SOI Dialogue Outcome Supports Cross-Sectoral Collaboration
UN Photo/Martine Perret
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The SOI Global Dialogue with Regional Seas Organizations and Regional Fishery Bodies discussed ways to accelerate achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the SDGs.

The meeting’s outcome document, the Seoul Outcome Plus +2, recognizes the role of cross-sectoral collaboration in enhancing ecosystem-based approaches and area management tools, and in preventing pollution.

The Seoul Outcome Plus +2 also proposes a roadmap to translate the meeting’s recommendations into practice.

13 April 2018: The second meeting of the Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) Global Dialogue with Regional Seas Organizations (RSOs) and Regional Fishery Bodies (RFBs) discussed ways and means to accelerate national and regional efforts to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the SDGs related to marine biodiversity. Participants agreed on the Seoul Outcome Plus +2, which focuses on ways to enhance cross-sectoral collaboration in support of the world’s oceans.

The meeting took place in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, from 10-13 April 2018, under the theme ‘Unlocking the potential for transformational change towards sustainability.’ The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), convened the meeting in collaboration with the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of the Republic of Korea. The Governments of the Republic of Korea, Japan, Sweden and the European Union (EU) provided financial support for the meeting.

“Piecemeal efforts” are not enough to put the world on a path to achieve transformational change for global biodiversity and sustainable oceans.

In opening remarks, Kang Joon-Suk, Vice Minister, Oceans and Fisheries, the Republic of Korea, highlighted the benefits to humanity provided by marine ecosystems and biodiversity. CBD Executive Secretary Cristiana Pasca Palmer observed that RFBs and RSOs are “intrinsically dependent on one another” to achieve their goals and mandates, just as the Aichi Targets and SDGs cannot be achieved in isolation. She stressed that there is “one interlinked and interdependent ocean” and “piecemeal efforts” are not enough to put the world on a path to achieve transformational change for global biodiversity and sustainable oceans. Takehiro Nakamura, UN Environment (UNEP), outlined progress in integrating policies to promote cross-sectoral ecosystem and coastal management, emphasizing that healthy ecosystems, and their functions, are the basis for sustainable economic growth and social development.

Plenary sessions focused on reviewing progress since the first SOI Global Dialogue, translating long-term thinking into short-term actions, progress towards a legally binding instrument on conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity and work on the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Participants addressed a number of additional topics, including marine spatial planning, the use of maritime safety tools, such as identification of Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas, to advance protection of vulnerable areas, development of an ocean governance toolkit, and the use of “essential ocean variables” as a way to focus and standardize data collection efforts.

On cross-sectoral collaboration, participants discussed cooperation at a regional scale and shared initiatives to strengthen regional ocean governance. Participants highlighted the need for scientific assessments, development and monitoring of targets and indicators and securing and optimizing resources to implement the SDGs and Aichi Targets. A plenary presentation discussed the role of cross-sectoral data sharing and collaboration in understanding the origin and composition of marine litter in the Pacific.

The Seoul Outcome Plus +2 states that cross-sectoral cooperation can enhance the application of the ecosystem approach, ecosystem-based management, effectiveness of area-based management tools, preventing, reducing and mitigating the impacts of pollution including marine debris and monitoring and sharing of data and information. The outcome document highlights that many regional organizations are in the process of integrating approaches and activities with a broader ecosystem focus and proposes a set of roadmap elements on possible ways and means to put the ‘Seoul Outcomes’ into practice. The outcome document is expected to be shared widely but will not be formally submitted for consideration to forthcoming meetings of the CBD.

The meeting featured a number of opportunities for sharing experiences, challenges, practices and knowledge, including a Partnership Networking Café. The café provided a space for participants to share experiences and identify opportunities for future collaboration. [IISD RS Coverage of SOI 2] [IISD RS Summary] [Meeting Website] [CBD Executive Secretary Opening Statement]

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