Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts and Islands
The Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts and Islands was created by an informal coordinating group at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002. With IOC as UNESCO focal point, the Global Forum is comprised of individuals from governments, IGOs, NGOs and the private sector, and serves as a platform for cross-sectoral information sharing and dialogue on issues affecting oceans, coasts and islands, with the goal of attaining sustainable development in these areas.
Among past activities, following a first conference in Paris in December 2001, the second Oceans, Coasts and Islands Conference was held at UNESCO House in Paris in November 2003.
'Moving the Global Oceans Agenda Forward' was the focus of the Third Global Conference (Paris, 23-28 January 2006). Among twelve panel sessions, Panel 10 (on 26 January) dealt with 'Improving High Seas Governance', including issues related to deep seabed and other marine genetic resources and their bioprospecting. More informal small-group sessions addressed such topics as ‘Island Life – island biodiversity, livelihoods and international agreements’, ‘Ecosystem management and integrated management of oceans and coasts’ and ‘Biodiversity and networks of marine protected areas’.
Results of the Paris Global Conference provided input to several subsequent conferences and meetings in 2006, including the Fouth World Water Forum (Mexico City, Mexico, 16-22 March), the seventh meeting of the UN Open-Ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (New York, 12-16 June) and the Second Intergovernmental Review of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (Beijing, China, 16-20 October).
Among its channels for diffusing information, the Forum produces an electronically accessible newsletter