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The Pacific Partnership on Ocean Acidification
by Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) (Intergovernmental organization)
Pacific Island communities and ecosystems are resilient to the impacts of ocean acidification and a changing ocean, with practical adaption measures and alternate livelihoods in place.

Pacific island communities and ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of ocean acidification and ocean warming. The Partnership builds on the outcomes of the International Workshop on Ocean Acidification: State-of-the-Science Considerations for Small Island Developing States that was co-hosted by New Zealand and the United States, in partnership with SPREP, as an official side-event at the 3rd UN SIDS Conference in 2014. The Partnership builds on the New Zealand Pacific Partnership on Ocean Acidification project, which is a collaborative effort between SPREP, SPC, USP and the Pacific island countries and territories, with support from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Principality of Monaco. Efforts are currently underway to scale up these efforts, and the Partnership will be a key part of new actions.

The Pacific Partnership on Ocean Acidification will focus on:
1. Research and Monitoring During the Pacific Regional UN Oceans preparatory meeting, national participants highlighted the need for information and research to inform policies and decision making in their high-level statement that was endorsed by senior officials and leaders. Monitoring and research must be linked to policy and management and lead to meaningful action on the ground.
2. Identification and Implementation of Practical Adaptation and Resilience Building Actions While there is still a need for further research to fully understand the impacts of ocean acidification and climate change on marine ecosystems, the world no longer has the luxury of time to wait for this. As is noted in emergency responder training, imperfect care delivered in a timely fashion is better than perfect care that arrives too late. The world has already lost 50% of its corals and will likely lose 90% of them by 2050. Given the high dependence of Pacific communities on coral reefs and the fisheries they support, it is essential that we accept these grim facts/forecasts and take meaningful action for restoration, protection, and alternate livelihoods for the coastal communities of the Pacific to ensure their resilience and well-being.
3. Capacity Building and Awareness Raising To ensure meaningful action and support for action on ocean acidification and climate change, it is essential that there is sufficient capacity to carry out the necessary work at the local, national, and regional scales, and that policy makers and stakeholders are aware of the challenges and the opportunities to overcome them.

Implementation Methodologies and Governance:
The Partnership seeks to enhance international, regional, and national collaboration on ocean acidification, building on the strengths and needs of our partners. SPREP is established in the region as the lead regional agency on ocean acidification and climate change, and will lead the work through our officials meetings and in collaboration with our partners.
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
  • Fertilizer use efficiency
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Manure management
  • Nutrient sinks (e.g. constructed wetlands)
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Community or Locally Managed Marine Areas
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Large Marine Ecosystem approach
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
Type of commitment
  • Coastal carbon sinks/blue carbon
  • Carbon capture and sequestration
  • CO2 emission reductions (energy efficiency, renewable energy, etc.)
  • Adaptation to more acidic ocean conditions
  • Scientific research and cooperation to address ocean acidification knowledge gaps
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
  • No take marine protected area
  • Marine protected area with partial protection
  • Multiple use marine protected area
  • Locally or community managed marine areas
  • MPA management and/or enforcement
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Research capacity development
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Transfer marine technology
  • Actions that support SIDS and LDCs
December 2020
Consider and incorporate the impacts of ocean acidification into regional and national planning and policies by 2020.
December 2020
Establish a Pacific Island Ocean Acidification Observation Network of long-term monitoring sites, with local capacity building to implement and maintain by 2020.
December 2020
Identify particularly vulnerable ecosystems and communities, provide guidance on practical adaptation and resilience building interventions, and support countries in accessing climate change finance by 2020.
December 2030
Support and conduct research, supported by marine technology transfer, to address knowledge gaps related to the impacts of ocean acidification in the region, specifically coastal pH patterns and habitat mapping (particularly coral reefs and seagrass beds) at sites in each participating country by 2030.
Staff / Technical expertise
Technical support as needed/feasible to the Pacific Island Countries and Territories, including support for access to finance
Basic information
Time-frame: 2015 May - 2030 December
New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Government) Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (Government) University of Washington (University) The Ocean Foundation (Non-governmental organisation) New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Government/Private Sector) UNESCO-IOC (United Nations entity) IAEA Environment Lab/OA-ICC (United Nations Entity) Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD, Government and Academic Institution)
Ocean Basins
  • North Pacific
  • South Pacific
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Pacific Island Countries and Territories
Contact information
Robert Duncan McIntosh, Oceanography Officer, robertmc@sprep.org, +685 21929 Ext 334
Apia, Samoa
Other SDGs
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