First cycle of the Regular Process
The first cycle of the Regular Process ran from 2010 to 2014. The outcome of the first cycle was the First Global Integrated Marine Assessment (also known as the “first World Ocean Assessment” or “the Assessment”), a nearly 1000-page report prepared by experts detailing the state of the world’s ocean, the extent of human knowledge of the oceans, and the effect of human activities on the oceans. The Assessment was released at the end of 2015. Its findings are alarming. The experts warn that the ocean is facing major pressures simultaneously with such great impacts that the limits of its carrying capacity are being, or in some cases have been, reached. They indicate that urgent action on a global scale is needed to protect the world’s oceans from the many pressures they face.
The Assessment was welcomed with appreciation by the United Nations General Assembly, which also approved its summary. Although it is not a policy document, the Assessment reinforces the science-policy interface and provides a scientific basis for informed decisions by governments, intergovernmental processes, policy-makers and others involved in ocean affairs. It established a baseline for measuring the state of the marine environment and thus represents a major milestone both for the Regular Process and for the international community.