The Sustainable Development Goals offer our two Conventions an opportunity to help each other in their similar objectives on protection of the marine environment of the Caribbean and the North East Atlantic respectively. This document sets out the beginning of an exploratory process, initiated by the Secretariats of the two conventions, with the support of their respective Contracting Parties. The aim is to see in what areas under the work of the two conventions are there opportunities for sharing of experience and lessons learnt, for developing more formal memorandums to enhance cooperation and also for potential for future joint projects. This document set out a tentative list of potential issues that may yield useful areas of collaboration and cooperation in the future.
Issues identified for exploration:
Protection of Biodiversity
Cooperation: This area of work should allow for sharing of lessons learnt, monitoring of progress, and indeed potential cooperation on actions for relevant species migrating between both the conventions waters. Sharing experiences on inter-sectoral cooperation may also be of interest.
Marine Protected Areas
Cooperation: This area of work should allow for exchange of experience and methodologies on the development and assessment of network of MPAs. Given the huge task of assessing ecological coherence and developing and assessing management actions, there remains a large potential for cooperation on this issue.
Marine Status Reporting
Cooperation: Assessment and Monitoring is a major part of the activity of both conventions in support of their Contracting Parties. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals provide a further driver for regular reporting on regional status as context/support for States reporting on the goals. This provides an opportunity for comparing reporting approaches, lessons learnt, resource effective routes to such reporting. For migratory species this could also provide complementary information from the two sides of the Atlantic.
Cooperation: The Sustainable Development Goals provide a clear driver for cooperation between regions on the environmental, social, and economic aspects of the remits of our Conventions. Cooperation could include on understanding on social and economic aspects of environmental assessment and management carried out by our conventions. In addition cooperation with regional fisheries management organisations could be another focus working with our partner RFMOs in our two regions.
Cooperation: Marine litter is a relatively new issue in terms of political attention. As such, work is still developing both on assessment and on management. Cooperation on these issues is all the more of importance given the fact that marine litter is transported vast distances and the two convention areas are connected by ocean currents.
The full cooperation document on our websites sets out the beginning of a dialogue between the Secretariats of OSPAR and CEP. Next step is to elaborate further our ideas and identify priorities and forms for the cooperation. We look forward to a fruitful development towards firmer cooperation between our conventions, with concrete activities that we can work on together to help deliver the aims of Sustainable Development Goal 14.
Updates to voluntary commitment
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
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
Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
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
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
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
Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
July 2017-June 2018
Secretariats explore potential areas of collaboration
July 2018 -2020
Implementation of first cooperation activities July 2018 -2020
First proposals put to the Contracting Parties June 2018
Review progress and decide on way forward