Marine & Coastal

BBNJ Working Group Concludes Mandate, Agrees on Nature of Future Instrument [viewed]

BBNJ23 January 2015: Delegates at the ninth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction (BBNJ) reached consensus on the legally binding nature of a future agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of BBNJ under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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Interest in Turtle Conservation on the Rise in South-East Asia [viewed]

IOSEA19 January 2015: The Indian Ocean-South–East Asian (IOSEA) Marine Turtle Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Secretariat published a compilation of marine turtle-related news of the past 12 months, from around the Indian Ocean–South-East Asia region. The review includes news headlines, message board items, feature articles and longer monthly profiles published on the IOSEA website in 2014.

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Guest Article #30: Focus on the Ocean at IUCN 2014 World Parks Congress: Report from Sydney, Australia [viewed]

The 2014 World Parks Congress (WPC), an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) global forum on protected areas that is convened only once every ten years, was held in Sydney, Australia, from 12-19 November 2014. It was a landmark event attended by over 6000 of the world's most prominent players in protected area management from 170 countries. They gathered to exchange ideas and best practices, and to set a global agenda for the next decade. While past WPC events focused mainly on the management, protection and sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, 2014 WPC had a unique focus on marine conservation, putting forth a vibrant and comprehensive agenda boasting some 250 ocean-related sessions that embraced protection of the 70% of Earth that is ocean.

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Policy Update #6: Do We Need a New Treaty to Protect Biodiversity in the Deep Seas? [viewed]

For ten years negotiators in New York have been debating, under the aegis of the UN General Assembly, the need for a new international agreement to protect biodiversity in the deep seas. A final decision is expected by the end of 2015, following key negotiations on 20-23 January 2015 on the feasibility, scope and parameters of a new treaty.

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Scientists Warn: Four Planetary Boundaries Crossed [viewed]

Stockholm Resilience Center16 January 2015: A team of 18 researchers has published findings that human activity has now moved the Earth beyond four of the nine planetary boundaries identified by scientists in 2009. The transgressed boundaries are: climate change; loss of biosphere integrity; land-system change; and altered biogeochemical cycles (phosphorus and nitrogen). The team's paper was published in Science on 16 January 2015.

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Five European Countries Urge Banning Microplastics [viewed]

UNEP16 January 2015: Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Sweden issued a joint call to ban the use of microplastics in personal care products, with the aim of protecting marine ecosystems, including seafood, from contamination. The countries forwarded their joint statement on eliminating microplastics in cosmetic and detergents to the European Union's (EU) environment ministers.

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World Bank Supports Coral Reef, Livelihood Revitalization in Indonesia [viewed]

Worldbanklogo8 January 2015: The World Bank has published a news feature detailing how its Coral Reef Rehabilitation and Management Program—Coral Triangle Initiative (COREMAP-CTI) is working to revive coral reefs and fisheries in Indonesia. The project aims to institutionalize a decentralized, integrated framework for the sustainable management of coral reef resources and associated ecosystems and biodiversity, as well as to improve community livelihoods and the local economy.

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FAO, GOF Announce 14 Regional ABNJ Leaders [viewed]

fao-gof-gefJanuary 2015: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the Global Ocean Forum (GOF) have announced the selection of 14 leaders for the first Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) Regional Leaders Program. The program aims to strengthen the capacity of leaders from small island developing States (SIDS) and developing countries to more effectively participate in global and regional ABNJ processes and to address issues in marine ABNJ.

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IMO Highlights 2014 Actions on Pollution Prevention, Marine Protection [viewed]

IMOJanuary 2015: The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has highlighted a series of eight environmental protection actions undertaken throughout 2014, including revisions to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Annexes on emission controls and implementation dates for cleaner engines and actions taken by its Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC).

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Australia Commits US$6 Million to CTI-CFF [viewed]

Coral Triangle InitiativeDecember 2014: The Government of Australia announced a commitment of US$6 million to the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI-CFF) at a World Parks Congress side event, titled ‘Celebrating Achievements in the Coral Triangle.' This funding builds on US$7.2 million that Australia has provided to the CTI since 2009, with the aim of developing a sustainable financing platform.

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