This Oceans Action Event at COP 22, Marrakech, focuses on Core Issue Solutions, i.e. the 5-year Oceans and Climate Strategic Action Roadmap, Seychelles innovative initiatives and Blue bonds, as well as Science Solutions, i.e. Ocean Value Assessment, Roles of Science and Investors, Local Community involvement and Science to Action time.
Solutions to Core Issues (Part 2)
Moderator, Ms Biliana Cicin-Sain, President – Global Ocean Forum, raised the need for continuous long-term effort and strategy in maintaining the momentum for Oceans in Climate agenda, quote; ‘post COP 21, Paris and moving the oceans agenda forward, we really need to underscore this central role of Oceans in Climate and in order to ensure planetary survival and Human wellbeing at both the national and global levels, we must have Oceans more clearly and powerfully defined in the UNFCCC agreement’, unquote. She also called attention to the Strategic Action Roadmap on Oceans and Climate 2016-2021, which presents a guide to action on mitigation, adaptation, displacement, financing, and capacity development related to oceans, for implementation in the next 5 years.
H.E. Mr Ronald Jumeau, Ambassador for Climate Change and SIDS Issues, Seychelles, provided an overview of innovative initiatives that Seychelles is pursuing to address climate change in the context of oceans, including: a 22 Rm US dollar debt for adaptation swap, whereby national debt is purchased in exchange for converting 30% of the exclusive economic zone into a marine protected areas; and discussions with the World Bank and the African Development Bank to develop blue bonds, which will be passed on to the fishing sector as sustainable loans. His closing statement, quote; ‘You cannot have a Blue Zone without the Ocean’!, unquote.
Science Solutions Panel
Moderator, Dr Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission-UNESCO, who called for developing an assessment of the value of oceans to humankind.
Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair, IPCC Working Group II, stated that the role of science is to reduce uncertainties and lamented that thus far there has been a degree of societal inertia and inaction to address issues highlighted by science.
Christopher Fox, Director of Special Projects, Ceres, talks about the role of Investors in addressing Ocean and Climate challenges and described the work of his organization as being, to encourage the investment community to incorporate long-term environmental and social risks into their decision-making, and that climate messages should be translated into language that the private sector can understand.
Achmad Poernomo, Snr. Advisor to Minister of Public Policy and Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia, underscored the importance of involving local communities to build climate resilience and adaptive capacity, including stressing the need to make use of community perspectives.
His closing statement, quote; ‘Respect the local then you are ready to go Global’!, unquote.
Ms Françoise Gail, Scientific Committee of Ocean and Climate Platform, highlighted in terms of impact assessments, that any type of regulation concerning marine ecosystems should include a climate projection component.
We are currently working to understand the ocean-climate interactions, but our ‘Understanding’ today is for ‘Action’ tomorrow and from ‘Science to Policy’, this is where we are at today!
In closing, Dr Vladimir Ryabinin presented three initiatives that focus on key aspects of developing science today, indicative that science is moving forward in terms of the Oceans in Climate Agenda, viz;
Global Oceans Acidification Observing Network
Blue Oceans Carbon Partnership (2015)
Global Ocean Oxygen Network (2016)
Blue Bonds in Seychelles