Ocean Action Hub

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UNDP SIDS Bulletin Issue 53 |February 2022

The One Ocean Summit took place last week in Brest, France.

Over two days, around 40 heads of state and government discussed and addressed 4 main themes: the protection of marine ecosystems, the fight against pollution, the fight against climate change, and ocean governance. This summit kicks off what is expected to be a year full of conferences and international conventions focused on the health and conservation of marine ecosystems and the sustainable development of the Blue Economy sector.

Here are some related highlights from this issue:

  • Novel nature-based solutions will restore 1,300km of coastline in southern Cuba;
  • Guinea-Bissau setting an example by vaccinating 36% of its eligible population;
  • UNDP working with  Fisherfolk to "Bring the Ocean Online" at digital pilot of Bluefish;
  • Tuvalu resorts to international law,coastal infrastructure and data gathering to tackle risk of complete submersion of its territory.

Read the full issue here: https://mailchi.mp/undp/undp-sids-bulletin-issue-15319185

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GFCR Global Fund for Coral Reefs Bulletin

GFCR presents the following information related to corals from around the globe.

In this first issue of the Global Fund for Coral Reefs Quarterly Newsletter, recent Fund updates are recapped as well as highlights of key plans for the near future: https://mailchi.mp/6c0ae3b9efcd/gfcr-newsletter-issue-1-q2-2021

In this second issue of the GFCR Quarterly Newsletter, the Secretariat is proud to highlight an expanded coalition of partners, programme advancements for 14 countries and unlocked resources to fuel a blue recovery for ‘people and planet’: https://mailchi.mp/6cb29398bda2/gfcr-newsletter-q3-2021-issue-2

An exhibit on the first full year of operation of the Global Fund for Coral Reefs: https://mailchi.mp/941c2a41efda/gfcr-newsletter-q3-2021-issue-6625746

On the COP26, the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) made substantial progress by unlocking more than $150 million in catalytic funding for the acceleration of global initiatives safeguarding coral reefs and communities on the front lines of climate change: https://mailchi.mp/251b48f1937d/gfcrcop26

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5 reasons why a healthy ocean is linked to human rights

We live on a blue planet, with oceans and seas covering more than 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface. Oceans feed us, regulate our climate, and generate most of the oxygen we breathe.

But growing threats such as marine pollution, sea-level rising and over-fishing damage these aspects of our lives and infringe on the human rights attached to them. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) research shows, for example, that plastic pollution leakage into aquatic ecosystems has risen sharply in recent years and is projected to more than double by 2030.

In October 2021, the UN Human Rights Council recognized for the first time that a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment is a human right - a landmark move in the fight against the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss and pollution and waste.

Read the full article: https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/story/5-reasons-why-healthy-ocean-...

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GEF International Waters Portfolio Bulletin - December 2021 Edition

The December 2021 Edition of the GEF IW Portfolio News features the following ocean-related stories from around the globe:

Local threats to mangroves in the Western Indian Ocean region identified in new study GEF-UNEP/Nairobi Convention WIO-SAP

COP 26: Biofouling management’s important contribution for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships featured successfully GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Partnerships Project

Introducing ‘The PEMSEA Story’: Collaborative ocean governance in the seas of East Asia PEMSEA

GEF CReW+ project promotes environmental and financial sustainability in the countries of the Wider Caribbean Region GEF-UNEP/IDB CReW+ Project

Common Oceans Program to ramp up sustainable management of the high seas GEF Common Oceans Program

IWEco link newsletter GEF-UNEP IWEco Project 

Turning the tide on ocean health- How a collaborative data platform can help GEF-UNEP-WRI Strengthening the Ocean Economy Project

Protecting Pemba: Inside efforts to improve fisheries management in a marine conservation area in Zanzibar, Tanzania GEF-UNDP/UNEP Nairobi Convention SAPPHIRE Project

Regional cooperation is reducing illegal, unreported and unregulated tuna fishing in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean GEF-UNDP-FFA Oceanic Fisheries Management Programme

GESI survey: Women in Rote Ndao impacted by Covid-19 pandemic GEF-UNDP-PEMSEA Arafura-Timor Seas Programme

The GEF International Waters Learning Exchange and Resource Network (GEF IW:LEARN) collects and shares best practices, lessons learned and innovative solutions to common problems across the GEF International Waters portfolio to strengthen transboundary water management around the globe. IW:LEARN is financed by the GEF, jointly implemented by UNDP and UNEP, and executed by IOC-UNESCO

Visit https://iwlearn.net

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EAS Congress 2021 Main Conference: Sustainable coastal and ocean governance in the run up to 2030

13 Dec 2021 - In this segment of the Main Conference of the East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress 2021, Dr.

Andrew Hudson, the Head of the Water and Ocean Governance Programme of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), discussed where we are in terms of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 (life below water).

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Celebrating innovation and entrepreneurship

Gathering more than 2000 participants and viewers online, the UNDP World Oceans Day 2021 event “A Conversation with the 2020 UNDP Ocean Innovators” highlighted a suite of inspirational ocean protection and restoration projects the UNDP is supporting through the Ocean Innovation Challenge.

Gathering more than 2000 participants and viewers online, the UNDP World Oceans Day 2021 event “A Conversation with the 2020 UNDP Ocean Innovators” highlighted a suite of inspirational ocean protection and restoration projects the UNDP is supporting through the Ocean Innovation Challenge. These innovations were selected through the OIC’s 2020 global call for proposals on SDG 14.1, reduce marine pollution, that received over 600 submissions from a wide range of public, private, and civil society stakeholders.

Three OIC projects seek to introduce national level Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes to close the loop on ocean plastics pollution by shifting the burden from consumers and municipalities to the plastics producing companies:

Read about the other projects in the full article here: https://oceaninnovationsandactions.exposure.co/celebrating-innovation-an...

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UNDP SIDS Bulletin Issue 42 | July 2021

This week, the 2021 High Level Political forum (HLPF) kicked off virtually. This year’s theme is: “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development". 

This theme hits home for SIDS, where the impacts of the pandemic have created a ripple effect, affecting every aspect of their development. SIDS do not have the luxury of time; and have been raising their voices during the HLPF, bringing the climate emergency, vaccine equity, access to finance, building forward differently and innovatively. As we are at a tipping point in our human history, we need integrated, bold, and intelligent choices by everyone, most importantly by decision makers, because these choices will define the wellbeing of people and planet for generations to come. 

Right now, the greatest Achilles heel to the global economic recovery is the growing number of countries that are potentially facing debt distress. Moreover, few institutions have supported SIDS in mitigating the impact of the pandemic, with only 4% of available COVID-19 funding for developing countries being spent on SIDS. This call is being echoed in the official meeting taking place this morning, “Coming together to help Small island Developing States to get on a path to realize the SDGs” where high government officials reiterated the need for a metric that takes into account the multidimensional and cross-sectoral vulnerability of SIDS, and called for tangible and  swift action to build resilience at speed and at scale. 

Here are some ocean related highlights from this issue:

Read the full article here: https://mailchi.mp/75935db9accc/undp-sids-bulletin-issue-10383865

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UNDP SIDS Bulletin Issue 40 | June 2021

In this issue, read the following feature stories, as well as other related documents and reports, events and opportunities, on the ocean:

  • SIDS urge the global community to come together to address the biggest challenge of the oceans
  • BlueDIGITAL to redesign MSME's traditional model and bridge the digital divide for bluer and greener future
  • Building back bluer: How blue financing can sustain community-led marine conservation in Fiji 

This week, we also celebrated  World Oceans Day 2021 and the kick-off of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, these occasions remind us of the economic, social and cultural significance of our oceans.  For SIDS as Large Ocean States, this holds particularly true. As stewards of ocean conservation and frontrunners of ambitious climate action, SIDS continue to show leadership in amplifying global action. In a recent demonstration of this, Ambassador Walton Alfonso Webson of Antigua and Barbuda, AOSIS Chair, is leading a coalition of 76 states to call for the Oceans Day Plastic Pollution Declaration, a new, legally binding global agreement on plastic pollution. Learn more below. Explore the 40th issue of the SIDS bulletin to learn how SIDS are harnessing the opportunities of the Blue Economy for an inclusive, green recovery and more!

Here are some ocean related highlights from this issue:

  • SIDS urge the global community to come together to address the biggest challenge of the oceans
  • BlueDIGITAL to redesign MSME's traditional model and bridge the digital divide for bluer and greener future
  • Building back bluer: How blue financing can sustain community-led marine conservation in Fiji 
  • Pursuing decisive and collaborative climate action is key in addressing ocean-driven security challenges in the Pacific 
  • Why fostering ocean science is critical in securing a sustainable ocean future in Pacific SIDS
  • A total investment in nature of US$8.1 trillion is required by 2050, how can we achieve this goal?
  • The Value of Coral Reefs: Mobilizing action #ForCoral can deliver benefits of US$2.7 trillion

Read the full issue here: https://mailchi.mp/c9270ef2f4ef/undp-sids-bulletin-issue-10245509 

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Monitoring climate adaptation in Guatemala’s marine coastal zones
14 Dec 2020 - Oceans are acutely sensitive to climate change. Guatemala's new monitoring system will track changes in sea level and water temperature, fish catch and reef health.

14 Dec 2020 - Oceans are acutely sensitive to climate change. Guatemala's new monitoring system will track the changes, from sea level and water temperature, to fish catch and reef health. 

With around one-third of Guatemala cloaked in tropical rainforest, and dozens of volcanoes and UNESCO World Heritage sites, the “land of many trees,” is rightly famous for its life on land.

Yet this picture reveals only part of Guatemala's riches. Below the ocean surface is a world of immense abundance and importance.

The oceans on either side of the country are national and international treasures. Home to thousands of species, they play a crucial role in regulating the Earth's climate system, while also providing essential goods and services for sustaining human health and wellbeing: food, clean air and water, and livelihoods

The impacts of climate change on Guatemala's coasts

According to Germanwatch’s Global Climate Risk Index, Guatemala ranked 16th in the world for countries most affected by extreme weather events in the 20-year period 1999 to 2018.

Particularly vulnerable are the Pacific and Caribbean marine coastal zones, which straddle either side of the country (represented on the national flag by two blue stripes).

Here, the fingerprints of climate change are evident: rising sea levels, changing weather patterns, and other impacts are directly affecting communities, ecosystems, and the economy.

The implications are considerable. These zones – which include over 120,000 km2 of marine space, greater than the land area of Guatemala – directly and indirectly support the livelihoods of 25 percent of the country’s population.

They represent economic activities of great national significance – for example, tourism, fishing and aquaculture, subsistence and export crop farming, and ports.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://undp-climate.exposure.co/monitoring-climate-adaptation-in-guatamala-marine-coastal-zones

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How small islands can reimagine tourism for a green recovery

11 Nov 2020 - Innovation and digital transformation; Communities first and responsible tourism

11 Nov 2020 - Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have experienced great success in expanding their tourism industries, particularly over the past 10 years. The industry is an economic lifeline and driver of development for many SIDS. Their rich biodiversity and beautiful ecosystems attracted around 44 million visitors in 2019. However, global travel restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have devastated SIDS’ economies. Compared to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), export revenues from tourism represent about nine percent of SIDS economies. In countries like St. Lucia and Palau, tourism revenues make up 98 and 88 percent of total exports respectively.

It is a vital source of revenue for community livelihoods, disaster recovery, biodiversity and cultural heritage preservation. The sharp decline in international tourism is having a significant macroeconomic impact on island states. SIDS are facing a 3.6 percent decline in GDP in 2020, a rate much greater than the global average. Many SIDS, particularly in the Caribbean, are heavily dependent on export revenues from tourism to service their heavy debt burdens. Debt that is primarily a result of their disproportionate vulnerability to climate change. Many are now facing debt to GDP ratios over the thresholds for sustainable debt defined by the International Monetary Foundation. SIDS leaders have expressed the severity of the situation, warning that what was a crisis of liquidity is evolving into a solvency crisis.

The sudden decline in visitors has left many SIDS without a key revenue source to sustain the welfare of locals. The industry is a major source of both formal and informal employment across SIDS. In Caribbean island states, tourism accounts for 27 percent of employment, while in Atlantic Indian Ocean and South China Sea (AIS) and the Pacific regions these levels are 24 and 20 percent respectively. The job losses occurring as a result of the crisis are impacting the most vulnerable workers, including those dependent on micro, small and medium enterprises as well as women (54 percent of global tourism employment) and young people.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/blog/2020/how-can-small-islands-reimagine-tourism-for-a-green-recovery.html