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#OceanAction19759
The Rights of the Pacific Ocean as a Legal Entity : A science based feasibility study
by Insitut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) (Scientific community)
"At the beginning was the Ocean..."
The Pacific Ocean is more than water or food cellar for most Pacific Islanders. It is part of their lives, of their family, of their blood. Land, Sea and Men are a whole. The Ocean has its mana (spiritual authority) and mauri (life force).
To recognize the Pacific Ocean as a legal person is in keeping with Pacific Islands cultures.
Recognizing rights to Nature as person is not only a legal possibility nowadays but probably the best next step in environmental protection policies. Whanganui, Ganges and Yamuna Rivers, Nature in Ecuador and Bolivia have opened the way to think big in terms of Rights of the Nature.
Our commitment is to undertake multi-disciplinary scientific studies to enhance knowledge on the Ocean, to identify possible rights to be recognized to the Ocean on its own, in compliance with existing international law, to improve existing national laws and propose new ones to treat and protect the Ocean as a person, enhance its resilience in the wake of Climate Change, over-exploitation of marine biodiversity and past and future man-made pollutions and give it a legal voice in its own right.
The final objective is to draft with participatory methods by 2020 a convention on the Rights of the Pacific Ocean open for signature for all countries. the Secretariat of this Convention would be the parens patriae for the Pacific Ocean, its guardian and its voice in the legal and political arena.
We intend to work in a peaceful and constructive approach with national governments, intergovernmental organizations, citizens, private sector stakeholders etc. without any discrimination.
If successful this commitment could be replicated for other Oceans and Elements of Nature.
Progress reports
14.1
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
NUTRIENTS
  • Wastewater treatment
PLASTICS
  • Coastal clean-ups
  • Plastics product bans or restrictions
  • Plastics recovery/recycling/reuse
SHIPPING
  • Reduce invasive aquatic species introduction
  • Management of ship-based pollution and/or port waste management
OTHER POLLUTANTS (please specify)
  • Industrial effluent pre-treatment
14.3
Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
Type of commitment
  • Terrestrial carbon sinks
  • Carbon capture and sequestration
  • CO2 emission reductions (energy efficiency, renewable energy, etc.)
  • Scientific research and cooperation to address ocean acidification knowledge gaps
14.4
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Compliance, monitoring and enforcement
  • Reduction and elimination fishing practices and gear that destroy/degrade marine habitat
  • Science-based fisheries management plans
  • Ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF)
  • Reduction of fisheries by-catch and product waste/losses
  • Eco-labelling, traceability, certification programmes
14.5
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
14.6
By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation
Type of commitment
  • Removal or reduction of harmful fisheries subsidies
  • information relating to harmful subsidies
14.7
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
Type of commitment
  • Economic benefits from sustainable fisheries
  • Economic benefits from sustainable tourism
  • Economic benefits from sustainable aquaculture/mariculture
  • Economic benefits from marine renewable energy
  • Economic benefits from marine biotechnology
14.a
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
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Transfer marine technology
  • Actions that support SIDS and LDCs
14.b
Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
Type of commitment
  • Legal/policy/institutional measures
  • Transfer of fishing technology
  • Community empowerment for fisheries management
14.c
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
Type of commitment
03/2018
Identification of the covered area
06/2020
Draft convention
09/2109
Clearing legal, economic, political and diplomatic hurdles
12/2018
Identification of the stakes and defining rights of the Ocean
In-kind contribution
Scientific Research, fund raising orperations to support the research
Basic information
Time-frame: 01/09/2017 - 08/06/2020
Partners
IRD (Scientific Community) SPREP (Intergovernmental organization) Conservation International Pacific Islands programme (NGO) Centre International de Droit Compar de l'Environnement (NGO)
Ocean Basins
  • North Pacific
  • South Pacific
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Ocean biodiversity, Pacific Islanders
Contact information
Victor DAVID, Charg d'Etudes, victor.david@ird.fr, +687 26 07 38
Marseille FRANCE
Other SDGs
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