Since 1991, Center researchers have been involved in monitoring and analyzing the negotiation and implementation of major international agreements related to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, the Earth Summit) and the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development.
Center researchers followed the two-year preparatory process and participated in the Earth Summit itself in a dual capacity as officially accredited participants on behalf of the International Coastal and Ocean Organization (ICO) and as researchers studying international negotiations.
Center researchers have also participated in the major UN meetings during and following the Earth Summit such as the Barbados Conference on Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, the negotiations on the Straddling Stocks and Highly Migratory Fisheries Agreement, annual meetings of the Commission on Sustainable Development and in the UN Informal Consultative Process on Oceans Affairs and Law of the Sea. Center researchers have also worked with a number of international organizations involved in UNCED implementation to ensure that a consistent model of integrated coastal management is implemented in the context of all the different international agreements emanating from the Earth Summit.
In the period 2001-present, Center researchers played an important role in promoting the global oceans agenda at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa. This process included the conduction of two global conferences, one prior to the WSSD that was essential in mobilizing support for oceans issues in Johannesburg (Oceans and Coasts at Rio+10, Paris, 2001), and a recent conference focusing on implementation of the commitments reached at the WSSD (Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands: Mobilizing for Implementation of the Commitments Made at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development).
The Center currently serves as the Secretariat of the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands, an alliance of experts from governments, NGOs, UN agencies and other international organizations, and the private sector, formed during the WSSD process.
Information on Center activities related to implementation of international agreements concerning the marine environment is provided below. Also visit the Center's Global Forum website at http://www.globaloceans.org for more comprehensive information.
Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands
The Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands serves as a platform for cross-sectoral information sharing and dialogue on issues affecting oceans, coasts, and islands, with the common goal of attaining the sustainable development of these areas. The aim of the Forum is the improvement of global, regional, and national policies related to oceans, coasts, and islands.
The Forum is composed of individuals from governments, intergovernmental and international organizations (IOs), and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) (including environmental, industry, scientific/technical groups, and foundations). While members of the Forum serve in their individual, not institutional, capacity, they are expected to be "ocean advocates" within their organizations and countries and in global and regional oceans deliberations. The Forum grew out of the WSSD Informal Coordinating Group on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands. Currently, the Forum is led by a Steering Committee of 60 members from all sectors.
The Center administers the Global Web Service on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands, the website of the Global Forum, and a cooperative effort of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, UNESCO; NOAA's National Ocean Service; The World Bank; The United Nations Environment Programme's Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities; and CMP (UD), in conjunction with a number of other partners around the world. The web service provides timely information on developments and advances in integrated coastal and ocean management at international, regional, and national levels, and provides coverage on all aspects of the global oceans agenda.
The Center also produces the monthly Forum Newsletter covering:
The newsletter is published on a bimonthly basis. Contributions are invited in the following categories:
- Major global news related to oceans, coasts, and islands
- Major developments in international negotiations and implementation of international agreements related to oceans, coasts, and islands
- Major news from Global Forum partners- international organizations, governments, non-governmental organizations, private sector
- Progress in the implementation of the commitments made at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and the voluntary partnerships (Type II) created at the WSSD
- Regional and national-level news related to oceans, coasts, and islands of global significance
- Events, conferences, and major meetings related to oceans, coasts, and islands.
2003 Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands: Mobilizing for Implementation of the Commitments Made at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development
- Feature articles: Interpretative articles about developments related to oceans, coasts, and islands
- News reports from international organizations, governments, non-governmental organizations, private sector
- Reports about WSSD implementation and progress in WSSD partnership initiatives
- Summaries of reports and meetings
- Opinion section: Critical analyses of important issues related to oceans, coasts, and islands.
November 12-14, 2003, UNESCO, Paris, with pre-conference meetings on November 10 and 11, 2003
The Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands: Mobilizing for Implementation of the Commitments Made at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development convened from December 10-14, 2003 at UNESCO, Paris. The Conference involved 223 participants from 48 countries, representing intergovernmental organizations (33%), government organizations (20%), academic and research institutions (22%), non-government organizations (16%), and private sector organizations and individuals (9%).
The Conference convened a year after the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) at Johannesburg, with the major purposes of reviewing what has been done to date in implementing the WSSD commitments, and to catalyze action on WSSD implementation through collaboration among governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. The conference focused, as well, on approaches to mobilizing public and private sector support for the global oceans agenda, and on the identification of emerging ocean issues.
Two volumes documenting the outcomes of the Conference will be produced. The first will be a Co-chairs report to be done by January 2004 and the second will be a volume containing Ministerial statements, special addresses and the Working Group statements to be completed by February 2004. The release of these publications will be announced on the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands website (www.globaloceans.org).
CMP at the World Summit on Sustainable Development
Researchers from CMP participated in the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa from August 26 to September 4, 2002. The Summit brought together 22,000 participants, including heads of State and Government, national delegates and leaders from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), businesses and other major groups to focus the world's attention and direct action toward the sustainable use of the global resource base.
Center Director Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain and Center researchers worked closely with an international group of delegates and leaders from non-governmental organizations to promote awareness and raise the profile of ocean, coastal, and island issues both before and during the Johannesburg meeting.
For the Summit, the CSMP prepared A Guide to Oceans, Coasts and Islands at the WSSD, which addressed the current status of the global marine environment, detailing the relevant issues in the draft plan of implementation for the Summit, and highlighted oceans-related events at the meeting. Nearly 3,000 copies of the Guide were distributed to delegates, including distribution to the official national level delegations charged with negotiating the plan of implementation of the Summit.
The Center organized a series of meetings of the Informal WSSD Coordinating Group on Oceans, Coasts and Islands in which 56 groups and organizations participated. The Coordinating Group discussed and agreed upon a work program for the following two years to raise the international profile of oceans, coasts and islands in all relevant fora, and to work with governments in the implementation of the commitments made in the WSSD Plan of Implementation, and in the dissemination of information about the WSSD through a clearinghouse and related Internet services. This effort, organized as the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands, involves a steering committee of leaders from the governmental, United Nations, NGO, and private sector sectors. the Center serves as the Secretariat for the Global Forum.
Center researchers further participated in a key element of the WSSD-the Type II initiatives-by launching a UN recognized Type II initiative on an International Network of Practitioners and Academics to Support Implementation of Coastal and Ocean Management Programs. The Center also conducted a meeting on Friday, August 30, on Bringing Synergy among Type II Initiatives on Oceans, Coasts and Islands. Eleven Type II initiatives covering a range of marine issues were presented, and the participants discussed commonalities, opportunities for collaboration, and missing areas of coverage among the initiatives.
The Center also participated, along with the UN Environment Programme, in organizing a high level oceans event on People, Oceans, and Stewardship on Tuesday, September 2. At the event, government leaders, NGO representatives, and entertainers came together to highlight the achievements of the WSSD on oceans, coasts and islands and to announce the new Type II partnership initiatives for the sustainable development of marine and coastal areas.
The 2001 Global Conference on Oceans and Coasts at Rio+10
Informal discussions among NGOs and scientists identified the need and the opportunity to organize a global conference to consider the wide range of issues associated with the status of oceans and coasts close to 10 years after the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. As is well known, a broad oceans and coasts agenda was adopted at UNCED, including implementation of Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 and the Rio Principles on Environment and Development, further implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and implementation of the oceans and coasts aspects of the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The CMP, together with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and many other institutions around the world organized the Global Conference Oceans and Coasts at Rio+10, held at UNESCO, Paris, December 3-7, 2001. The Conference was attended by over 400 leading experts from governments, United Nations agencies and other intergovernmental organizations, and nongovernmental organizations representing environmental, industry, and scientific perspectives. In total, 61 nations were represented at the week-long event. The Conference convened with the dual purpose of addressing continuing and new challenges and laying the groundwork for the inclusion of an oceans perspective at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development.
Presentations from the Conference participants highlighted the great environmental, social, and economic importance of oceans and coasts. The coastal zone, although comprising less than 20% of the earth's surface, contains more than 50% of the planet's population, yields 90% of fishery resources, and provides important economic development opportunities, such as through the tourism and oil/gas industries.
Major recommendations emanating from the Conference include the full implementation of and compliance with existing international agreements, capacity building at all levels for ocean and coastal area management (ICM), the use of an ecosystem approach in protection of coastal and marine areas, the strengthening of science-based monitoring and assessment of ocean environments, and paying special attention to the problems of Small Island Developing States and of emerging issues such as biotechnology.
Progress achieved on oceans and coasts' 1996 review by the UN Commission on Sustainable Development and 1997 review by the UN General Assembly
To contribute to the review of progress achieved on oceans and coasts since the Rio Earth Summit, which took place at the Spring 1996 meeting of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and at the UN General Assembly in 1997, Center researchers prepared a special issue of Ocean & Coastal Management covering: progress in implementation of integrated coastal management; outcomes of the global conference on the sustainable development of small island states; outcomes of the UN conference on straddling and highly migratory fish stocks; outcomes of the UNEP conference on managing land-based sources of marine pollution; marine biodiversity issues under the Convention on Biological Diversity; examples of bilateral assistance on integrated coastal management under the Framework Convention on Climate Change; examples of national and regional level implementation of the UNCED agenda; and examples of capacity building in ocean and coastal management by the World Bank and other entities