Posted by: Hendra Siry | 10 May, 2008

GCO Conference Output – Well worth a look

The 4th Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands (GCO): Advancing Ecosystem Management and Integrated Coastal and Ocean Management in the Context of Climate Change, April 7-11, 2008,  Hanoi, Vietnam

The 4th Global Conference brought together 430 ocean and coastal leaders from 71 countries, representing all sectors, including governments, intergovernmental and international organizations, non-governmental organizations, the business community, ocean donors, and scientific institutions. The conference assessed essential issues in the governance of the world’s oceans, with a focus on moving toward an ecosystem-based and integrated approach to oceans governance at national, regional, and global levels. For the first time, a concerted effort was made to bring oceans policy together with climate change, which, as indicated in the 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will have profound effects on ecosystems and coastal populations around the world, especially among the poorest people on Earth and in small island developing States.

The conference focused especially on assessing the progress that has been achieved (or lack thereof) on the global oceans targets established by the world’s political leaders at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development: Achieving ecosystem-based and integrated ocean and coastal management by 2010, reducing marine biodiversity loss and of establishing networks of marine protected areas by 2012, restoring fishery stocks by 2015, among others.

The conference underlined that ocean and coastal managers are at the front line of climate changes. The climate issues that ocean and coastal leaders around the world will need to face will ineradicably
change the nature of ocean and coastal management, introducing increased uncertainty, the need to incorporate climate change planning into all existing management processes, the need to develop and apply new tools related to vulnerability assessment, and the need to make difficult choices in what in many cases will be “no win” situations, involving adverse impacts to vulnerable ecosystems and communities. Conference participants underlined that we must begin this process now, including altering coastal development that is already in the pipeline–we don’t have the luxury of waiting 10
years before we consider the implications and before we act.

The Global Forum, the World Ocean Network, and the World Ocean Observatory have created a special GOC2008 website and YouTube channel designed specifically to inform audiences across the world
about the context and work of the Global Forum using rich media. You are kindly invited to view the proceedings of the conference through multiple media, including the following:

GOC2008 Website

GOC2008 YouTube Channel

You will be able to:

  • Explore the proceedings of the Conference and each major ocean issue being addressed.
  • View the reports, recommendations, and Policy Briefs of the Global Forum’s 12 Working Groups, involving about 250 experts from 68 countries, which have been mobilizing to provide
    recommendations on priority next steps that the international community should take on major ocean issues.
  • See short video interviews and podcasts of ocean and coastal experts from various sectors around the globe as well as the presentations and movie clips illustrating major ocean issues.

Source: Mailing list UN Nippon Fellows, April 2008.


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