Second Cycle of the Regular Process
The second cycle of the Regular Process was launched by the General Assembly in December 2015, and runs from 2016 to 2020. While the first cycle focused on establishing a baseline for measuring the state of the marine environment, the second cycle will extend to evaluating trends and identifying gaps. The programme of work for the period 2017-2020 of the second cycle (pdf) envisages two main outputs. The first output is the preparation of the second world ocean assessment, which will play a decisive supporting role for other United Nations processes and should support policy development and decision-making at the national, regional and global levels. This is closely related to the second output, namely Regular Process support for other ocean-related intergovernmental processes. Under this output, key activities will be identified to support and interact with ongoing ocean-related intergovernmental processes. This includes the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the process for the development of an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, as well as the processes under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process. One such activity was completed in June 2017, when three process-specific Technical Abstracts of the first World Ocean Assessment were launched.
The two main outputs of the second cycle of the Regular Process (2017 to 2020) are the preparation of a second world ocean assessment and Regular Process support to other ongoing ocean-related processes, including the preparation of process-specific technical abstracts of the First Global Integrated Marine Assessment (first World Ocean Assessment). In 2017, the Group of Experts of the Regular Process prepared three Technical Abstracts on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction; the ocean and the Sustainable Development Goals under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; and the impacts of climate change and related changes in the atmosphere on the oceans. The abstracts were completed and launched in June 2017, and are available here.
While the first World Ocean Assessment provided a baseline study of the state of the world’s oceans, the second world ocean assessment will extend to evaluating trends and identifying gaps. The Outline for the second world ocean assessment (pdf) was approved by the tenth meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group of the Whole (28 February to 1 March 2018) pursuant to a mandate of the General Assembly. The further revised timetable and implementation plan for the preparation of the second world ocean assessment (pdf) was approved by the Bureau of the Regular Process in November 2019.