Ocean ecosystem goods and services are critical for the survival in all countries, especially in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as those comprising the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Effective ocean governance is essential if those ecosystem services are to be sustained for present and future generations; the purpose of all SDG14 targets. Effective ocean governance requires arrangements that are ecosystem-based and conform to internationally accepted principles. To be effective, arrangements must be integrated across sectors and levels of ocean governance, from local to global. The Caribbean Community is of the view that focused attention on these arrangements is needed if there is to be significant progress towards SDG14 targets by 2030.
Despite longstanding recognition of the above requirements, ocean governance arrangements are fragmented and often ineffective. For biodiversity, fisheries, pollution and climate change alone there are 23 global and more than 120 regional agreementsi. There is an overall pattern to these arrangements that can be useful in determining the way forward. There are major global networks for the key issues mentioned above that are primarily led by UN agencies with several regional sub-bodies. In addition there are several regional networks that include: regional sub-bodies of UN organisations, ‘indigenous’ii regional organisations, regional arms of global NGOs and regional NGOs. Together these global and regional networks, if rationalized, connected and strengthened could provide a working global ocean governance framework for oceans that will enable achievement of the SDG14 targetsiii.
Strengthening regional networks of arrangements must include treating them as entities, not just sets of unconnected organisations that happen to share the same ocean space. It must include analysis of challenges, and the identification and strengthening of coordinating mechanisms. Some SIDS rich regions, such as the Pacific Islands Region, The Wider Caribbean, the Mediterranean and the Western Indian Ocean are actively and explicitly working on developing regional ocean governance. There are lessons to be learned and shared among these regions, as well as from other regions, both developed and developing, with fewer SIDS.
The Caribbean Community has been working with its partners in the Wider Caribbean Region on improving regional ocean governance arrangements and is interested in sharing its experiences with other regions as well as learning from theirs. ? In this regard, the CLME + project partnership for the Wider Caribbean Region will be introduced.
Purpose of the side event
The general purpose of this Side Event would is to discuss the following questions:
· What must we do to strengthen ocean governance at the regional level in all regions of the world?
· How should the global-regional nexus for ocean governance be structured, managed and monitored
· What have we learned from regional ocean governance initiatives around the world?
The objective of the side-event will be to develop concrete recommendations for advancing joint initiatives for advancing good oceans governance as a cornerstone of SIDS Sustainable Development