News

October 28, 2020

Working Group Discusses Lessons from Second Ocean Assessment, Plans for Third Cycle

News Source: SDG Knowledge Hub

A working group of UN Member States on the marine environment held its latest meeting by correspondence, due to the global pandemic. The report of the meeting provides updates on finalizing the second world ocean assessment, lessons learned from the second assessment cycle, discussions on resources for the third world ocean assessment, plans for the third cycle (2021-2025), and recommendations for the 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

The Ad Hoc Working Group of the Whole on the Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment held its 13th meeting by correspondence from 9-10 September 2020. The second world ocean assessment, which evaluates trends and identifies gaps related to the ocean, was circulated to UN Member States for finalization, and placed under silence procedure on 30 September 2020.

One delegate said it is necessary to circulate the third draft of the second world ocean assessment before the 14th meeting of the Working Group, convening on 6 November 2020.

The ‘Report on the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group of the Whole on the Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment (A/75/362)’ states that, on the basis of the second world ocean assessments, “key activities will be identified to support and enhance interaction with other ongoing ocean-related intergovernmental processes.” These processes include: the 2030 Agenda, the intergovernmental conference on an international legally binding instrument under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP), the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030).

The Regular Process is a global mechanism to regularly review the environmental, economic, and social aspects of the world’s oceans, both current and foreseeable. It is accountable to the UNGA and aims to contribute to strengthening the regular scientific assessment of the state of the marine environment to enhance the scientific basis for policymaking.

The 14th meeting of the Working Group will consider the second world ocean assessment and provide recommendations to the UNGA.