SIDE EVENT: A Sustainable Blue Pacific Continent – Scaling up action through Ocean Science, Policy and Traditional knowledge

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The United Nations Ocean Conference

27 June 1 July 2022 - Lisbon, Portugal

Integrated ocean management for a sustainable and Resilient Blue Pacific Continent - Scaling up innovative action for a healthy ocean, people and islands informed by science and traditional knowledge. To be held on Friday 1 July 2022, 14:30-15:45 local time in the Interactive Dialogue Room in the Lisbon Altice Arena Convention Center in Lisbon, Portugal.

An official UN Ocean side event jointly brought to you by The Pacific Community (SPC) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) with the co-organising partnership support of Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, France, French Polynesia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO), The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), and The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF).

A Sustainable Blue Pacific Continent: Scaling up action through Ocean Science and Traditional knowledge for informed governance’ Official Side Event.

Friday 1 July
14:30 – 15:45 (Portugal Time) | Interactive Dialogue Room

This event will be livestreamed: Watch the livestream here.

Integrated ocean management for a sustainable and Resilient Blue Pacific Continent. Scaling up innovative action for a healthy ocean, people and islands informed by science and traditional knowledge.

We are the Blue Pacific Continent: A region of Large Ocean Island States.  A healthy ocean is crucial for our survival and the cultural, spiritual, social and economic linkages inherent between our people, islands and ocean. The challenges we face in striving for ocean management are immense, but we need to and are working to overcome them. The UN Ocean Decade represents the opportunity of a lifetime for the Pacific.

Pacific island countries and territories are amongst the most vulnerable to climate change, living with its impacts are already part of our everyday life. Our homes and infrastructure are threatened with sea-level rise, the distribution and abundance of fish stocks in our Pacific EEZ will change impacting our economic revenue, and the coastal ecosystems that our Pacific communities rely upon are under threat – we are challenged with coral bleaching, and erosion and ocean acidification. The challenges of marine pollution further exacerbate the problem to our environment and human health.

In the face of climate change, ocean science, policy frameworks and traditional knowledge form the 3 pillars of the emerging integrated ocean management within National Ocean Policies. The Pacific was the first region to organise a planning workshop on the UN Decade of Ocean Science in 2019, agreeing on clear priorities.

Our special circumstances as Small Islands Developing States, being collective guardians of 30 million square kilometres of ocean will be highlighted as we strive for SDG14.  We have many stories to share as we strive to scale up our ocean action, based on science and innovation.  As empowered Large Ocean Island States this event will be a strong catalyst for building, and enhancing current, partnerships for solutions to our challenges. 

We will amplify our Pacific voices on the global stage, as we share our aspirations, experiences and initiatives. We want to highlight how we are applying our best available science and traditional knowledge in order to forge new and strengthen existing partnerships to enable us to achieve SDG14. It will also showcase how the UN decade of Ocean Science can be leveraged to bring solutions and actions toward a sustainable Blue Pacific.

This side event will include the following announcement, events, and discussions:

Master of Ceremony: Mr. Sefanaia Nawadra, Director General of SPREP

French Polynesia: Coral Reef Protection
on  Mr. Heremoana MAAMAATUAIAHUTAPU, Minister of Culture, Environment and Marine Resources, French Polynesia

Samoa: Weather-Ready Pacific – A Decadal Programme of Investment 
H.E Dr Fatumanava-o-Upolu III Pa'olelei Luteru, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of the Independent State of Samoa to the United Nations

Australia: Pacific Ocean Litter Project  Richard Bontjer, Director, Environment, Oceans and Biodiversity Section, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Papua New Guinea: Marine Scientific Research Database and Monitoring System
Dr  Eric Kwa- Department of Justice Attorney General

Fiji:  Ocean Climate Nexus 

Mr. Filimone Ralogaivau from the Climate Change and International Cooperation. Ministry of Economy for Fiji

Aotearoa/ New Zealand:  Science, governance and traditional knowledge under the UN Decade, both in Aoteraoa New Zealand and in the Pacific  
Nicola Reid, NZ Permanent Delegate to UNESCO

Signature of an MoU between IOC-UNESCO and SPC formalising collaboration between IOC-UNESCO, SPC and Members
Dr. Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of IOC/UNESCO,

Cameron Diver, Deputy-Director General SPC 

Questions and Answers from the Floor 

The side event will conclude with Ms. Mia Kami, Tongan Singer/Songwriter

Pacific science and traditional knowledge take centre stage on final day of UN Ocean Conference.

1 July 2022, Lisbon Portugal, UNOC 2022 - Pacific Islands showcasing Pacific solutions to the global ocean crisis took centre stage today.  The Pacific’s regional scientific and environmental organisations came together to co-host an official side event at the United Nations Oceans Conference in partnership with Member States and partners.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme have organised the side event to highlight how the Pacific islands region is applying the best available science and traditional knowledge to forge and strengthen partnerships to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 14. 

The Pacific Islands region is working across the UN decade of Ocean Science to bring solutions and actions to build a sustainable Blue Pacific.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Director-General Cameron Diver said, “A healthy ocean is our greatest nature-based solution to so many development challenges and partnerships are central to developing and implementing solutions that help ensure a sustainable Pacific Ocean and thereby a sustainable future for the countries and communities SPC serves, and also for all those around the globe who, whether they realise it or not, rely daily on the world’s greatest ocean for so many different things”

Titled ‘A Sustainable Blue Pacific Continent: Scaling up action through Ocean Science and Traditional knowledge for informed governance, the side event was held on the final day of the United Nations Ocean Conference where global leaders adopted a ‘one ocean, one voice’ approach.

Sustainable development goal is the least funded of all the SDGs with only 1% of available funding going to the Pacific.

In a week that saw Pacific leaders urging the international community to support sustainable blue economies to combat plastic pollution and protect marine biodiversity the side event showcased the vital work being done in the region that has the most to lose from inaction on ocean health. 

“Partnerships underpin our work at SPREP.  We are the ocean, the ocean is ours, our solutions for improved ocean health must be done together in partnership. Working collectively to amplify our Pacific voices at the UN Ocean Conference has led to a louder message being echoed in these halls,” said Mr Sefanaia Nawadra, Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

“We look forward to continuing working with you all in partnership, for our Pacific Ocean leadership. We are excited by the opportunities to scale up our Pacific action through ocean science and traditional knowledge for informed governance.”

The side event was moderated by the Director General, Mr Sefanaia Nawadra, of SPREP.  It featured Hon. Mr Heremoana Maamaatuaiahutapu, Minister of Culture, Environment and Marine Resources of French Polynesia who presented on Coral Reef Action H.E Dr Fatumanava-o-Upolu III Pa'olelei Luteru, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of the Independent State of Samoa to the United Nations presented on Samoa: Weather Ready Pacific – A Decadal Programme of Investment.

Mr Richard Bontjer, Director, Environment, Oceans and Biodiversity Section, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia who spoke on the Pacific Ocean Little Project; Dr Eric Kwa of the Papua New Guinea Department of Justice Attorney General presented on the Marine Scientific Research Database and Monitoring System, Mr Filimone Ralogaivau from Climate Change and International Cooperation of the Ministry of Economy for Fiji; Ms Nicola Reid, the New Zealand Permanent Delegate to UNESCO the Science, governance and traditional knowledge under the UN Decade, both in Aotearoa New Zealand and in the Pacific.

The event also saw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between IOC-UNESCO and SPC formalising collaboration between IOC-UNESCO, SPC and Members. The MoU was signed by Dr. Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of IOC/UNESCO and Cameron Diver, Deputy-Director General SPC.

It closed with a song by Mia Kami.

The UN Ocean side event was held on 1 July from 2.30 to 3.45pm facilitated by the Pacific Community and Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) with the co-organising partnership support of Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, France, French Polynesia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, FFA, and The Pacific Islands Forum.

Below is a list of further UN Ocean Conference events Pacific Community is participating in:

Please note this list is subject to change.

AOSIS: A New Frontier in Marine Science and Innovation for Small Island Developing States (Launch of Declaration) More information available here

1300-1415 | Interactive Dialogue Room

Featuring Pacific Community Deputy Director General Cameron Driver

Future of Food is Blue: Coalition Acts to Support Responsible Development of Aquatic Foods and Thriving Communities. More information available here

13:00-14:15 | Side Event Room 1

Featuring Pacific Community Deputy Director General Cameron Driver and Inland Aquaculture Advisor Timothy Pickering

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Fostering international and regional cooperation in support of the sustainable development of the blue economy in LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS. More information available here

08:00 | 09:30 | Hotel Olissipo Oriente, Room Pequim B 

Featuring Head of the Pacific Community Centre for Ocean Science (PCCOS), Jerome Aucan.

 

Taking Action to Address Ocean Acidification and Implement SDG 14.3

14:30-15:45 | Committee Room. More information coming soon

Featuring the Pacific Community Centre for Ocean Science (PCCOS) Coordinator Dr. Katy Soapi.

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Advancing women empowerment and leadership in marine scientific research to support inclusive sustainable ocean governance.  More information available here

08:00-09:30 | Hotel Olissipo Oriente - Room Pequim B

Featuring the Pacific Community Centre for Ocean Science (PCCOS) Coordinator Dr. Katy Soapi.

 

Interactive Dialogue on the Theme - Increasing scientific knowledge and developing research capacity and transfer of marine technology.

10:00-13:00   | Tejo Hall, at the Altice Arena

Featuring Pacific Community Deputy Director General Cameron Driver

 

The need for an International Panel for Ocean Sustainability (IPOS) More information available here

17:00-18:00 | Maritime Museum in Lisbon

Featuring Pacific Community Deputy Director General Cameron Driver

 

Ocean Science Capacity as a Condition to Achieving SDG 14: Perspectives and Solutions.  More information available here

18:00 – 20:00 | Leónides Room at the Myriad Crystal Center

Featuring the Pacific Community Centre for Ocean Science (PCCOS) Coordinator Dr. Katy Soapi.

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13:00-1415 | Altice Arena Side Event Room 2

Building inclusive leadership and cross-sectoral collaboration for a thriving ocean. (Planeta Oceano, Biosfera, UNESCO-- Ocean Literacy, Cultural Heritage)  More information available here

Featuring Pacific Community Team Leader Ocean Management and Literacy, Molly Powers

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Save our Ocean, Protect our Future

The Ocean Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, comes at a critical time as the world is seeking to address many of the deep-rooted problems of our societies laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic and which will require major structural transformations and common shared solutions that are anchored in the SDGs. To mobilize action, the Conference will seek to propel much needed science-based innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action.

Solutions for a sustainably managed ocean involve green technology and innovative uses of marine resources. They also include addressing the threats to health, ecology, economy and governance of the ocean - acidification, marine litter and pollution, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and the loss of habitats and biodiversity.

More about the Conference >

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Division
Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability (CCES) Programme
Fisheries, Aquaculture & Marine Ecosystems (FAME) Division
Geoscience, Energy and Maritime (GEM) Division
Pacific Community Centre for Ocean Science (PCCOS)

Author(s)