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Side Event

Pacific Ocean 2020 Challenge - a healthy ocean for future generations

World Future Council

Date and Time
28 October 2010 13:15 - 14:45

Tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 10)

The respectfully requested CBD COP 10 side event aims at informing about the new Pacific Ocean 2020 Challenge Initiative which was kick-started in July 2010. Seven Governments (California, Fiji, Micronesia, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vietnam) participated in the founding meeting. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Prime Minister of Tonga have already endorsed the initiative with more head of states to come over the following months. The initiative will also be introduced during a special plenary session at the California and the World Oceans Conference in San Francisco at the beginning of September 2010. The overall aim of this high-level policy initiative is to bring regional, national and local initiatives such as the West Coast Governors Agreement on Ocean Health (WCGA), the Coral Triangle Initiative, the Micronesia Challenge or the Pacific Oceanscapes together and to encourage Governments and authorities to take critical steps to addressing the major challenges to the Pacific by 2020. The Centre for Oceans Solutions Four has outlined four major threats - overfishing, habitat destruction and climate change – in its recently released synthesis of over 3,400 peer-reviewed papers looking at the Pacific. To date, over 425 scientists from around the globe have signed onto a consensus statement corroborating the findings of this report. This statement not only provides a scientific basis for key leaders and decision makers throughout the Pacific region collectively to call for immediate action, but also represents the first time in history the scientific community has come together to speak with one voice to express a united sense of urgency about the threats facing the biodiversity of the Pacific Ocean. These threats are faced by all Pacific Rim and Pacific Island nations (independent from their wealth, population, size, and culture). This highlights the need for regional solutions. Comprising half the world's ocean area and one-third of the earth’s surface, the Pacific Ocean is the largest single geographic feature on our planet. It is home to most of the earth’s biodiversity, and it supports hundreds of millions of people. Despite its great importance, it is not being sustainably managed. The presence of these threats across the Pacific suggests that effective solutions to these problems will have major beneficial impacts for societies across the Pacific Ocean. One of the major solutions to addressing these challenges outlined in the Pacific Synthesis report is regional partnerships and regional agreements that forge partnerships across political boundaries and combines resources to address common problems. Suggested speakers: 1. IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre: The need for the Pacific Ocean 2020 Challenge Initiative 2. Permanent Secretary for Environment and Climate Change, Rence Sore, Solomon Islands: A call for joint actions 3. Founder of the World Future Council Jakob von Uexküll: The need for best-policies to manage and conserve ocean biodiversity