Ocean Action Webinars
The 2020 United Nations Ocean Conference has been postponed, but the substantive preparations for the Conference continue. Keeping stakeholders mobilized to bring their contribution and commitment will be critical in the lead up to the event. Check this page for information about webinars organized in preparation for the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon.
The forthcoming Ocean Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, will come at a critical time as the world is strengthening its efforts to mobilize, create and drive solutions to realize the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 in the context of an ongoing global pandemic. How we respond to COVID-19 beyond the immediate and necessary recovery of health and livelihoods will likely determine not only whether we will reach SDG 14, but also how sustainable the world of tomorrow will be. The high level United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development: The 2017 Ocean Conference co-hosted by Fiji and Sweden paved the way for action oriented, science based innovative solutions aimed at reversing the decline in the health of our ocean for people, planet and prosperity.
At the 2017 conference, approximately 1,400 voluntary commitments (VC) for concrete action to advance implementation of SDG 14 were made by Member States, the UN system, and an array of stakeholders including civil society, the private sector and academia. To date, over 1,600 VCs are registered online and the registry of voluntary commitments remain open. These commitments were one of the major outcomes of the conference and marked a global breakthrough on the path to sustainable management and conservation of our oceans, seas and marine resources. To follow-up on the implementation of these voluntary commitments as well as to catalyze and generate new ones, the UN launched nine thematic multi stakeholder Communities of Ocean Action (COA) of which are closely aligned with the targets of SDG14 .
Recently, an online survey on the implementation of VCs published on the Ocean Conference Registry was carried out to get an update on the achievements and challenges as well as to receive suggestions on its implementation. The assessment of the impact of these commitments based on the survey and other available information, concluded that the VCs have collectively furthered the attainment of SDG 14. Nevertheless, various challenges to their implementation have been reported such as, the lack of resources, funding, technical expertise, partner cooperation as well as political environment. Furthermore, the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic that broke out last year has further exacerbated challenges in the implementation of the VCs.
This webinar will take a look at the status of implementation of the VCs as well as the impacts of the COVID-19.
- Report: Assessment of the Impacts of the United Nations Ocean Conference Voluntary Commitments
- Event recording
- Presentation by Dr. Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO and Assistant Director-General of UNESCO
- Presentation by Mr. Peter Swarzenski, Section Head, Radioecology Laboratory (REL), Monaco, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA): (COA on OCEAN ACIDIFICATION)
- Presentation by Takehiro Nakamura Chief, Marine and Coastal Ecosystems Unit United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
- Presentation on “An assessment of impacts of the Ocean Conference Voluntary Commitment” by Dr. Marjo Vierros, Director, Coastal Policy and Humanities Research
KEEPING THE MOMENTUM FOR OCEAN ACTION: INVESTING IN SDG14 - 10 NOVEMBER 2020
UNDESA in collaboration with the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for the Ocean, Ambassador Peter Thomson, will hosted this webinar on 10 November from 9AM to 11AM (EST). The objectives of the webinar were to explore the ways in which public and private sector resources as well as charities and philanthropies could be effectively mobilized and scaled-up towards implementing SDG14, to discuss how the important link between ocean and climate can be strategically factored in public and private investment decisions for oceans and to share best practices and examples of innovative financing tools and instruments that has shown positive results.
The webinar featured an Opening Segment and a High Level Panel Discussion moderated by the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, Ambassador Peter Thomson. Welcome/Opening remarks were delivered by the Permanent Representatives of Kenya and Portugal, the co-hosts of the 2020 Ocean Conference, Mr. Liu Zhenmin, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Conference Secretary-General and Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, Special Adviser to the Presidents of the Ocean Conference on the ocean and legal matters.
THIRD ASIA-PACIFIC DAY FOR THE OCEAN - 29 OCTOBER
On 21 May 2020, ESCAP member States adopted a resolution on “Strengthening cooperation to promote the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific,” underscoring the importance of the Ocean for the region, and requesting the secretariat “to continue to strengthen current partnerships and to develop new partnerships, where appropriate, for the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources, including through participatory, multi-stakeholder dialogue platforms.”
In line with this mandate, the secretariat will host its Third Asia-Pacific Day for the Ocean to continue to support member States, and key stakeholders, through systematic and inclusive dialogue on priority areas and challenges in our region.
This event will provide a platform to identify elements for a regional “Decade Program”, currently in preparation by the secretariat, within the scope of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), and building on virtual consultations that will be organized in anticipation for the Asia-Pacific Day for the Ocean. The outcomes of the Asia-Pacific Day for the Ocean will also provide a regional perspective to inform the 2020 UN Ocean Conference.
BIODIVERSITY: THE OCEAN'S ROLE – 30 SEPTEMBER 2020
Marine life, the world’s climate, our economy and social well-being depend on the existence of a healthy ocean. Although some improvements have been observed, recent assessments show that the Ocean continues to be exploited in an unsustainable manner. Climate change and competition for natural resources are adding further pressure on the marine environment. The decline of biodiversity, the Ocean’s degrading health, and the ongoing climate crisis demand special attention and a nexus approach.
On the margins of the 2020 Biodiversity Summit, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, Peter Thomson, in coordination with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), organized a High-Level Side-Event on “Biodiversity – the Ocean’s Role”. The event was held for the purpose of discussing the Ocean’s integral role on this planet as the largest reservoir of biodiversity and life.
The webinar featured a number of High-Level speakers, who participated by video message or in the event’s livestream. More information, links to event materials and the recording can be found on the event website here
KEEPING THE MOMENTUM FOR OCEAN ACTION WEBINAR SERIES
In preparation to the Conference, UN DESA has organized the “Keeping the Momentum for Ocean Action” webinar series to bring perspectives from stakeholders from different sectors and all regions of the world in support to SDG 14 implementation.
This series of sectorial webinars connected, mobilized and brought new ideas from stakeholders towards the preparation and outreach of the UN Ocean Conference, including the compilation of new Commitments of Ocean Action and progress on previous commitments. Please, find below detailed information about the “Keeping the Momentum for Ocean Action” webinar series.
LOCAL AND REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS WEBINAR – 23 JUNE 2020
UN DESA, in a joint-effort with United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments and in collaboration with the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS), hosted this webinar on 23 June 2020. The webinar worked to mobilize local and regional governments, share information and collect ideas and proposals on how to keep the momentum towards Ocean Action and the engagement of stakeholders of local and regional governments in the preparatory process of the UN Ocean Conference.
ASIA-PACIFIC WEBINAR – 3 JUNE 2020 (Bangkok time)
UN DESA, with the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and in collaboration with the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) hosted this webinar 3 June 2020. The webinar worked to mobilize stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific region, share information and collect ideas and proposals on how to keep the momentum towards Ocean Action and the engagement of stakeholders in Asia-Pacific in the preparatory process of the UN Ocean Conference.
PRIVATE SECTOR WEBINAR – 21 MAY 2020
UN DESA, with the UN Global Compact and in collaboration with the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) hosted this webinar on 21 May, 2020. The webinar worked to mobilize representatives from the private sector, share information and collect ideas and proposals on how to keep the momentum towards Ocean Action and the engagement of private sector stakeholders in the preparatory process of the 2020 UN Ocean Conference.
YOUTH WEBINAR – 14 MAY 2020
UN DESA, the Office of the Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth (OSGEY), the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN NGLS), the Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY), and Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) co-hosted this event on 14 May, 2020. The webinar worked to mobilize representatives from youth, share information and collect ideas and proposals on how to keep the momentum towards Ocean Action and the engagement of youth stakeholders in the preparatory process of the 2020 UN Ocean Conference.