Background and Objectives

COP 21 in Paris saw unprecedented mobilization of the oceans community from around the world to articulate the central importance of oceans in the climate system and to underscore that coastal populations and SIDS will need enhanced capacity and financial resources to address the adverse impacts of climate change. The high-level Oceans Day at COP 21 brought together over 400 participants including heads of state, high level government ministers from around the world, leaders of IGOs and NGOs, and technical experts, to underscore the central importance of oceans as essential to planetary survival and to human wellbeing in all countries, especially in 183 coastal countries and island states. The Oceans Day at COP 21 lent political support to the adoption of the ambitious Paris Agreement and, building on work carried out in past Oceans Days prior to COP 21, discussed an agenda for action for the next five years on oceans and climate.

The Strategic Action Roadmap on Oceans and Climate presents an analysis and a set of policy recommendations emerging from the work of 37 experts from the 46 partner organizations of the Oceans Day at COP 21 and other organizations and coordinated by the Global Ocean Forum; IOC/UNESCO; UNEP; Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan; and the University of Delaware. The experts include noted social and natural scientists, and policy experts from international organizations, national governments, regional organizations, NGOs, and the academic and public outreach sectors.

The Roadmap presents recommendations in six major areas which ROCA now aims to advance: 1. Central of role of oceans in regulating climate, 2. Mitigation, 3. Adaptation and Blue Economy, 4. Displacement, 5. Financing, and 6. Capacity development, for implementation in the next 5 years. For each of these issues, the Roadmap addresses:

1) the current status of the issue (and, as relevant, the science related to the issue);

2) the current state of play of the issue within the UNFCCC;

3) the opportunities and pathways that may be available within the UNFCCC to advance the issue in the next five years;

4) the opportunities and pathways that may be available outside of the UNFCCC to advance the issue; and

5) financial considerations regarding each issue.