A number of key challenges face the efforts to implement the Convention in marine and coastal areas, including:
- Capacity gaps—Lack of institutional, technical, managerial, and scientific resources; poor understanding of capacity needs at various levels in the context of cross-sectoral management; lack of cross-sectoral training for managers at the ground-level;
- Issues related to governance—Sectoral conflicts; lack of coordination across governmental agencies and levels of governments; limited participation of indigenous and local communities;
- Limited information base—Lack of policy-relevant information to support decision-making; inadequate coordination of existing knowledge.
In recognition of the need to address these key challenges and enhance the capacity of Parties to achieve global goals for marine and coastal biodiversity, the Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) was created in 2010 on the margins of tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
SOI, which is coordinated by the CBD Secretariat in collaboration with various partners, is a global platform focused especially on facilitating information-sharing, creating partnerships for targeted capacity-building to support implementation, enhancing interactive communication among stakeholders in different sectors, and facilitating the monitoring of progress towards global goals for marine biodiversity.
SOI is evolving as a global platform to build partnerships and enhance capacity to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets related to marine and coastal biodiversity in a holistic manner (in particular Targets 6, 10 and 11) by:
(a) Achieving a balance between sustainable use and conservation and the promotion of flexible and diverse approaches;
(b) Identifying best practices, facilitating information sharing, and learning from experiences;
(c) Creating partnerships that can provide for targeted capacity-building, training, technical assistance and learning exchange; and
(d) Providing for two-way communication among policymakers, scientific communities and local stakeholders.
More information about the Sustainable Ocean Initiative is available at the SOI website