Oceans Action Day at COP 22

The Oceans Action Day at COP 22, part of the UNFCCC Global Climate Action Agenda, was organized under the leadership of H.E. Minister Hakima El Haité, High-Level Champion for Climate Change, Morocco, and H.E. Mr. Aziz Akhannouch, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Morocco. The main organizers of Oceans Action Day at COP 22 were the Government of Morocco, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Global Ocean Forum, and the Ocean and Climate Platform.  The co-organizers include the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission/UNESCO; the Ocean Policy Research Institute, Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan; the Oceano Azul Foundation and Oceanario de Lisboa, Portugal; and the World Bank.

The Oceans Action Day at COP 22 brought together leaders in the UNFCCC negotiations, high-level representatives from governments, intergovernmental/international organizations, and civil society to advance the oceans and climate change agenda at COP 22 and beyond. The major objectives were to:

– Highlight examples of adoption and implementation of the Paris Agreement;

– Lend political support and provide suitable policy options in the implementation of actions on oceans, seas, coasts, and small island developing States (SIDS) issues in the context of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 14 on oceans and seas;

– Connect the oceans, coasts and climate initiatives generated at and following COP 21 with national actions plans, initiatives and commitments, such as the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the SDGs (as called for in the Road Map for Global Climate Action);

– Showcase and promote financial support and capacity development to enable nations to fulfill their NDCs, with special emphasis on oceans, seas and coasts, and on the concerns from SIDS and African States;

– Develop specific next steps for advancing the oceans and climate issues in the UNFCCC process in the next phase, as part of the Road Map for Global Climate Action, and to implement UN SDG 14.

As part of the UNFCCC Global Climate Action Agenda, all presentations at the Oceans Action Day stressed their connection to particular initiatives and actions that will be taken to advance the oceans and climate issues in the context of the UNFCCC.