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UN launches ocean protection initiative

The new Compact, “Healthy Oceans for Prosperity”, aims to bring all parts of the United Nations system together in improving the coordination and effectiveness of its work on oceans. The Oceans Compact is a follow up of the Secretary-General’s announcement earlier this year of his Five-year Action Agenda, which includes oceans as a main category.

Ban Ki Moon   Ban Ki Moon (Copyright: United Nations - Geneva)

 

The Oceans Compact intends to mobilize and enhance the United Nations system´s capacity to support action by Governments while promoting the engagement of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, scientists, the private sector and industry to tackle challenges in protecting and restoring the health and productivity of the oceans for the benefit of present and future generations.

It sets out a strategic vision, consistent with the Rio+20 outcome document, “The Future We Want”, in which countries agreed on a range of measures to be taken to protect the oceans and promote sustainable development.

In addition, the Oceans Compact supports the implementation of relevant existing instruments, in particular the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. With the goal of achieving “Healthy Oceans for Prosperity”, the Compact establishes three objectives: protecting people and improving the health of oceans; protecting, recovering and sustaining ocean environments and natural resources; and strengthening ocean knowledge and management.

Besides providing a platform for all stakeholders to collaborate and accelerate progress towards promoting healthy oceans, the Compact will be underpinned by pragmatic short-, medium- and long-term strategies aimed at increasing coordination and cooperation at the national, regional and global levels, as well as within the United Nations system. The intention is to address the cumulative impacts of sectoral activities on the marine environment, including by implementing ecosystem and precautionary approaches.

In the Compact, the Secretary-General proposes the creation of an oceans advisory group comprising the executive heads of the United Nations system organizations involved, high-level policymakers, scientists, leading ocean experts, as well as representatives of the private sector, non-governmental organizations and civil society. The advisory group would also advise on strategies for mobilizing the resources needed to implement the Oceans Compact Action Plan.

More information: UN website

 

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