World Oceans Day 2017 – “Our Oceans, Our Future”

Puntarenas, Costa Rica. 8 to 9 June 2017 – Hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica and UN Environment

The CLME+ Project Coordination Unit and several of the CLME+ Project Partners participated in the Global Dialogue on Oceans, an event that raised awareness of the threats facing the oceans and affirmed commitments to reduce pollution and achieve SDG 14 on the sustainable use of the ocean.

At this event, the Government of Costa Rica announced the creation of a new marine protected area: the Cabo Blanco Managed Protected Area. While this area is located in the Pacific Ocean, its objectives are similar of those promoted by the CLME+ SAP (protection of coral reefs, conservation of commercially important fish stocks and halt overfishing), and is an example worth following.

Also at this event, the CLME+ Project Coordinator introduced the (soon-to-be-launched) Global “CLME+ Partnership” for the Sustainable Management, Use and Protection of the Marine Environment in the CLME+ region. The core of this Partnership will be formed by CLME+ countries and the “CLME+ SAP Interim Coordination Mechanism”, i.e. a grouping of 8 Inter-Governmental Organizations with a regional mandate on ocean governance. The Partnership will further engage additional stakeholders from different sectors of society (NGOs, private sector, development banks and the donor community, among others) to support and ensure coordinated implementation of the CLME+ SAP.

Patrick Debels, CLME+ Project Coordinator, presenting at World Oceans Day, © Chris Cox

The Global Dialogue featured sectorial panel discussions on tourism, transport, agriculture and conservation, focusing on innovation and action. Panels joined representatives of the Ministries of Environment of Colombia and the Philippines as well as the private sector, NGOs and civil society organizations. During the final roundtable discussion, notable interventions of the Governments of Guatemala, El Salvador and Barbados were made on the need for enhanced monitoring and reporting of the state of coasts and oceans. The CLME+ PCU and Partners are delighted in this context to be able to confirm their ongoing support for such initiatives through the CLME+ Project, with specific activities including the development and delivery, in the coming years, of the first versions of the “State of the Cartagena Convention Area” reports and the more integrated “State of the Marine Ecosystems and Associated Economies in the CLME+ Region” (SOMEE) reporting mechanism.

The outcomes of the discussions will be presented at the third session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA), to take place in December 2017, with as overarching theme: “pollution”. The Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, Dr. Edgar Gutiérrez, currently holds the position of President of the UN Environment Assembly – a distinct honor for our region!