Oceans at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). Building Ocean and Coastal Sustainability and Greening the Blue Economy

© UN

71% of our planet is covered by the ocean, and given the importance of the ocean as the life support system of Planet Earth, it is necessary for UNCSD-Rio+20 to pay due attention to the needs of the ocean, and to the hundreds of millions of people who depend on healthy ocean ecosystems for their very survival.

Ocean issues are global and affect all Nations. Many developing nations and particularly SIDS still lack the scientific and management technologies and knowledge to effectively manage their marine areas, as defined by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Capacity building to ensure that all coastal states can plan and contribute to sustaining a viable ocean remains a key priority.

Rio+20 seeks three objectives: securing renewed political commitment to sustainable development, assessing the progress and implementation gaps in meeting already agreed commitments, and addressing new and emerging challenges.

The following two themes for the Conference have also been defined: green economy within the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and institutional framework for sustainable development.

The ocean must be considered within all of the Rio+20 themes and objectives:
(i) there is a need to renew political commitments in a number of areas as previously agreed targets have not been met by the international community;
(ii) there are new challenges that are affecting the marine environment that need to be addressed with various degree of urgency as these are impacting ecosystems and people;
(iii) the ocean can provide a source of sustainable development and create social and economic benefits to humanity through the greening of the Blue economy , including in the area of climate regulation, energy and food security; whilst at the same time contingencies needs devised in view of looming ocean environmental crisis;
(iv) the international governance framework regulating the ocean needs to be reformed to be more efficient and address ocean issues in a more integrated manner.

This side event will provide an opportunity for :
- Sensitizing Member States on the objectives and issues that will be negotiated at Rio+20 conference, from an ocean perspective;
- Highlighting the initiatives that UNESCO/IOC, and other UN agencies (UNDP, IMO, FAO) are taking to highlight the role of oceans in sustainable development, including in the formulation of key proposals that could be agreed by Member States at Rio.
- Providing a forum for Member States to present their perspectives on key ocean issues and national preparation for Rio+20.

The side event will also be the occasion of the launch of the UN Paper ‘Blueprint for ocean and coastal sustainability’ prepared by IOC/UNESCO, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the International Maritime Organizationn (IMO), as a contribution to the Rio+20 preparatory process.

Press and Media representatives will be in attendance. A 15 minutes Q/A session will take place at the end of the side event.


Type of Event Special Event
Start 01.11.2011 12:00 local time
End 01.11.2011 14:00 local time
Date to be fixed 0
Focal point Barbière, Julian
Organizer UNESCO
Contact j.barbiere@unesco.org
Country France
City Paris
Venue UNESCO Headquarters
Street 7, place de Fontenoy
Room Room IX
Permanent Delegation Contact
Major Programme
Language of Event English, French
Estimated number of participants 50 TO 60
Official Website Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)
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