10×20 Steering Committee Discusses Support for SDG Target 14.5
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The Steering Committee of the 10x20 Initiative met to discuss concrete initiatives and next steps in support of the Initiative, which aims to promote the achievement of target 14.5 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which calls to, "By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information."

10x20initiative20 June 2016: The Steering Committee of the 10×20 Initiative met to discuss concrete initiatives and next steps in support of the Initiative, which aims to promote the achievement of target 14.5 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which calls to, “By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information.”

The meeting took place on 20 June 2016, at the UN Headquarters in NY, and was co-organized by the Permanent Missions of the Bahamas, Italy, Kenya, Palau and Poland, and the Ocean Sanctuary Alliance.

The 10X20 Initiative was launched in October 2015 by the Government of Italy and by the Ocean Sanctuary Alliance. Its steering committee includes representatives of governments, international organizations, NGOs and foundations, and serves as: the advocacy instrument for the initiative; a means for generating support for the voluntary creation of marine protected areas (MPAs); and a forum for exchanging knowledge and best practices. The Steering Committee is open to all UN Member States and stakeholders.

Ellen Pikitch, Institute for Ocean Conservation Science, Stony Brook University, spoke about a recent conference on ‘Marine Protected Areas: An Urgent Imperative – A Dialogue Between Scientists and Policymakers,’ which took place from 7-9 March 2016, in Rome, Italy. She said the conference was the first major event for mobilizing action to achieve SDG target 14.5, and resulted in: a Scientific Consensus Statement, focused on MPA characteristics, governance principles, and financing for effective MPAs; sharing case studies and lessons learned; and the Rome Call to Action. Steps to implement these outcomes will include: developing strategic partnerships; supporting selected activities and deliverables for the MPA Toolbox; pilot-testing MPA tools; regional and global knowledge-sharing; providing inputs to the UN Conference to Support the Implementation of SDG 14 (Fiji Conference); conducting a mapping exercise to identify globally agreed priorities for MPAs; developing a MPA Toolbox; convening economists to further develop tools for financial sustainability; convening experts and practitioners to develop governance tools; and testing MPA toolbox in regional trainings and local pilot projects. SDG 14 calls to ‘Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.’

Andrew Hudson, UN Development Programme (UNDP), said UNDP: supports 43 MPA projects in 37 countries; contributes to 10% of the ocean MPAs and has contributed to 5.3% of the global MPA achievement to date; and has provided US$31 million in cumulative Global Environment Facility (GEF) grants. He said that the GEF6 Biodiversity Strategy is relevant to MPA programming through its objective to “Improve sustainability of protected area systems” and its programmes on: improving financial sustainability and effective management of national ecological infrastructure; and “Nature’s last Stand: Expanding the Reach of the Global Protected Areas Estate.” He added that GEF cumulative financing to MPAs is US$36 million.

Chuck Fox, Ocean 5, presented the work of Ocean 5, an international funders’ collaborative comprised of philanthropists dedicated to protecting the world’s five oceans. He said Ocean 5 has invested US$9 million in 25 projects on MPAs and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), which the Board considers “seed funding.”

Caleb T. O. Otto, Permanent Representative of Palau, stressed the need to keep the sense of urgency that characterized the SDGs and the Paris Agreement on climate change. He said the Fiji Conference will be the first monitoring opportunity for SDG 14.

Peter Thomson, Permanent Representative of Fiji and incoming UN General Assembly (UNGA) President, announced that an advisory group has been appointed for the Fiji Conference, comprised of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), UNDP, the World Bank, GEF and the World Trade Organization (WTO). He said that during the Conference, seven Partnerships dialogues will address: MPAs; marine debris; fish stocks; blue economy; capacity building, training, and technology transfer; science; and governance. Thomson added that the organizers are setting up informal preparatory working groups on the seven areas to develop pledges, programmes, and partnerships that will be announced during the event. He observed that the 10×20 Steering Committee “is tailor-made to be the working group on MPAs.”

Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya, expressed confidence that the Fiji Conference can mobilize action around SDG 14, and expressed ambition for Kenya to host the next Conference on SDG 14 implementation. He stressed that one of the UN’s “major conversations” on science, technology and innovation (STI) should be on oceans, including through the next STI Forum, as oceans are essential for poverty eradication.

Italy announced that it will allocate US$1.3 million for SIDS’ preparations to establish MPAs. Sweden announced that it will provide funding in the run-up to the Fiji Conference, which could include MPAs. Kazakhstan noted that if 1% of every Member State’s defense budget is allocated to the SDGs Fund, this would take care of MPA needs. [10X20 Initiative] [Fiji Conference] [Rome Call to Action] [IISD RS Sources]


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