DSCC News

Text of Manado Ocean Declaration

26 May 2009 MANADO OCEAN DECLARATION

(ADOPTED ON 14 MAY 2009, IN MANADO)

We, the Ministers and the Heads of Delegations assembled at the World Ocean Conference to discuss threats to the ocean, the effects of climate change on the ocean, and the role of ocean In climate change, held in Manado, Indonesia, on May 14, 2009,

RECALLING the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), as the instrument that sets out the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, 1972, and its 1996 Protocol,

RECOGNIZING 'that oceans and coasts provide valuable resources and services to support human populations, particularly coastal communities that depend heavily on them, and that the sustainable use of marine living resources will enhance global food security and contribute towards poverty reduction for present and future generations,

EXPRESSING CONCERN over the degradation of the marine environment, in particular the loss of marine biodiversity, and marine ecosystems continuing to be threatened. by land-based and sea-based pollution, alien invasive species, unsustainable use of marine and coastal resources, physical alteration, poor land-use planning, and socio-economic pressures,

EQUALLY CONCERNED over marine ecosystems and living resources being affected by sea level rise, increased water temperature, ocean acidification, changing weather patterns, and other variations that may result from climate change, and how these alterations may aggravate the existing pressures of marine environmental degradation and increase risks to global food security, economic prosperity, and the well-being of human populations,

NOTING the finding of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that climate change will especially affect ecosystems, in particular mangroves, salt marshes, and low-lying coastal systems; certain regions, including the Arctic, Africa, Small Islands, and Asian and African megadeltas; and certain people, including the poor, young children, and the elderly, and reports of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) that identified key issues and consequences of climate change for fisheries,

MINDFUL that progressive acidification of ocean water and increasing temperature will have negative impacts on marine biota, particularly shell-forming organisms, their dependent species, and coral reef structure and function,

RECOGNIZING ALSO that sea level rise due to thermal expansion of the oceans and melting of ice sheets and glaciers are threatening the very existence of unprotected coastal communities situated at locations that are marginally above present sea level, and are increasing the vulnerability and isolation of small islands and low-lying coastal communities, due to their dependence on the coastal environment, fisheries, and critical infrastructure,

ALSO MINDFUL of the potential impact of climate change on the attainment of relevant internationally agreed sustainable development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Development Goals, particularly for Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States,

RECOGNIZING the crucial role of the ocean as a component of the global climate system and in moderating its weather systems, and that the oceanographic processes that result from this interaction will affect the rate of climate change,

NOTING the recent increase in the intensity of hurricanes, and projections regarding typhoons, tropical cyclones, and meteorological events worldwide and resultant damages especially to the developing countries, leading to socio┬Čeconomic challenges,

EMPHASIZING that greater participation and investment in coastal and ocean observing systems and the wide availability of data from these systems would allow for better assessment and monitoring of changes in coastal ecosystems and the ocean environment, including those resulting from climate change and climate variability, and that interdisciplinary research and monitoring systems play a significant role in reducing uncertainties with regard to the effects of climate change on the ocean, and supporting ecosystem-based management,

RECOGNIZING that healthy and productive coastal ecosystems, already increasingly stressed by land-based and sea-based sources of pollution, coastal development, and habitat destruction, have a growing role in mitigating the effects of climate change on coastal communities and economies in the near term,

RECOGNIZING that an integrated coastal and ocean management approach is a key in promoting resilience, and thus fundamental to preparing for and adapting to the effects of climate change on the ocean,

RECOGNIZING the importance of building coastal and ocean resilience in the face of recent global crises pertaining to energy, food supplies, and financial systems.

We declare the following:

1. We will strive to achieve long-term conservation, management and sustainable use of marine living resources and coastal habitats through appropriate application of the precautionary and ecosystem approaches, and to implement long-term strategies in meeting the internationally agreed sustainable development goals, including those contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration that are related to the marine environment, and in so doing will strengthen global partnerships for development.

2. We stress the need for national strategies for sustainable management of coastal and marine ecosystems, in particular mangrove, wetland, sea-grass, estuary and coral reef, as protective and productive buffer zones that deliver valuable ecosystem goods and services that have significant potential for addressing the adverse effects of climate change.

3. We will implement integrated coastal and ocean management, including marine and coastal land use planning, to minimize and reduce the risk and vulnerability of coastal communities and critical infrastructure.

4. We will strive to reduce pollution of ocean, coastal and land areas and to promote sustainable management of fisheries in accordance with relevant international agreements and codes of conduct in order to enhance the health and thus the resilience of coastal and marine ecosystems.

5. We will cooperate in furthering marine scientific research and sustained integrated ocean observation systems; promote education and public awareness; work together for the improved understanding on the role of oceans on climate change and vice-versa, and its effects on marine ecosystems, marine biodiversity and coastal communities, especially in developing countries and small island states; invite scientific community/institutions to continue developing reliable scientific information on the roles of coastal wetlands, mangrove, algae, sea-grass and coral reef ecosystems in reducing the effects of climate change; share the knowledge on available best practices on the dynamic relationship between oceans and climate; continue promoting consideration of this relationship in other ocean related fora; and to incorporate this knowledge into advice on sustainable management practices.

6. We will promote gathering and exchange of information related to climate change impacts on marine ecosystems, communities, fisheries and other industries; emergency preparedness, monitoring, and forecasting climate change, and ocean variability; and improving public awareness of early warning system capacity.

7. We emphasize the need to develop, consistent with international commitments. comprehensive adaptation measures including within national sustainable development strategies to address climate-related impacts on oceans and coasts, and to develop environmentally sound policies for integrated coastal and ocean management based on reliable scientific assessments and internationally agreed goals, particularly for the most vulnerable communities that fully depend on marine resources for their livelihood.

8. We resolve to promote, for the purposes of increasing coral atolls and coastal communities resilience and preparation for the impacts of climate change on oceans, the development of national adaptation measures that include the effective use of all relevant information, climate-impact projection scenarios, early warning systems, disaster risk reduction and risk assessment, and vulnerability mapping to identify priorities for short-term and long-term actions.

9. We will strive to implement sustainable development strategies, including through, inter-alia, appropriately applying a precautionary approach to coastal and ocean management in addressing the adverse effects of climate change on oceans, and in this regard, we will take adequate measures to reduce sources of marine pollution, assure integrated management, and rehabilitate coastal ecosystems such as estuaries, coastal wetlands, mangroves, coral reefs, sea-grass beds, and sand dunes with particular attention to sedimentations as well.

10. We stress the need for financial resources and incentives to further assist developing countries' efforts in promoting diversified, environmentally sustainable livelihood options for coastal communities most vulnerable to climate change.

11. We also stress the need to promote affordable, environmentally sound, and renewable ocean technologies and know-how, particularly in developing countries, noting the relevant provisions in the UNFCCC.

12. We invite Parties to the UNFCCC to consider developing and submitting climate change adaptation project proposals for coastal and ocean management to the Adaptation Fund Board for consideration.

13. We will work, individually or collectively and in collaboration with relevant regional and international organizations and regional seas programmes, to enhance scientific monitoring activities in accordance with international law related to the marine environment and to develop ways and means to adapt to the effects of climate change on the ocean.

14. We resolve to continue, at regional and national levels, to exchange lessons learned and best practices, and to enhance assessment of the vulnerability of oceans and coasts to the effects of climate change in order to facilitate the implementation of adaptation measures.

15. We resolve to further establish and effectively manage marine protected areas, including representative resilient networks, in accordance with international law, as reflected in UNCLOS, and on the basis of the best available science, recognizing the importance of their contribution to ecosystem goods and services, and to contribute to the effort to conserve biodiversity, sustainable livelihoods and to adapt to climate change.

16. We will promote the Large Marine Ecosystem approach that enhances institutional and international cooperation among countries sharing marine ecosystems and their resources, due to its wide vision considering pollution, fisheries, primary production, environmental monitoring, socio┬Čeconomic development, and governance.

17. We thank the United Nations Secretary-General for providing an overview of ongoing United Nations actions in key climate change-related areas, which provides useful information on oceans and climate activities.

18. We encourage the efforts of the United Nations Secretary-General to facilitate cooperation and coordination in the UN System to address climate change, to emphasize the importance of ensuring that activities relating to the ocean continue to be reflected in this process.

19. We recognize the importance of improving understanding of the impact of climate change on the ocean and the need to consider ocean dimensions to inform adaptation and mitigation strategies, as appropriate, and in this regard we reiterate the contribution of the 2009 World Ocean Conference.

20. We welcome the efforts of the Coral Triangle Initiative as one of the means of carrying forward the vision of the 2009 World Ocean Conference.

21. We reiterate the importance of achieving an effective outcome at the COP-15 of the UNFCCC in Copenhagen 2009 and invite parties to consider how the coastal and ocean dimension could be appropriately reflected in their decision.

We express our recognition to the Government and people of the Republic of Indonesia for their initiative to convene the World Ocean Conference held in Manado and our deepest gratitude for their hospitality and generosity.