of the "Long-term Strategy for Technical Co-operation and Assistance", that aims at assisting those States which lack the technical capacity to fully comply with the London Convention, was appreciated. In accordance with Part XII of UNCLOS, as well as Principle 13 of the Rio Declaration, the need to further work within the context of IMO on a liability regime for dumping was underlined.

81.   Other delegations noted the entry into force last year of the 1997 Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management and encouraged States to become parties to this instrument.

82.   It was noted that at the regional level there was an important network of agreements to combat pollution by dumping. Attention was drawn by several delegations to the adoption in 1995 of amendments to the Protocol for the Prevention of Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea by Dumping from Ships and Aircraft and the need for its early entry into force.

          Pollution from vessels

83.   It was pointed out by several delegations that pollution from vessels causes considerable damage to the marine and coastal environment, and also creates much social alarm. The work of IMO in combating ship-generated pollution was highlighted and appreciated by many delegations. In this regard the importance of MARPOL 73/78 and its 6 Annexes, and of the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation and its Protocol on Preparedness, Response and Cooperation to Pollution Incidents by Hazardous and Noxious Substances, 2000, were underlined. The adoption in 2001 of the amendment to regulation 13G of Annex I to MARPOL 73/78 to expedite the phasing-out of single-hull ships was welcomed by several delegations.

84.   Several delegations welcomed the incorporation of the precautionary approach in Annex VI of MARPOL 73/78, which contains Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships, and the adoption of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships and the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea (HNS). The urgent need for the entry into force and implementation of those instruments was stressed.

85.   The need for urgent measures to deal with the problem of the introduction of harmful aquatic organisms through ballast water, both at the national and global levels, was highlighted by many delegations. In this context, the development by IMO of an international convention for the control and management of ships’ ballast water and sediments, which is proposed for adoption in 2003, was actively supported. The relationship between the regime for the control of the use of antifouling systems and the regime for the control of the introduction of alien invasive species in ballast water was raised by one delegation. It was noted in this regard that it was important to ensure that one convention did not neutralize the effect of the other convention.

86.   One delegation noted with regard to the maritime transport of radioactive materials, that the recommendations of IMO complemented those of the IAEA, and the observance of these rules was considered to be of particular importance for coastal States whose maritime areas could be affected by accidents occurring during the transit of vessels carrying such materials.

87.   Another delegation raised the question as to whether PSSA measures were binding on all States. It was explained by the representative of IMO that some provisions were binding and others were not. Sometimes the concept of a Special Area could be combined with a PSSA. In the territorial sea the coastal State can adopt routing measures without submitting these to IMO for approval, however, it is required to take into account the recommendations of the Organization. No measure can be adopted in the exclusive economic zone without the prior approval of IMO.

88.   Support was expressed for the close interaction of IMO with other organizations, including FAO, UNEP and the Secretariats of the UNFCCC and the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.

89.   Enhancement of maritime safety was indicated by several delegations as the best way to prevent ship-generated pollution. In this regard, several delegations reported on recent developments at the regional level to improve safety of navigation and prevent, reduce and control pollution from vessels.

          Seabed activities within national jurisdiction

90.   Several delegations noted that the international regulation of pollution from seabed activities within national jurisdiction was not sufficiently developed, both at the global and regional levels. Reference was made to decision 7/1 of the Commission on Sustainable Development which had recommended that the primary focus of action on the environmental aspects of offshore oil and gas operations should continue to be at the national, subregional and regional levels. Some delegations said that there was a need to harmonize the existing rules and regulations and prepare uniform standards to systemize best practices regarding the exploration of oil and gas. The development of an instrument, possibly within the framework of the OPRC Convention was proposed. One delegation identified the regulation of the offshore oil and gas industry as an area where countries may require assistance with capacity-building.

91.   Several delegations underlined the importance of bringing the 1994 Madrid Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution Resulting from Exploration and Exploitation of the Continental Shelf and the Seabed and its Subsoil into force.

          Pollution from activities in the Area beyond national jurisdiction

92.   The Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) reported on actions the Organization had taken to protect and preserve the marine environment. The Authority has an important role to play in relation to the protection of the marine environment, as provided for in several provisions of UNCLOS and the 1994 Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI. These various provisions of UNCLOS and the Agreement were given substance in the 2000 Regulations on Prospecting and Exploration for Polymetallic Nodules in the Area. Part V of the Regulations deals with protection and preservation of the marine environment, including the procedure for the application of emergency orders pursuant to article 162, paragraph 2(w), of UNCLOS.

93.   He pointed out that firstly, as required by article 145 of UNCLOS, the Authority was under a duty to establish and keep under review environmental rules, regulations and procedures to ensure effective environmental protection in the Area. Secondly, the Authority and sponsoring States were required to apply a precautionary approach to activities in the Area. The Legal and Technical Commission was to make recommendations to the Council on the implementation of this requirement. Thirdly, each contractor was under a duty to “take necessary measures to prevent, reduce and control pollution and other hazards to the marine environment arising from its activities in the Area as far as reasonably possible using the best technology available to it.”

94.   The regulatory framework developed by the Authority relates to polymetallic nodules found on the abyssal plains. In a Workshop convened in 2000 guidelines for the assessment of the possible environmental impacts from exploration for polymetallic nodules, drawing on the experiences of researchers and potential contractors, were proposed. The Workshop also made recommendations for the establishment of databases on the biodiversity in the Area by species distribution and gene flow utilizing a common taxonomy.

95.   In July 2001, the Legal and Technical Commission issued the first set of recommendations for the guidance of the contractors for the assessment of possible environmental impacts arising from exploration for polymetallic nodules in the Area. Those recommendations describe the procedures to be followed in the acquisition of baseline data, and the monitoring to be performed during and after any activities in the exploration area with the potential to cause serious harm to the environment.

96.   In addition to the regulatory framework for exploration for polymetallic nodules, the Authority has also taken preliminary steps for the development of rules, regulations and procedures for exploration for seafloor massive sulphides and cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts. This process will of necessity follow the general framework set up for protecting biodiversity around nodule mining areas. To provide the Legal and Technical Commission with all relevant information, the Authority convened a Workshop on the development of mineral resources in the Area in June 2000. The Workshop addressed, inter alia, matters related to the protection and preservation of the ecosystems in which these resources are found. It was noted that: (a) the global hydrothermal vent fauna is one of the most unusually adapted assemblages of organisms found in the oceans, in terms of tolerance of extreme physico- chemical conditions and chemo-synthetic food sources; (b) this degree of uniqueness, together with the fact that most vent species do not occur outside of the hydrothermal environment, and that many have restricted distributions along the global ridge system are important issues to be considered in developing strategies and regulations for mining; (c) in contrast, microorganisms colonizing hydrothermal sites are generally assumed to be drawn from a globally distributed gene pool and therefore are little threatened by localized mining activities, and (d) the biogeography of marine microbes has not been extensively studied.

97.   In 2001, the Authority convened a Workshop to standardize the environmental data and information required by its Regulations on Prospecting and Exploration for Polymetallic Nodules in the Area. During the Workshop, it also became apparent that some degree of standardization of information and data gathering was required.

98.   In August 2002, immediately prior to the eighth session, the Authority will convene a further Workshop to examine the possibilities for international cooperation in marine scientific research in the Area with particular reference to obtaining a better understanding of the deep ocean environment and to build upon the results of previous workshops.

99.   In conclusion, it was noted by the Secretary-General of the Authority that the Regulations on Prospecting and Exploration for Polymetallic Nodules in the Area included extensive provisions to respond to the need to protect and preserve the biodiversity in the Area, in particular in relation to monitoring and evaluating the impacts of mining activities. A potential conflict between the regime of the ISA and the regime on the freedom of marine scientific research in the Area was acknowledged. In this context it was noted that a plea to address the issue had already been made to the General Assembly at its 56th session during the debate on oceans and the law of the sea. In relation to MPAs it was noted that under article 162 (2) (x) the Authority has a responsibility to deny licenses for activities where substantial evidence indicates the risk of serious harm to the marine environment. This provision includes areas considered to be environmentally fragile ecosystems.

100.   Several delegations expressed appreciation for the adoption of environmental regulations by the International Seabed Authority.

          Pollution from or through the atmosphere

101.   Several delegations underlined that this form of pollution was the least regulated of the various sources of pollution. Besides the general provisions contained in UNCLOS, only one convention of a regional nature had been adopted. It was recognized though that some of the aspects of this type of pollution, like incineration, are regulated in various regional agreements on dumping or pollution from land-based sources. The 1979 Geneva Convention on Long-Range Transport of Air Pollution and its various Protocols, adopted under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, constituted an instrument of general character, although it did not refer specifically to marine pollution. Although atmospheric pollution is normally dealt with in treaties, which cover both land and maritime spaces, it was pointed out by several delegations that it might be appropriate to adopt "ad hoc" agreements concerning marine pollution from or through the atmosphere.

102.   The threat to the world’s oceans and seas posed by global climate change was underlined, alongside the need to combat such threat by ratifying and implementing the Kyoto Protocol and the development and adoption of renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar power.

          Emergency response

103.   The importance of the OPRC and its Protocol and the need to cooperate in the implementation of these instruments at the regional level were highlighted. In this regard, several delegations noted the legislative and other measures that were being undertaken in various regions.

                  Development of new instruments

104.   Many delegations agreed that although considerable progress had been made in the development of international rules and standards for the protection and preservation of the marine environment, a great deal still remained to be accomplished. It was necessary to have broader acceptance and implementation of legal instruments. All interested States should become party to the existing global and regional treaties. Several delegations said that some of these treaties should be reviewed and strengthened. New treaties should be adopted to extend international regulation of the various sources of pollution in all regional areas and deal with specific aspects of marine pollution, which had not been so far sufficiently covered.

105.   One delegation noted that at present the most imperative task for Governments was not to conclude new conventions, agreements or programmes but to focus on implementing the existing ones. Another delegation expressed the view that new and revised measures should be based on proper problem definition, on sound science and a comprehensive assessment of the state of the marine environment and a precautionary approach. Integrated assessments and integrated policy-making require coordination, which could be facilitated by joint meetings of specialized agencies and their consideration of recommendations for action.

                  Implementation and enforcement of the legal instruments

106.   It was noted that the continuous deterioration of the marine environment required a much more efficient and prompt implementation and enforcement of the international rules and standards. Many delegations therefore considered implementation of international instruments to be one of the highest priorities. It was important for States to effectively implement and enforce international conventions through national legislation and, as suggested by one delegation, also through practical programmes of implementation involving all relevant stakeholders.

107.   The importance of cooperation at the regional and subregional level in the implementation of international instruments was highlighted. Some delegations expressed the view that, in order to deal effectively with the issue of enforcement, more emphasis needed to be placed on the regional programmes along with the international programmes. This way various priorities and different capabilities among regions could be taken into account.

108.   On behalf of the Permanent Commission for the South Pacific, progress was reported to have been made in  implementing the 1981 Plan of Action for the Protection of the Marine and Coastal Environment in the South East Pacific, which constituted the regional mechanism for the implementation of such instruments as Chapter 21 of Agenda 21, CBD and UNFCCC. The achievements included a study on the State of the Marine and Coastal Environment in the Southeast Pacific, as well as a regional assessment of land-based sources of pollution and a monitoring programme for radioactive contamination in the Southeast Pacific.

109.   It was noted that for most developing States the major obstacle in implementing international conventions and agreements was the lack of marine environment monitoring capacity and the lack of knowledge about conventions and agreements. In addition, the lack of necessary resources, inter alia, hampered active participation in meetings.

110.   It was recognized that in order to implement effectively and enforce international instruments, many States required technical and scientific cooperation, as well as financial assistance from other States and international organizations. Capacity-building measures were needed to assist States in developing national legislation that complies with their obligations under UNCLOS and assist States in enforcing such obligations.

111.   In this regard, it was suggested that conferences and workshops organized by regional marine programmes could be used as an opportunity to promote international conventions and agreements, to train people from countries in the region and locate resources for those countries to participate in or implement conventions and agreements.

112.   The member States of the European Union expressed their readiness to put their experiences about the protection and preservation of the marine environment at the disposal of all interested States and offered them their cooperation.

113.   The delegation of the United States referred to the Millennium Challenge Account, which they said could assist developing countries take on the task of strengthening governance, by rooting out corruption, upholding human rights and adhering to the rule of law. The latter was particular important in ensuring that renewable resources are available to future generations.

114.   The representative of IMO said that most of the IMO conventions include an article on technical assistance and encouraged States to endeavour to assist developing States. A major part of the IMO Technical Cooperation Programme was devoted to assisting States provide port waste reception facilities.

          Promoting compliance

115.   It was pointed out by one delegation that States and the United Nations system should pay attention to the low rate of ratification and unsatisfactory implementation of conventions and agreements.

116.   The importance of promoting compliance was underlined by several delegations. Some delegations said that there was a need for reporting on compliance and enforcement. One delegation proposed the incorporation in the Secretary-General’s report on oceans and the law of the sea of information on compliance with IMO instruments. The representative of IMO noted that the Organization could provide statistics, but that it would be difficult to obtain information on the implementation of the requirements regarding the establishment of port waste reception facilities.

117.   Several delegations expressed their support for the introduction of a voluntary audit scheme, as had been proposed by Mr. Okubo. One delegation underlined the close linkage of such a scheme to monitoring and assessment. Reference was made to existing cooperative compliance mechanisms: the inspection scheme established under the Antarctic Treaty in relation to land-based activities, the compliance mechanisms under various regional fisheries management organizations, and the provision on inspections in the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement. One delegation expressed the hope that the Consultative Process would reflect the growing use and importance of cooperative compliance regimes in assisting in the implementation of international standards and rules. Another delegation expressed the hope that a voluntary audit scheme would be further developed by IMO. A third delegation thought that the time might be ripe for a mandatory audit scheme.

          Part III
Practical Measures to underpin States’ activities – monitoring and assessment; Collective response to emergencies and regional considerations

118.   The discussions in Part III of Panel A on practical measures to underpin States’ activities were led off by presentations from the following representatives: Dr. Elva Escobar Briones, Head of the Academic Unit, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Systems, National Autonomous University of Mexico, and Mr. Walter de Sa Leitão, Lawyer, Petrobrás, Brazil.

119.   Dr. Escobar began her presentation by pointing out the general obligation provided for in Article 192 of UNCLOS under which Mexico, and all other Member States to the Convention, had an obligation to protect and preserve the marine environment. The presentation, she noted, underlined Mexico’s efforts to protect fragile, vulnerable and rare marine habitats and addressed four points:  (1) oceans and the health of ecosystems; (2) Mexico’s efforts in the protection and preservation of its coastal environment; (3) ongoing scientific programmes to study sea floor habitats; and (4) investments in science and technology related to the management of marine environment.

120.   She pointed out that the assessment of the status of oceans and related ecosystems, as well as the definition of the concept of pollution of marine ecosystems, have to take into account the fact that oceans have no physical boundaries, since, for example, the transportation of materials in the seas was not constrained by defined boundaries. It was thus difficult to carry out estimates of the tri-dimensional (depth, latitude and longitude) pattern of movements. The belief of many people that oceans are capable of diluting anything was an erroneous approach.

121.   She underlined the need to establish early warning system to assess the status of marine ecosystems. She explained that it was important to consider the ecological significance of a parameter (like the loss of habitat and the level of stress signals). While for example the loss of habitat was a signal easily measured, it was nonetheless a very late distress signal which has a high ecological impact. Studying such a level of distress would mean acting too late, and would take a very long time and a large investment to recover the ecosystem. She suggested that a better approach would be to look, for instance, for biochemical and cellular biomarkers or perhaps abnormal physiology. These are early signals, which imply a lower cost for the recovery of the ecosystem. At the same time these factors are difficult to measure, so technology transfer and development assistance are required for their detection.

122.   Dr. Escobar then addressed the difficulty of measuring the impacts of toxins and materials disposed in the ocean on human society. For example, nutrients responsible for eutrophication and algal toxin were very difficult to measure, while they had a major impact on human health. Artificial radio-nuclides, on the other hand, received a lot of attention, also due to the relatively easy methods to measure them, but they had a low impact on human health. In this context also the need for more extensive development of technology was underlined.

123.   Turning next to the major characteristics of Mexico, she pointed out that 50 per cent of Mexico’s territory was sea and that it bordered the Caribbean to the south, the Gulf of Mexico to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. She highlighted the need to consider the impacts of transboundary pollution, which had also led Mexico to consider the issue of pollution of the marine environment as an international issue.

124.   She pointed out that the seas surrounding Mexico had a high biodiversity, due to their tropical location. The Mexican coastal zone ecosystem included: estuaries, sea grass beds, mangrove forests - nursing areas for several species; continental shelf and margin - soft bottom habitats where trawling takes place, providing resources like shrimps; and coral reefs – both shallow and deep.

125.   She noted that coral reef ecosystems were of particular concern to Mexico, due to their high level of deterioration. The causes for deterioration include:  natural factors with large-scale impacts and a long recovery time, such as hurricanes, which hit both coasts of Mexico, cyclones, global change, increase of temperatures and UV-B exposure; and human activities, which cause smaller scale damage in shorter time, such as fishing, eutrophication, especially in sites for tourists and cities, and maritime transport. Both causes interacted increasing their effects on the ecosystems.

126.   In order to deal with the degradation of coral reef ecosystems, the Government of Mexico has set up a system of protected areas. It identified priority marine regions according to their high biological diversity, scarcity of knowledge, and types of useful resources, and proposed recommendations for their management. The projects had been consistently carried out with the support of the scientific community, putting into practice science based management strategies.

127.   Dr. Escobar then provided examples of collaborative science between Mexico and other countries to explore and understand the seafloor habitats, e.g. trenches and ridges, many of which host hydrothermal vents. She said that the studies offered new information on bacteria, archaea and other organisms living in extreme conditions. They also offered Mexico the possibility to study genetic resources, which might be useful for example for pharmaceutical purposes. The studies showed that these ecosystems host a high biodiversity (mostly bacteria and other organisms, which live in symbiosis with minerals, such as manganese nodules and massive sulphides). Carcasses of whales have also been identified in association with these sites. They were described as stepping-stones between hydrothermal vents, inhabited by extremophiles. The Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea were also rich in methane hydrates, which provided highly biodiverse habitats. These habitats were shared with most of the Caribbean countries. All of the habitats she described were located at depths ranging between 500 and 2000 metres, with a maximum depth of 4000 metres.

128.   The examples highlight the fact that basic science can be used to help understand and promote management of resources, habitats and ecosystems. But the utility of science does not have to be limited to management. Basic science in fact was needed to increase knowledge at all levels, thus producing benefits in return.

129.   She underscored that investment in science and technology created economic wealth and could be models for other countries. In the case of the Republic of Korea a higher relative investment in science and technology provided better knowledge and better management of resources, and thus quicker economic development. This example was used to support the call for higher financial investment in science, technology and transfer of technology as a means to create development.

130.   She concluded by observing that a good strategy to improve the understanding of the seas and consequently to improve their management was to put good observation systems into place. The use of remote sensors (e.g. satellites) for extended observation was required. At the same time marine observatories and seafloor observations were needed to understand whether natural processes and/or human activities are responsible for the deterioration of the oceans – this type of activities also required a lot of technological development.

131.   She advocated ocean science partnerships with neighboring countries and transfer of technology to enhance the sharing of information on the basis of similar quality of data.

132.   Mr. de Sa Leitão’s presentation on practical measures to underpin States’ activities in the protection and preservation of the marine environment was focused on the Brazilian Government’s national policy experience on sanitation. At the outset, he stressed that in general terms, a large part of marine pollution came from land-based sources, although in Brazil the pollution loading did not affect the oceans directly. He indicated that rural depopulation and migration to urban areas had put pressure on sanitation services and water supply in his country. This situation has led his Government to set as objectives the provision of clear water and sewage treatment to the whole urban population in Brazil by the year 2010. In this connection, he pointed out that less than 20 per cent of collected wastewater was treated currently, and the target was to raise it to 75 per cent by the year 2006.

133.   Mr. de Sa Leitão stated that the main goal of the Brazilian National Water Agency (ANA) was to enforce discipline in utilizing river water, through the avoidance of pollution and waste in order to guarantee a sufficient amount of water of good quality to future generations. Further goals of ANA would be to recover the water quality of rivers and lakes, and to introduce modern water resources management measures, such as charging for water and establishing a river basin committee and river basin agencies.

134.   He indicated also that ANA was the implementing agency of the Brazilian Catchment Restoration Programme (Prodes) for the treatment of sewage. Under the Programme, the Government through the mediation of ANA, would enter into a contract with an operator that invested in the construction and operation of sewage treatment plants. Financial contributions by the Government would be provided to the operator at the start of the operations of the sewage treatment plant and were guaranteed for a specified period of time. The Programme would not finance facilities or equipment, but pay for the treated sewage. The Programme was financed from the Federal Government General Budget, and from charges collected by the Government. ANA has applied to the World Bank for financial assistance.

135.   He concluded that with the level of ANA annual investment in its Catchment Restoration Programme, it was appraised that in ten years there would be a lowering of about 43 per cent of organic pollution loading into the Brazilian rivers. Currently, such pollution loading was 3 to 4 times higher than the bearable marks.

                  Monitoring and assessment

136.   The importance of improving access to the existing bases of information and knowledge about the marine environment in order to improve integrated assessments and thus the diagnosis of its problems and the identification of solutions was highlighted by many delegations along the lines of the discussions under Part II.

          Emergency response

137.   It was pointed out by one delegation that it was important for States to share monitoring data and information in order to respond to an emergency situation, such as an oil spill or the release of toxic substances, which affects extensive areas beyond national jurisdiction. More concrete procedures which facilitate prompt and efficient response operations had to be developed among neighbouring States. It was proposed that relevant international organizations should support those States which lacked equipment and trained manpower to enter into cooperative agreements with neighbouring States by assisting them establish integrated contingency action plans and provide training programmes.

138.   The representative of WMO provided information on the Organization’s Marine Pollution Emergency Response Support System (MPERSS) and expressed the view that the system would provide a substantial contribution to the future development of marine pollution emergency response activities. The System provides meteorological and oceanographic information for marine pollution emergency response operations in an internationally coordinated manner. For this purpose the oceans and seas had been divided into 16 areas for which the National Meteorological Services of about 20 member States of WMO assumed responsibility as Area Meteorological Coordinators, while more than 20 other member States provided support services. A Regional Meteorological Centre (RESMC) for Marine Pollution Emergency Support is eventually designated. Such a Centre provides observational data, analysis and forecasts of specific meteorological and oceanographic parameters to the Marine Pollution Emergency Response Operations Authority, which is then used as input to models describing the movement, dispersion, dissipation and dissolution of marine pollution in case of an incident.

          Regional considerations

139.   Many delegations expressed the view that due to the unique features and problems encountered in managing regional marine ecosystems coupled with the shared nature of their resources, a coordinated regional response was considered to be essential. Such a regional approach in many cases could not be avoided as the interrelated nature of the marine ecosystem did not recognize borders and boundaries and as such, required the cooperation of two or more States. A few delegations also highlighted the need for integrated approach taking into account the interaction between river basins and the marine coastal ecosystem.

140.   One delegation expressed the view that although an integrated approach was desirable when dealing with border marine areas it could be counter productive especially if it led to rigid decision making machinery. If capacity for action by a coastal State was restricted in the conservation and management of resources, it would result in effectiveness being adversely affected and the final result might be contrary to what was originally expected. The same delegation would support a joint machinery with the role of providing advice to governments.

  (b)   Discussion Panel B: Capacity-building, regional cooperation and integrated ocean management



          Part I

141.   Discussions on capacity building were launched with a reading of a message from Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Director, Environment Department of the World Bank and with presentations by Mr. Andrew Hudson, Principal Technical Advisor, International Waters, United Nations Development Programme-Global Environment Facility (UNDP-GEF), and by Dr. François Bailet, Deputy Executive Director, International Ocean Institute (IOI).

142.   In her message, Ms. Georgieva highlighted the World Bank’s initiatives towards building technical capacity in the area of coastal and marine resources management. These include: (a) several International Waters and Marine Biodiversity projects showcasing regional coordination in the management of transboundary pollution and regional/global public goods; (b) a new GEF grant to prepare a Global Project on Targeted Research on the Sustainability of Coral Reef Ecosystems in the context of climate change and localized human stressors, which involves institutional twinning arrangements and capacity-building in three marine regions of the world as major modus operandi; (c) a new Global Trust Fund for Sustainable Fisheries financed by the Government of Japan; and (d) a GEF project for a Marine Electronic Highway in the Straits of Malacca to enhance navigation safety and reduce environmental threats to sensitive marine habitats.

143.   Mr. Hudson discussed the UNDP-GEF International Waters Programme and its capacity-building measures for ocean and coastal management. He pointed out that the UNDP-GEF operational strategy in International Waters focuses on transboundary issues through (a) assisting groups of countries to better understand the environmental concerns of their international waters and to work collaboratively in addressing them; (b) building the capacity of existing institutions (or, if appropriate, developing the capacity through new institutional arrangements) to utilize a more comprehensive approach for addressing transboundary water-related environmental concerns; and (c) implementing measures that address the priority transboundary concerns. He explained that UNDP is to play the primary role in ensuring the development and management of capacity-building programmes and technical assistance projects. UNDP, through its global network of field offices, is better equipped to draw upon its experience in human resources development, institutional strengthening and non-governmental and community participation. Also, drawing on its inter-country programming experience, UNDP is able to contribute to the development of regional and global projects in cooperation with other implementing agencies.

144.   Mr. Hudson stated that the main approach for GEF funded-projects was to move from diagnosis to action, and involves two major phases: a Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) and a Strategic Action Plan (SAP). The TDA aims at scaling the relative importance of sources and causes, both immediate causes and root causes, of transboundary waters problems, and at identifying potential preventive and remedial actions. The SAP lists actions for regional and national legal policy and institutional reforms and investments, all targeting the priority transboundary issues identified in the TDA.

145.   It was noted that most of the UNDP-GEF International Water projects, and in particular global projects such as IW: LEARN, the Train-Sea-Coast Programme etc., are implemented in collaboration with a variety of United Nations agencies and other organizations (World Bank, UNEP, UN-DOALOS, Tides Centre, IMO, FAO, UNIDO, WB, PERSGA, SPREP, etc). It was pointed out that such partnerships would continue to expand with the approval by GEF of specific projects. These projects, in general, support of regional and international legal instruments such as UNCLOS, Regional Seas Conventions, the GPA, MARPOL, and Freshwater Convention etc.

146.   The marine component of the International Waters portfolio currently covers Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) such as the Guinea Current, the Yellow Sea, the Benguela Current, the Baltic Sea, the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Mexico, the Agulhas Current and the South Pacific SIDS; enclosed seas (e.g., Black Sea, Seas of East Asia, etc.) and other marine projects (e.g., rehabilitation of heavily contaminated bays such as Havana Bay and Kingston Harbour; integrated watershed and coastal area management in Caribbean SIDS; and IT for sharing sustainable development strategies in SIDS).

147.   He described the capacity-building activities under such projects, which include training of scientists, technicians and managers; facilitation of participation in regional and international programmes; institutional development and strengthening; promotion of inter-sectoral integration; provision of equipment and facilities; and promotion of development of marine scientific and technological capacity. Activities associated with capacity-building include: promoting public access, establishment of regional centres, collection and assessment of information on living marine resources, supporting sustainable management of fisheries, and coordinating international programmes.

148.   Mr. Hudson concluded by stating that the funding for UNDP-GEF International Waters Portfolio total $242 million as of March 2002, 42 per cent of which is provided by GEF. The Programme is operational in over 100 countries in collaboration not only with partner agencies but also with NGOs. (For more information, participants were invited to visit the web site at: www.undp.org/gef.)

149.   Dr. Bailet gave a broad outline of the philosophy of IOI regarding capacity-building and described some of the organization’s activities in this regard. He began by recognizing the complexities involved in the implementation of the law of the sea and in ocean governance, which makes capacity-building in these areas a multifaceted exercise. He highlighted the necessity for capacity-building to be a holistic and comprehensive endeavour with an ethical dimension that would include the values of responsible citizenship. He underlined that in view of rapid changes in science and technology, capacity-building must also be adaptive. Thus, in his view, capacity-building comprises both human resource development in all its dimensions, as well as institution building or reforming.

150.   He stated that the IOI had been a pioneer in capacity-building and over the years had become involved with capacity-building at all levels; namely at the local level of coastal communities, at the national level with training of coastal managers, at the regional level with the promotion of regional centres for the development and transfer of technologies, and at the global level through inter-regional and inter-disciplinary training programmes. Most recently, the IOI established its Virtual University.

151.   At the coastal community level, a capacity-building project first identifies in a given society, who could be the carriers of beneficial social changes. Holistic capacity-building would begin with the organization of the identified group who will learn to run meetings, take joint decisions and engage in joint projects. It involves learning to harness productivity while controlling threats. IOI, which has worked in 40 coastal villages in the State of Tamil Nadu (India), will continue and expand such activity including extending to other parts of the world through its Eco-Village Programme.

152.   At the national level, decision-makers in many countries do not feel the need to adjust government structures and functions to the new requirements of ocean and coastal management and governance. In this regard, capacity-building, which would include components such as leadership seminars, especially on the economic value of sustainable ocean and coastal development, and the risks and costs of failing to take appropriate action, could be used to solicit, with pressure from constituencies, participation of decision-makers. Thus, campaigns of consciousness raising are another essential part of capacity-building leading to training.

153.   In China, the IOI Operational Centre has trained over one hundred coastal managers from all parts of the nation with the support of the government. The syllabi included introduction to the law of the sea, basic concepts and economic analysis of integrated coastal zone management, development and protection of coastal and ocean analysis, analysis of China’s marine policies and the necessary legislative basis, compliance and enforcement, management of marine ecological contributions, national marine information systems, data management as well as field trips and simulation exercises. The IOI in India also organized a series of courses for coastal managers. Furthermore, the IOI in Canada also trains every year participants from some 20 nations in the law of the sea and coastal management. The participants get a global view of the need for, and current developments in, integrated coastal management. IOI intends to deliver these courses in distance learning format via its Virtual University, another tool for capacity-building.

154.   The regional level offers particularly favourable and immediate opportunities for holistic capacity-building. On the natural side, the “regional sea” approximates closely the so-called Large Marine Ecosystem (LME). LMEs seem to be more suited for the management of fisheries and the prevention of pollution for which UNCLOS mandates regional cooperation. IOI was of the view that UNEP would be the most appropriate framework for the implementation of LME-based ocean governance and corresponding capacity-building. IOI was studying possible synergies between the Regional Seas and the LMEs and would publish its findings within the year. On the human side, the regional framework offers a commonality of interests and economies of scale. With regard to matters such as marine scientific research and technology development, they may be too expensive for a small coastal State, but affordable through regional cooperation. The same applies to compliance and enforcement systems. It was clear that small and poor countries, with jurisdiction over vast ocean spaces, simply did not have the capacity to fulfil all the necessary tasks.

155.   Dr. Bailet recalled that IOI had prepared a detailed and comprehensive paper on the need for regional centres as mandated by UNCLOS in articles 276 and 277, and the possible modalities of building them, in a cost-effective manner, into the institutional structure of the Regional Seas Programmes. The paper pointed out the pressing need for such centres in view of all the conventions, codes and programmes containing provisions for capacity-building in science and technology, each one calling for a separate implementation system. IOI was of the view that what was needed was one institution, eventually within each Regional Seas Programme, to serve the technological needs of all conventions, programmes etc. In order to respond to contemporary high technology requirements and to be cost-effective, each centre would be a “virtual centre” or “system” to manage the establishment of joint ventures in research and development of selected technologies. IOI suggested that such joint ventures could be financed partly by public international funding agencies and partly by the private sector, which would be partners in the joint venture. The public funding would be used to facilitate the participation of developing countries. This system would create synergies between the private and public investments at the regional level.

156.   He expressed the view that the most concrete recommendation of the second session of the Consultative Process, which in turn was endorsed by the General Assembly (resolution A/56/12, para. 25), was for the establishment of such regional centres. The Teheran Conference of the Group of 77, which had the most urgent interest in effective capacity-building in science and technology, adopted in September 2001 a recommendation in their final report to the same effect. Similarly, such need was highlighted at the Fourth Global Meeting of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans (Montreal, November 2001), and at the Intergovernmental Review Conference on the Implementation of the Global Programme of Action (GPA). It could thus be said that there is a strong and clear mandate from the international community for the establishment of such centres for the enhancement of the marine science and the development and transfer of marine technology.

157.   The same argument can be made with regard to capacity-building in compliance and enforcement. However, it is to be noted that the kind of mandate that exists for the establishment of regional centres for technology development and transfer, is still lacking as regards compliance and enforcement. In its study submitted to the second session of the Consultative Process, IOI prepared a model showing how such an institution could be structured into the existing institutional framework of the Regional Seas Programme, enhancing not only functional integration of different convention regimes, but at the same time, the implementation of Principle 25 of the Rio Declaration of 1992 which states that peace, economic development, and the protection of the environment are interdependent and indivisible.

158.   At the global level, efforts at capacity building within the United Nations system are limited by financial constraints. With the exception of the Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe Memorial scholarship for the law of the sea, they do not go beyond workshops and short courses. For the last decade, IOI for its part, has conducted an intensive annual training programme on a global basis, which is interdisciplinary and holistic, for 20-25 mid-career civil servants from developing countries. The programme covers ocean law and governance and is intended to assist developing countries in the implementation of UNCLOS and Agenda 21. All this experience has led to the establishment of the IOI Virtual University to be officially launched in 2003. The Virtual University will offer a Master’s degree programme, which will consist of a number of core courses, which can be taken over the Internet and a number of optional courses available at various IOI centres and their host institutions.

159.   The discussions that took place after the presentations focused on a number of issues. There was also an extensive sharing among delegations of their national experiences with regard to the issue of capacity-building.

          Capacity-building for sustainable marine development

160.   Delegations begun by placing capacity building into context by recalling that capacity-building was paramount in enabling States, in particular least developed countries and small island developing States (SIDS), to implement UNCLOS and related conventions, Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 and related programmes of action, with a view to benefiting from the sustainable development of oceans and seas. It was essential to have capacity-building in order to raise awareness as to the importance of sustainable development and have a holistic approach to the implementation of the various international instruments. It was recognized that UNCLOS contains numerous provisions on capacity-building, while Chapter 17 specifically mentions capacity-building as encompassing the country’s human, scientific, technological, organizational, institutional and resource capabilities. Many delegations agreed that discussions on capacity-building was timely in view of the proliferation of international instruments that States were called upon to implement. A stocktaking of available programmes in capacity building showed that although there were many useful capacity building programmes, their record was uneven and sparse or even non-existent in some needed areas.

161.   There was a general agreement that the issue of capacity-building was closely interrelated with that of regional cooperation and the development of an integrated ocean management policy. In general, it was considered that there could be no efficient protection and preservation of the marine environment, management of large marine ecosystems (LMEs), integrated ocean management (IOM) and effective implementation of the principle of precautionary approach without cooperation, transfer of technology, and institutional building, all of which fall under the category of capacity-building.

162.   Many delegations were of the view that the international community had made numerous efforts to address the issue of capacity building at different levels and in its different aspects. It was emphasized that such efforts should be continued, enhanced, strengthened and multiplied in order to support the effective participation of all States in the sustainable management of oceans and seas.

163.   Caution was expressed for particular attention to be given to avoiding duplication and wastage of resources. A number of delegations stated that they would not support the establishment of particular new organizations to deal with capacity-building, rather existing mechanisms should be utilized effectively   It was essential to direct new efforts at better coordinating and integrating the mechanisms already in existence.

164.   It was pointed out that there should be synergy between the different international organizations or mechanisms with a strong capacity-building component. It was suggested to identify specific organizations or mechanisms, which would coordinate activities for capacity-building. Some delegations already identified GEF as a global assistance system addressing international waters problems, climate change issues, biodiversity etc. as an appropriate forum for capacity-building programmes. In this regard, some delegations regretted the absence of representatives of the World Bank during the discussion period, in view of its important portfolio in the field of capacity-building.

165.   Many delegations shared the view that in order to develop viable policies for capacity building, it was necessary to have (a) more coherence between national policies and structures such as the harmonization of information systems; (b) better utilization of regional capacities including the utilization of regional associations in order, inter alia, to stimulate relationships between the officials in charge of integrated coastal management and the private and academic sectors; (c) better cooperation and coordination between relevant regional and international organizations and institutions and between them and the private sector; and (d) enhanced allocations from the financial assistance mechanisms for capacity-building.

          Areas requiring capacity-building measures

166.   As highlighted by a number of delegations, capacity building entails, inter alia, the important function of data gathering, collection and analysis, research response to marine emergencies (contingency planning), and transfer of technology. Some delegations pointed out that capacity-building involved more than a simple transfer of technology, knowledge and financial resources from the developed countries to the developing countries. Technical and financial cooperation should encompass the development of partnerships, which would imply a better collaboration among all stakeholders. In this regard, delegations were appraised of a European initiative for a shared system of traffic monitoring and communication of information on the traffic aimed at improving safety at sea, preventing pollution from ships and facilitating rescue at sea in case of accidents.

167.   Some delegations recalled that marine scientific research was very expensive and in this regard, they were appreciative of the external assistance. Several delegations reiterated the important role capacity-building plays in their efforts towards self-reliance in dealing with issues of ocean management. However, it was also pointed out that due to inherent characteristics of their countries, such as a small human resource base, highly skilled human resources would always be limited. Small sized States therefore continue to be heavily dependent on assistance from the international community. Several delegations pointed out that until the capacities of States are improved there would always be a heavy reliance on foreign technical capacity and assistance. In relation to this, several delegations called for an improvement in assistance afforded to developing countries through bilateral, multilateral and other forms of financial and technical support for marine ecosystems management.

168.   Some delegations pointed out, with satisfaction, that they had begun researching their own coasts and adjacent areas to gather information and data on their marine environment. They could rely on these endogenous organizations for better management of their coastal areas, despite the heavy implications with regard to financial resources and access to technology. On the issue of transfer of technology, one delegation hoped that the concerns about intellectual property rights would be settled in continued consultations on the topic.

169.   As to data and access to results of marine scientific research projects, many countries reiterated their concerns along the lines already expressed in connection with the discussion on the marine environment.

170.   There was mention of the assistance to improve implementation of flag State obligations under UNCLOS provided by IMO’s Technical Cooperation Committee. It was also mentioned that taking advantage of these programmes requires a commitment on the part of flag States to fulfil UNCLOS obligations. One delegation expressed support to advance the work of the IMO’s Flag State Implementation Subcommittee.

171.   On a related matter, the representative of the ILO (International Labour Organization) stated that in addressing comprehensive programmes in place for international cooperation in ocean management, ILO had designed a unique tripartite structure involving government, employers and workers to improve, not only human rights, occupational safety and health regulations and inspection regulations but also training of workers and employers. In this regard ILO is working with IMO on issues of maritime security, with the Basel Convention on ship dismantling and with FAO regarding child labour within the context of new labour standards for fishermen.

172.   There was agreement among delegations on the proposals to establish and operationalize regional and global networks consisting of practitioners and academics to exchange information and experiences and to develop and implement guides to best practices in the field. One particular area highlighted during discussions that would benefit from such networks is in the area of integrated coastal and ocean management including, in particular, tropical coral reef regions. The need for building capacity to manage coral reefs at an integrated ecosystems scale in order to secure sustainable sources of food and livelihoods in tropical developing countries was highlighted by the representative of ICRI. It was mentioned that such capacity building is needed to assist in reversing the negative human impacts on coral reefs. 

          Capacity-building programmes and projects

173.   Many delegations informed the meeting about their national capacity building efforts in the area of integrated coastal management and ocean affairs in general. It emerged that assistance, particularly to developing countries, in the area of capacity-building, especially with regard to training and expertise on ocean management, is a top priority of these countries. Several delegations informed the meeting of the various assistance they have received from other States as well as international and regional organizations in the area of their national capacity-building.

174.   Some delegations identified specific areas where assistance was needed to improve capacity of developing States and SIDS in particular. For example, assistance through the use of satellites and VMS vessels was requested, respectively, to fight against vandalism of scientific equipment at sea and for a better management of large EEZs. Also, and in reference to the States’ obligations to submit data and material on the limits of their continental shelf under UNCLOS, some delegations pointed to the lack of knowledge and capacity to delineate the outer limits and/or in fields such as bathymetry, hydrography etc. With respect to the international seabed Area, some delegations pointed to the International Seabed Authority, which had undertaken important programmes of training for candidates from developing countries. Such specific areas of training require new strategies for capacity building and for investments.

175.   A number of delegations highlighted the lack of capacity in developing countries with regard to governance of the fisheries sector. This area was considered most critical in view of the fact that some 95 per cent of world’s fishers and fish farmers are from developing countries. It was suggested that a substantial shift was needed in governance, with improved scientific support for decision-making based on easy access to substantially increased strategic information. In this regard, the Reykjavik Declaration on Responsible Fisheries in the Marine Ecosystem (October 2001) recognized that strengthened international cooperation is needed to support developing countries in particular, in building their expertise through education and training for collecting and processing the biological, oceanographic, ecological and fisheries data needed for designing, implementing and upgrading management strategies. It was also acknowledged that it is imperative that relevant international technical and financial organizations cooperate in providing developing countries with access to financial and technical assistance to govern their fisheries. New partnerships could be formed between international financial institutions, bilateral agencies and other relevant stakeholders to offer the developing countries access to the best available knowledge and experience as well as financial resources to build up sustainable fisheries.

176.   The vital role that regional institutions and cooperation in general plays in advancing capacity-building developments was highlighted by many delegations and representatives of international organizations including UNDP, GEF, UNEP, WMO, CPPS, IOI and IOC. Numerous examples of horizontal and vertical cooperation to promote capacity-building were mentioned during the discussions.  It was also pointed out, that donors responded better to request for regional projects. Such regional approach, which would also be supporters of national efforts, should be emulated.

177.   In connection with regional cooperation, many delegations highlighted the important role that regional centres could be playing to enhance capacity building. Several delegations noted that in their regions the development of such centres pursuant to the relevant provisions of UNCLOS had not yet occurred. In the Caribbean, for example, a good candidate for such centre would be the University of the West Indies for its specialization in marine sciences. Such centres would place SIDS in a better position to perform the obligations expected of them as parties to UNCLOS. It was noted that the GEF had sponsored the establishment of small regional centres to serve the strategic issues identified under larger GEF projects. It was suggested that the efficient EU model of a network of centres of excellence might be emulated. With some adaptations, such centres could carry out the same functions as expected from regional centres.

178.   Other delegations were of the view that capacity-building begins at the national level with states first identifying their priorities, then the shared concerns followed by the establishment of partnerships around identified objectives. Bilateral approaches and cooperative relations between States were pointed out as an avenue by which needs of particular capacity building needs of States can be advanced through country-to-country dialogue. It was widely recognized that such assistance should continue to be encouraged and promoted. At the multilateral level, based on past experience with training, UN/DOALOS’s TRAIN-SEA-COAST, UNDP Capacity 21, IOC TEMA, etc. were pointed out as successful human resources training programmes. Emphasizing the fact that human resources training was at the core of any capacity-building programme, some delegations also pointed to the invaluable role that NGOs could play in this regard. It was underscored that coastal communities often have enough traditional knowledge, which should not be obviated by modern science.

          Part II
Regional cooperation

179.   The discussions in Part II of Panel B on regional cooperation were led off by a presentation from Mr. Ulises Munaylla Alarcón, Regional Technical Coordinator of the Plan of Action of the South-East Pacific of the Permanent Commission for the South Pacific (CPPS).

180.   Mr. Munaylla began his presentation by outlining the historical background of the CPPS which was established in 1952 by the Santiago Declaration. The members of the CPPS are Chile, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Colombia. Besides being a regional agency and a regional maritime organization, CPPS also plays the role of an operational and political organization for the South-East Pacific region. He explained that consequent to recent international developments the institutional and legal structure of the CPPS has been improved to respond more effectively to the challenges of sustainable development.

181.   Mr. Munaylla listed the basic functions of the CPPS:  to promote the conservation of living marine resources in the maritime zones under national jurisdiction of member States and beyond; to develop cooperation to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment; to coordinate maritime policies; to promote the assessment of natural resources and fisheries in the region; to implement policies and mechanisms for economic cooperation and to promote rational use of maritime resources. Among the most important activities of the CPPS are conservation of marine resources in jurisdictional areas and the establishment of scientific research centres that have assisted in the efforts to promote conservation of resources in the region. As a result member countries of CPPS have developed national capacities in areas of fisheries and aquaculture.

182.   Mr. Munaylla highlighted the various fishery activities and other related activities in which the countries from the region were involved. A growing number of activities called for intensified efforts in the rational utilization of the ocean’s resources, thereby highlighting the increasingly important role of the CPPS in the conservation of the region’s ocean resources. The CPPS in partnership with other international organizations have undertaken efforts to build the national capacity of States in the region including through training, implementation of resource assessment techniques, organizing international seminars and collection and dissemination of regional fisheries statistics. The new challenge now is the implementation of the ecosystem approach in resource management.

183.   The concern of the member States of CPPS about resources in the high seas by the member states of CPPS was first brought up about 20 years ago. It was noted that over- exploitation of the high seas resources affected the resources within jurisdictional areas to the detriment of the coastal population. As a result of consultations between the member states of CPPS an agreement addressing the resources in the high seas was signed by the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the four member States in 2000.

184.   Another important activity in which CPPS has been involved is the study of the El Nino phenomenon. It was pointed out that such a study had to be muiltidisciplinary in nature. CPPS is collaborating with various international organizations on this issue. A joint working group has been established with WMO. IOC is also involved in this study. One of the outcomes of the research into this phenomena is the publication of a bulletin which provides ongoing information on the evolution of El Nino and La Nina and forecasting information to governments.

185.   Mr. Munaylla also discussed the regional seas convention for the region known as the Lima Convention, the main objective of which is to protect the marine environment and to promote the preservation of the health and well-being of the marine environment for present and future generations. The make-up of the Lima Convention is similar to other  conventions under the regional seas programme. The region is also participating in the GIWA programme which calls for close cooperation with international organizations such as UNEP.

186.   The region is also involved with implementation of the GPA. Although the GPA is non-binding there is currently a binding regional agreement on land-based sources of pollution for the region. The main source of land-based pollution is residual waters.

187.   With regard to integrated coastal management the member countries adopted an environmental management programme for the region with the intention of developing a general policy guideline so that countries in the region can harmonize their work programmes. Under this work programme case studies have been undertaken in each of the member countries. There is also a protocol on marine protected areas. The protocol deals with the protection and management of coastal areas of the region. The CPPS is cooperating with the CBD secretariat in a work programme to identify high biodiversity areas within the region. There is also a programme to monitor and report on the status of marine mammals in the region. In the region there is a working group on climate change. Studies have been made on the impacts of climate change including environmental and social impacts. The studies were undertaken pursuant to the guidelines by the IPCC.

188.   Mr. Munaylla acknowledged that the work that CPPS have been doing would not have been executed without the cooperation of other international organizations including, UNEP, FAO, IMO, UNDP and ECLAC. CPPS also works with national organizations such as NOAA of the United States. In line with the recent emphasis on horizontal cooperation CPPS has just signed an agreement with SPREP.

189.   In conclusion Mr. Munaylla stated that regional cooperation is important for the strengthening of national capacities which in turn benefits the region. Regional cooperation assists in addressing priority needs in the protection of coastal environment in member states. It has also accelerated the national capacities of member States through the  training of national experts. Furthermore, the Lima Convention and other regional conventions and agreements have had a multiplying effect on national legislation. Overall regional cooperation which is encouraged by Agenda 21 has been successful in addressing marine affairs in the region of the South-East Pacific.

190.   In the discussion that followed the presentation by Mr. Munaylla, a number of points were made. It is to be added that delegations also addressed the issue of regional cooperation in the interest of deliberations in the issues of capacity-building, integrated ocean management as well as the protection and preservation of the marine environment.

                  Cooperation within a region

191.   Many delegations agreed that, within a region, in most cases institutions that promote fisheries, the protection and preservation of the marine environment, marine scientific research, and the transfer of technology are in place; this can facilitate regional and ultimately global cooperation. What is needed however is improved coordination and information sharing to ensure that the best science is used in decision-making and that resources are used in the most effective manner. It was suggested that to facilitate such cooperation there should be formalized observer status among organizations so that the expertise and programmes of one can compliment and reinforce, rather than duplicate, those of another.

192.   The representative of WMO supported the view that in many regions, regional cooperation can be beneficial to individual countries within the region that may lack certain technical capacities. Regional cooperation does not only develop national capacities through training but pooled resources can also result in the acquisition of  technical hardware, including in some cases regional satellite and data analysis systems.

193.   The issue of overlap and duplication of efforts by regional organizations and bodies was also pointed out by a several delegations. The potential of this occurring is higher in regions where there are a number of regional organizations. This, it was suggested, can be minimized if the areas of focus of the various regional organizations involved are clearly defined.

194.   Many delegations reiterated the need for data and information exchange that could be utilized in the efforts to better manage marine ecosystems and resources. Practical measures such as joint technical meetings, observer status and joint programmes can enhance inter-sectoral cooperation among regional organizations. Many delegations also recognized that since regional organizations are given their mandates by participating governments, those stakeholders must have the political will to effect better coordination.

195.   One delegation informed the meeting that in recognition of the fact that States, international organizations and NGOs have only limited resources to address regional management challenges, its government has as a key objective the  development of a framework for regional management programmes that promotes efficient use of programmatic resources and addresses the entire scope of watershed and marine ecosystem management from forests to the sea.

196.   Several delegations emphasized that the regional level is the appropriate level for action. In this regard one delegation suggested that setting up regional observatories to compliment national observatories might be beneficial. In turn these regional observatories should be linked to one another to form a network of regional observatories. Delegates, however, were mindful that such a network could give rise to issues concerning harmonization and standardization. The cost implications in setting up regional observatories were also mentioned.

197.   Recognizing the fact that issues of fisheries and of marine and coastal biodiversity are interrelated, several delegations highlighted the need for regional cooperation in these fields. There was a concerted support for closer cooperation between the regional seas programmes which also deal with marine and coastal biodiversity and the regional fisheries management bodies. Such cooperation, as conceded by one delegation, may be initially difficult due to the established mandates of these two types of regional organizations but such cooperation is necessary in view of the interrelationship.

                  Cooperation among regions

198.   There was a strong support for horizontal relationships between regional programmes, arrangements and organizations. Also the idea of “networking” between and among regional organizations was one that received support from delegations. In some instances, as was pointed out during the discussions, such networking was already operational between certain organizations in certain regions; in some cases, strengthening of networking by involved stakeholders was needed.

199.   Through experience gained many delegations expressed their conviction that regional cooperation led to global cooperation. It was also underscored that efforts towards regional cooperation should be supported by international organizations and agencies.

200.   The potential contributions of regional assessments of the marine environment towards a Global Marine Assessment (GMA) were also discussed. The decision in this regard of the Fourth Global Meeting of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans convened last November in Montreal was noted.

          New initiatives in regional cooperation

201.   New developments in regional cooperation were also discussed. One delegation announced the adoption of the Convention for Cooperation in the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the North-East Pacific which was signed in Antigua, Guatemala, on 18 February 2002. The delegate highlighted that this convention is the first regional seas convention since the adoption of the GPA in 1995 which has integrated GPA implementation within its framework. Another recent development which was also discussed by several delegations is the establishment of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) which aims to consolidate and enhance regional cooperation and promote sustainable fisheries management in the region. The recent activities of the North-West Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) was also presented by a member delegation to this regional organization.

202.   With regard to regional fisheries one delegation stated that there must be cooperation between coastal States and distant water fishing States. Regional fisheries arrangements must be open to distant water fishing States; closed regional arrangements which do not allow access to distant water fishing nations are not in conformity with the spirit of UNCLOS, this delegation maintained.

203.   Many delegations recognized that regional cooperation should not be limited to the traditional fields such as fisheries, marine environmental protection and response measures to maritime emergencies. Indeed there were examples concerning the ever growing number of issues that have dictated the need for regional cooperation. Several delegations supported the regional efforts currently under way to combat piracy and the issue of security in the world’s oceans and ports, and called for the strengthening of such efforts.

          Regional cooperation and capacity-building

204.   Delegations highlighted the important role that regional and international cooperation played in promoting capacity-building and developing guidelines, policies and statutes or legislation. It was also evident that delegations supported the strengthening of regional cooperation where they already existed and encouraged the development of regional cooperation, as appropriate, in regions where such cooperative arrangements did not exist as yet.

          Regional cooperation and integrated approach

205.   Many delegations supported the need for an integrated policy approach in the implementation of UNCLOS and the management of human activities affecting the seas and to this end supported the strengthening of regional seas conventions and enhancing their effectiveness. There was also support for reinforcing regional fisheries management organizations by extending their competence where required and excluding, where possible, unilateral action by States.

          Part III
Integrated ocean management

206.   The discussions in Part III of Panel B on integrated ocean management were led off by a presentation from Mr. John Karau, Director, Oceans Stewardship Branch of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of Canada.

207.   Mr. Karau presented the Canadian approach to integrated ocean management. He emphasized that coordination and collaboration among governments and agencies are the key elements that nurture the operational framework for integrated ocean management in Canada.

208.   Canada has frontiers on three oceans: Atlantic, Pacific and Artic. Twenty-five percent of the population resides in coastal areas and eight of Canada’s ten provinces are coastal. Ocean industries in Canada are going through a change in ocean use. Traditional activities such as fisheries and maritime transport are giving way to offshore oil and gas, aquaculture, eco-tourism and other uses of the coastal and marine areas.

209.   The Oceans Act of Canada provides the legislative and policy context of integrated ocean management. The Act reflects Canada’s commitment to develop a national ocean management framework based on the principles of sustainable development, integrated management and collaboration, and to implement programmes to manage and protect ocean spaces and ocean resources.

210.   Canada’s integrated management approach is based on a geographic framework for management and planning. The geographic framework allows for the designation of large ocean management areas up to the limit of Canadian jurisdiction as well as local coastal areas. Critical and functional elements of ecosystems are identified on sound scientific basis and the application of the precautionary approach. Ecosystems objectives for each area are then established. These objectives pertain to, inter alia, fisheries management plan, aquaculture siting permits, coastal land use planning and oil and gas leases. Human activities are managed to meet these objectives, keeping in mind not to substitute what is already in place but to provide a framework for collaboration and collaborative decision-making. Finally, monitoring is provided for in order to evaluate and improve effectiveness of integrated ocean management. Evaluation is based on concrete observable indicators and progress is measured by using such indicators.

211.   The integrated management process at work involves six inter-related stages: (a) defining and assessing a management area on the basis of sound information; (b) engaging affected interests backed by political support; (c) developing an integrated management plan; (d) obtaining endorsement of the plan by decision-making authorities and accommodating existing sectoral interests; (e) implementing the plan; and (f) monitoring and evaluating outcomes. Implementing the plan is facilitated through a cooperative compliance agreement, so to speak, because parties that implement the plan are the “owners” of the plan and are integral parts of the plan.

212.   Canada has learnt important lessons, “learning by doing”. These lessons include the following: (a) learning by doing results in stronger buy in and solid policies and operational frameworks; (b) the integrated management process is as important as the final product (the importance of the process itself can be compared to that of the Consultative Process); (c) the community support/engagement is critical to success; (d) the time required to establish process and plans may be longer than expected, thus patience is essential; (e) a strong science basis and inclusion of user knowledge is critical to the credibility of the process (there are also important information gaps, a fact that reinforces the need for a precautionary approach); (f) division of responsibility among all stakeholders and expectations about each of them need to be understood early in the process; and (g) clear management objectives, monitoring and reporting are essential.

213.   The presentation by Mr. Karau was followed by a question-and-answer session before delegations deliberated upon the topic of integrated ocean management. In response to a question about the definition of integrated management in Canada’s legislation, Mr. Karau stated that it is defined as a “collaborative process” in the Preamble of Canada’s Oceans Act. He added that it was a functional definition and might not pass the test of a legal definition in a strict sense.

214.   Responding to a question about the relationship between legislation and the proposed plans, Mr. Karau explained that in the Canadian experience, the plans are developed through a collaboration and cooperation process. He stressed that the collaboration and cooperation process ensures that each partner has a stake in the plan and “owns” a part of the plan, which in turn, facilitates compliance.

215.   Responding to another question on about how to resolve potential multiple-use conflict, Mr. Karau gave the example of the Eastern Scotia Shelf Integrated Management Initiative where the ecosystem management approach is applied to fisheries and oil and gas activities.

216.   Responding to a request for more elaboration on the issue of major institutional structures for the implementation of the Canadian approach, Mr. Karau stated that there are 25 federal departments involved as well as a myriad of provincial and territorial bodies. There is also an Ocean Task Force acting as the main forum. However, it is necessary to put jurisdictions aside and instead, identify priorities and in what issues each concerned department/agency can collaborate. In this approach political engagement is very important.

          Importance of integrated ocean management and requirements for effective management

217.   During the deliberations after the presentation of the panelist, a number of important issues were raised. There was a consensus that the implementation of UNCLOS and the management of human activities affecting the oceans require an integrated approach. The development of integrated policies and decision-making processes are required to ensure that sectoral activities are compatible with each other and also do not have negative impacts on the long-term ecological health of the oceans. It was pointed out that integrated management complements sectoral management, particularly by providing decision-makers and regulators with synthesized information and advice required to develop sectoral measures which minimize negative impacts on other sectors and at the same time on the marine environment.

218.   In this context, it was emphasized that the only way the sustainable development of oceans and their resources can be achieved and the so-called “triple bottom line” of social, economic and environmental objectives can be optimized is through integrated ocean management.

219.   Though integrated ocean management is of concern to all countries, the way the concept is interpreted and implemented differs according to the unique features and problems existing in each country or region. Furthermore, there was a general agreement that a single integrated ocean management model would not be appropriate for all contexts. However, despite these differences in conceptualization and approaches, a number of commonalities were highlighted regarding basic requirements for the effective application of integrated ocean management.

220.   Delegations added that for the development and implementation of integrated ocean management strategies, there was a need for a regular inter-institutional coordination process at all levels, with participation of all stakeholders, i.e. government, local communities, the private sector, and they should work together with bilateral, regional and international partners in shared waters. In respect of government, the involvement of federal, provincial and municipal agencies, as applicable, is called for.

221.   Many delegations emphasized that the application of integrated ocean management requires an understanding of the economic, social, cultural and environmental values of coastal and marine resources and uses as well as of their impacts on each other and on the coastal and ocean ecosystems. A key ingredient in applying integrated ocean management should be the development of effective mechanisms for allocation of national efforts and for conflict resolution in relation to various coastal and ocean resources and uses. In this regard, the establishment of decision-making bodies that can conserve and protect ecosystems while providing opportunities for wealth creation for ocean related economies and communities are required.

222.   Other requirements for effective integrated ocean management is the existence of a strong scientific knowledge as well as an array of political, financial and technical capabilities that supports the process and implementation of integrated ocean management initiatives. Many delegations stressed that a basic requirement is a shift of paradigm, a radical change from sectoral, short-term resource management approaches to a much wider long-term perspective that ensures a sustainable development of ecosystems for the production of goods and services. Above all, public awareness and political commitment are absolutely essential, according to many delegations.

          National and regional initiatives

223.   The discussions on integrated ocean management revealed important trends in terms of the way countries and organizations perceive the need for integrated ocean management, identify means for implementing it and design schemes for the transfer of experiences between countries and regions. Several major points of focus were identified during the discussions: 

224.   Firstly, the notion of “developing partnerships” in integrated ocean management and/or associated capacity-building efforts was presented by a number of delegations. For some this means an all-inclusive improved collaboration among all stakeholders rather than a simple transfer of technology, know-how and financial resources from developed to developing countries. For others, this is translated into a cross-cutting regional programme. For example, US focussed on the Wider Caribbean in developing a broad partnership in the region to promote better coordination and collaboration in integrated watershed, coastal, and marine ecosystem management. For still others, cooperative partnerships with adjacent States are central in the integrated ocean management initiatives. Australia gave the example of its efforts in the Arafura Timor Seas to improve scientific research and information exchange, promote cooperation among natural resource managers, and improve education and training to address issues of common concern.

225.   A second point of focus is at the policy level. The “Pacific Islands Regional Ocean Policy” is a regional policy with the aim of applying certain common principles and harmonizing the work of the regional indigenous agencies based on the underpinnings of the regional agreements already in place. The template of the regional policy will form the basis for the future elaboration of national ocean policies.

226.   A third point of focus relates to the ways and means in which nations can assist one another in the application of the integrated ocean management concept. For example, some delegations emphasized that actions should focus on regional forums and should be voluntary based on the development of shared agendas (e.g. cooperative research agendas) between neighbouring States. In this regard, other delegations highlighted the various limitations faced by them with regard to ecosystem management, namely, the need to act on a long-term basis, the need for investments in monitoring and evaluation, and the need to create the capacity for the acquisition of scientific information and data. According to these delegations, these needs can only be addressed through international cooperation.

227.   A fourth point of focus relates to the geographical coverage of integrated ocean management. For some countries, for example, integrated ocean management mainly refers to the management of the coastal zones and marine areas under national jurisdiction of the coastal States, with the focus on coastal management. For others, the geographical coverage may extend from coastal areas, both the land and marine components, to maritime zones under the jurisdiction of the individual States concerned, cross-border cooperation and regional seas.

228.   Another point of focus in relation to the application of integrated ocean management is the thematic strategy. EU provided the example of its Thematic Strategy for the Protection and Conservation of the Marine Environment which aims to cope with the threats to the marine environment and its biodiversity in an integrated and science-based approach. The Thematic Strategy is an integral part of the EU’s Environment Action Programme, devised within the framework of the EU’s Sustainable Development Strategy, and is also linked to the EU’s Framework Research Programme. This strategy will complement the Strategy on Integrated Coastal Zone Management, adopted by the Commission in 2000, which is designed to improve the social, economic and environmental conditions in the coastal areas, through enhanced policy coordination, more informed decision-making processes, and greater involvement of the various stakeholders.


Prepared by the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations.

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