On 21 May 2020, ESCAP member States adopted a resolution on “Strengthening cooperation to promote the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific,” underscoring the importance of the Ocean for the region, and requesting the secretariat “to continue to strengthen current partnerships and to develop new partnerships, where appropriate, for the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources, including through participatory, multi-stakeholder dialogue platforms.”
In line with this mandate, the secretariat hosted its Fourth Asia-Pacific Day for the Ocean to continue to support member States, and key stakeholders, through systematic and inclusive dialogue on priority areas and challenges in our region.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development for the ten-year period beginning on 1 January 2021. ESCAP, through its membership in UN-Oceans, supported the preparation process of the implementation plan as mandated in the governance structure of the Ocean Decade, and in par. 4b of the above-mentioned resolution.
Last year, the Third Asia-Pacific Day for the Ocean provided an opportunity to collect inputs from a variety of stakeholders in the region for the development of a Regional Decade Program. All inputs received during the event, and through a virtual consultation in anticipation for the event, were duly considered and incorporated in a region-wide program developed in coordination with partner UN agencies. This year, the Day for the Ocean features the launch of the Regional Decade Program for the consideration and engagement of different constituents that may align activities with this program, or benefit from its outputs. The event featured a presentation of the program: “Accelerating the delivery of SDG14 in Asia and the Pacific… the science we need for the ocean we want in Asia and the Pacific.”. The ultimate goal is to accelerate individual and collective actions in the region, in order to reach Sustainable Development Goal 14 by 2030.
The Fourth Asia-Pacific Day for the Ocean took place on 27 October 2021 in a virtual modality. With the support of partner organizations, the program offered a plenary discussion, where the Regional Decade Program was announced, followed by a selection of thematic interactive dialogues, which focused on:
- International cooperation on the digital technologies to monitor ocean plastic pollution (Focus SDG targets 14.1, 14.a)
- Inclusive Maritime Connectivity for Building Back Better
- Accounting for ocean pollution: data integration to protect marine and coastal ecosystems;
- Ocean-climate nexus: blue carbon
A keynote speech from a high-level speaker provided an overview of regional challenges and opportunities for the protection and sustainable development of the ocean. This was followed by the parallel interactive dialogues. Finally, a plenary session offered a space to collect feedback from each interactive dialogue, and to share thematic developments.
- Civil Society Organizations (including the youth and ocean protection NGOs)
- Private sector companies
- Students and staff of educational and academic entities
- Scientific community
- Intergovernmental bodies and regional organizations
- Local and national governments
For more information: Fourth Asia-Pacific Day for the Ocean | ESCAP (unescap.org)