Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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Key issues covered during ICP-19 included the pervasive and complex nature of anthropogenic underwater noise and the need for standardizing data collection methodologies and monitoring.

Participants also discussed recognizing anthropogenic underwater noise as a form of pollution, including in SDG 14 indicators.

22 June 2018: The nineteenth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP-19) focused on anthropogenic underwater noise. Delegates also discussed inter-agency cooperation and coordination, the process for the selection of topics and panelists to facilitate the work of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), and issues that could benefit from attention in the future work of the UNGA on oceans and the law of the sea.

Participants to ICP-19 focused on key issues related to the sources, impacts and management of anthropogenic underwater noise. They noted the pervasive and complex nature of the issue, including its socioeconomic impacts on sectors such as tourism, fishing and transportation. They also discussed recognizing anthropogenic underwater noise as a form of pollution, including under SDG 14 indicators, and characterizing it as a form of transboundary pollution to be mitigated and addressed through an UNGA resolution. On monitoring, participants talked about the need for standardizing methodology and approaches to data collection, as well as addressing gaps in knowledge and data. They also discussed potential management approaches, including area-based management tools and environmental impact assessments.

On the final day of the meeting, Co-Chairs Kornelios Korneliou (Cyprus) and Pennelope Althea Beckles (Trinidad and Tobago) distributed a Co-Chairs’ summary of discussions, which was approved following a discussion.

The ICP was established in 1999 to support the UNGA’s review of developments in ocean affairs and the law of the sea, “with an emphasis on identifying areas where coordination and cooperation at the intergovernmental and inter-agency levels should be enhanced.” ICP-19 convened from 18-22 June 2018, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. [IISD RS coverage of ICP-19] [UNCLOS ICP Website]


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