Coastal and Marine Resources

Extract from the Mauritius Strategy (Chapter IV, paras 26-32)

26. Small island developing States are defined by their historic, cultural and economic links to the oceans and seas. They continue to be heavily dependent on their marine resources, particularly for the sustainable livelihoods of coastal communities. The management of coastal and marine resources have become integrated into broader ocean management strategies since the entry into force of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. However, for small island developing States that are States parties to the Convention, implementation continues to be impeded by financial constraints and a lack of capacity. 27. To overcome these constraints, it is important to give appropriate priority at all levels, including in national and regional sustainable development agendas, to ocean issues, including fisheries. Further action is required by small island developing States, with the necessary support of the international community, to enable small island developing States to, among other things:

(a) Complete the delimitation of their maritime boundaries;

(b) Submit any claims to the Continental Shelf Commission by 13 May 2009 or such later date as may be applicable in accordance with the provisions of the Convention on the Law of the Sea;

(c) Further the work on the assessment of living and non-living seabed resources within their national jurisdiction.

28. Further action is required by Small Island developing States, with the necessary support of the International community, to build technical and financial capacities to:

(a) Establish effective monitoring, reporting and enforcement, and control of fishing vessels, including by Small Island developing States as flag States, to further implement international plans of action to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and to manage fishing capacity;

(b) Strengthen or develop, where necessary, national and regional sustainable and responsible fisheries management mechanisms consistent with the 1995 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries;

(c) Fully implement surveillance and monitoring systems;

(d) Analyse and assess the status of fish stocks;

(e) If they have not yet done so, consider becoming parties to the 1995 Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 1993 Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas, as well as relevant regional agreements for the conservation and management of fisheries;

(f) Establish or enhance the necessary infrastructure and legislative and enforcement capabilities to ensure effective compliance with, and implementation and enforcement of, their responsibilities under international law. In this regard, until such action is undertaken Small Island developing States flag are encouraged to consider declining the granting of the right to fly their flag to new vessels, suspending their registry.

29. Distant-water fishing nations are encouraged to provide small island developing States with adequate technical and financial support to enhance the effective and sustainable management of their fisheries resources. 30. In collaboration with other States and making use of regional mechanisms, small island developing States will work to put in place integrated policies and sound management approaches, such as marine protected areas, consistent with relevant international agreements, and develop national capacity to monitor, conserve and sustainably manage coral reefs and associated ecosystems, taking into account the programme of work on marine and coastal biological diversity adopted by the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its seventh session. Small island developing States should address as a priority the impacts of coastal development, coastal tourism, intensive and destructive fishing practices and pollution, as well as the unreported and illegal trade in corals, on the future health of coral reefs. To facilitate these initiatives, the international community should provide technical and financial support for:

(a) Regional monitoring efforts and Global Ocean Observing System;

(b) Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission marine science programmes that are of particular relevance to the Small Island developing States;

(c) The strengthening, where appropriate, of representative networks of marine protected areas, consistent with decision VII/28 of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity;

(d) Activities to address the impact of coral bleaching, including enhancing resistance of recovery.

31. Small Island developing States and relevant regional and international development partners should work together to develop and implement regional initiatives to promote the sustainable conservation and management of coastal and marine resources, drawing upon best practices from other regions, including the Pacific Islands Regional Ocean Policy, the designation of the Caribbean Sea as a special area in the context of sustainable development, the ocean governance project involving all regions, and the establishment of related initiatives in other small island developing States regions.

32. Small Island developing States and the international development partners should fully implement the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities, particularly with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme, by undertaking initiatives specifically addressing the vulnerability of Small Island developing States.

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