The Call for Action to address the key ocean challenges provides a robust, forward-looking framework for action

Jun 12, 2017

The Ocean Conference (5-9 June) co-hosted by the Governments of Fiji and Sweden brought an unprecedented show of global unity around the need to tackle the crisis in the oceans. In addition to adoption of the “Call for Action”, by the close of the conference on Friday, 9 June, a total of 1,328 voluntary commitments to ocean protection and restoration, cutting across all 10 SDG14 targets, had been made on the on-line conference registry.  84 governments that made 598 (45%) commitments represented the entity submitting the largest number, followed by NGOs (259, 20%) and the UN System (108, 8%).

As a key contributor to this effort, UNDP submitted 39 voluntary commitments representing a range of initiatives at the global, regional, national and local levels, to address key ocean challenges from overfishing to pollution to invasive species.  These commitments represent a wide range of multi-stakeholder partnerships involving governments, UN agencies, development partners, private sector, civil society and local communities. UNDP is already working with more than 100 countries to help restore and protect the oceans and better manage our stressed marine resources.

“The Ocean Conference amply exceeded its objective to call the world’s attention on the deplorable state of our oceans. It made the link between sustainable development, ocean action and climate action – across countries, regions, continents and seas. The Call for Action is urgent as the underlying causes are multiple, and the responses complex. A long list of important Voluntary Commitments allows for optimism, as many actions are already underway or planned. Opportunities for new partnerships, exchange of information and sharing of experience have emerged from the Ocean Conference. UNDP has been an active participant reflecting the work of the organisation at the country level. Existing and new ocean commitments on protecting the oceans from pollution, overfishing, acidification, poor tourism and urban planning and unsustainable development will be UNDP’s deliverables for the time to come – moving from awareness-raising to the implementation of solutions” said Magdy Martínez-Solimán, UN Assistant Secretary General and Director of UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support.

A few examples of UNDP’s submitted voluntary commitments include:

In the run-up to the Conference, with the generous support of Sweden, UNDP created and managed the Ocean Action Hub (www.oceanactionhub.org ) which played a key role in mobilizing awareness, support and partnerships for the Ocean Conference.  The hub helped facilitate multi-stakeholder engagement by bringing together governments, the UN system, intergovernmental organizations, international financial institutions, NGOs, civil society organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community, private sector, philanthropic organizations and other ocean actors. Also with Swedish support, UNDP organized 27 SDG14 National Consultations to help build conference momentum and assist countries to identify and submit voluntary commitments. In several cases these consultations led to large numbers of voluntary commitments from countries such as Honduras (79) and Mauritius (13) and several more are planned post-conference.

Contact information

Sangita Khadka, Communications Specialist, UNDP Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, Email: sangita.khadka@undp.org, Tel: +1 212 906 5043

 

 

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