Building up towards the MSI +5 High-level Review
A collaborative perspective
on the integrated and sustainable management of Coastal and Marine resources
 
 

With the collaboration of:
 
UN-OHRLLS and UN-DESA
 
The University Club
 
Thursday, March 25, 2010,
 
 
at 12.30  p.m.
 
Programme for the working luncheon
 
 

12.30  p.m.
 
Arrival
12.50 p.m.
 
Welcoming notes by H.E. the Permanent Representative of Portugal to the United Nations, Ambassador José Filipe Moraes Cabral
1.00 p.m.
 
Words by H.E. the Permanent Representative of Grenada to the United Nations, Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States, Ambassador Dessima M. Williams
1.10 p.m.
 
Intervention by H.E. the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Portugal, Prof. João Gomes Cravinho
1.20 p.m.
 
Address by Mr. Tiago Pitta e Cunha, Specialist on Ocean and Maritime Affairs
1.40 p.m.
 
Interactive discussion
2.45 p.m.
 
End of the lunch
 
 
Mr. Tiago Pitta e Cunha was born in Lisbon in March 1967. Degree in Law by Universidade Católica Portuguesa (1990). LL.M. (Legis Magister) in European and International Law by the London School of Economics and Political Science (1994). He was Advisor to the President of the United Nations General Assembly from 1995 to 1996. Was a delegate to the 6th Committee of the UN General Assembly in 1998. Was a Counsellor in the Permanent Mission of Portugal to the United Nations General Assembly (1999 to 2002).  Represented Portugal and the EU 15 Member-States in the UN on Oceans Affairs during the Portuguese and the French EU Presidencies in 2000. Delegate to the International Sea Bed Authority, where he was Vice-President of the Council, the UN Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and in the Assembly of State-Parties of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. In 2003 was appointed by the Portuguese Prime-Minister Coordinator of the Oceans Strategic Commission, a high-level working group in charge of designing the Country’s national strategy for the oceans.  He was a member of the Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs from November 2004 to February 2010, and was in charge of the development of the new EU Integrated Maritime Policy.
 

 

Background
 
 
Barbados and Mauritius
 
The first Global Conference on Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States was convened in Barbados in April 1994. The conference adopted the Barbados Programme of Action (BPoA), which set forth specific actions and measures to be taken at the national, regional and international levels in support of the sustainable development of SIDS. This was the first conference to translate Agenda 21 into a programme of action for a group of countries.
 
A decade later, in January 2005, the international community convened in Mauritius under UN auspices to discuss the further and successful implementation of the BPoA. The Mauritius meeting unanimously adopted both the Mauritius Strategy to further implement the programme of action (MSI), and also a political declaration entitled the Mauritius Declaration. The MSI identified priority policy areas for the sustainable development of the SIDS. Among these policies and measures suggested to be implemented by the SIDS and the international community the MSI incorporates the issue of coastal and marine resources as one of its themes.
 
 
 
 
 
 
IV. Coastal and marine resources[1]
 
26. Small island developing States are defined by their historic, cultural and economic links to the oceans and seas. They continue to be heavily dependent on their marine resources, particularly for the sustainable livelihoods of coastal communities. The management of coastal and marine resources have become integrated into broader ocean management strategies since the entry into force of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.11 However, for Small Island developing States that are States parties to the Convention, implementation continues to be impeded by financial constraints and a lack of capacity.
 
27. To overcome these constraints, it is important to give appropriate priority at all levels, including in national and regional sustainable development agendas, to ocean issues, including fisheries. Further action is required by Small Island developing States, with the necessary support of the international community, to enable Small Island developing States to, among other things:
(a) Complete the delimitation of their maritime boundaries;
(b) Submit any claims to the Continental Shelf Commission by 13 May 2009 or such later date as may be applicable in accordance with the provisions of the Convention on the Law of the Sea;
(c) Further the work on the assessment of living and non-living seabed resources within their national jurisdiction.
 
28. Further action is required by Small Island developing States, with the necessary support of the international community, to build technical and financial capacities to:
(a) Establish effective monitoring, reporting and enforcement, and control of fishing vessels, including by small island developing States as flag States, to further implement international plans of action to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and to manage fishing capacity;
(b) Strengthen or develop, where necessary, national and regional sustainable and responsible fisheries management mechanisms consistent with the 1995 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries;
(c) Fully implement surveillance and monitoring systems;
(d) Analyse and assess the status of fish stocks;
(e) If they have not yet done so, consider becoming parties to the 1995 Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks13 and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 1993 Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas,14 as well as relevant regional agreements for the conservation and management of fisheries;
(f) Establish or enhance the necessary infrastructure and legislative and enforcement capabilities to ensure effective compliance with, and implementation and enforcement of, their responsibilities under international law. In this regard, until such action is undertaken small island developing States flag States are encouraged to consider declining the granting of the right to fly their flag to new vessels, suspending their registry or not opening a registry.
 
29. Distant-water fishing nations are encouraged to provide Small Island developing States with adequate technical and financial support to enhance the effective and sustainable management of their fisheries resources.
 
30. In collaboration with other States and making use of regional mechanisms, small island developing States will work to put in place integrated policies and sound management approaches, such as marine protected areas, consistent with relevant international agreements, and develop national capacity to monitor, conserve and sustainably manage coral reefs and associated ecosystems, taking into account the programme of work on marine and coastal biological diversity adopted by the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity15 at its seventh session. Small island developing States should address as a priority the impacts of coastal development, coastal tourism, intensive and destructive fishing practices and pollution, as well as the unreported and illegal trade in corals, on the future health of coral reefs. To facilitate these initiatives, the international community should provide technical and financial support for:
(a) Regional monitoring efforts and Global Ocean Observing System;
(b) Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission marine science programmes that are of particular relevance to Small Island developing States;
(c) The strengthening, where appropriate, of representative networks of marine protected areas, consistent with decision VII/2816 of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity;
(d) Activities to address the impact of coral bleaching, including enhancing resistance and recovery.
31. Small island developing States and relevant regional and international development partners should work together to develop and implement regional initiatives to promote the sustainable conservation and management of coastal and marine resources, drawing upon best practices from other regions, including the Pacific Islands Regional Ocean Policy, the designation of the Caribbean Sea as a special area in the context of sustainable development, the ocean governance project involving all regions, and the establishment of related initiatives in other small island developing States regions.
 
32. Small island developing States and the international development partners should fully implement the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities, particularly with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme, by undertaking initiatives specifically addressing the vulnerability of small island developing States.
 
 
 
 
MSI+5 High-Level Review Process
Member States are currently preparing the 5-year review of the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation (MSI+5 High-Level Review) which will take place in September 2010, during the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly, pursuant to resolutions A/RES/63/213 and A/RES/64/199.
In preparation for the MSI+5 High-Level Review, SIDS Member States have been requested to submit national assessment reports based on specific guidelines. These reports, complemented by inputs received from UN agencies, regional organizations and NGOs, and development partners have formed the basis for the three regional review meetings that were held in the Pacific (Vanuatu, 8-9 February 2010), AIMS (Maldives, 9-10 March 2010), and Caribbean (Grenada, 16 and 18 March 2010) regions.
These meetings have addressed progress made and continuing challenges encountered in the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy, with special focus on the vulnerabilities of SIDS, providing at the same time an opportunity for both national and regional assessment of actions taken in support of the MSI.
All national and regional assessments are to be consolidated at an inter-regional meeting scheduled for May 8, in New York, to be followed by the Prep-Com for the MSI+5 High-Level Review, on May 10, in the context of the eighteenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-18).
 
Coastal and marine resources
Taking into consideration that Oceans are a most important pivotal element in the context of both the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation, as a common and defining element to the SIDS, the issues relating to the sustainable management of coastal and marine resources are a major area of focus for the review process. In fact, besides its own and extremely important intrinsic worth, the theme of the Oceans and Maritime and Coastal resources further offers the possibility to undertake a cross-cutting overview to many other of the actions and policies that are a priority for the SIDS, in the broader context of Sustainable Development and in the pursuance of the MDG’s.
Accordingly, SIDS have given outmost priority in their national agenda. They recognized that coastal and marine resources provide a life line and are vital for their food security, productive capacity building, employment and income generation, exports, revenue from fishing agreements, and tourism. They also therefore wish to leverage their coastal and marine resources to the maximum extent possible to overcome economic, environmental and social vulnerabilities and build long term resilience.
Generally, the MSI+5 review indicated that SIDS undertook significant efforts within their mandates to integrate the MSI provisions regarding coastal and marine resources into their national, regional strategies and programmes. However, they have also indicated that they face critical financial, human resources, technical and infrastructure gaps and constraints in implementing these provisions. Hence, they require the support of development partners and international organizations to more effectively and sustainably manage their coastal and marine resources for their accelerated development.
 
Role of development partners and relevant international organizations
 
The role of development partners and international organizations is vital. Technical, financial, technological, skill development and related support from development partners is essential for a number of institutional tasks outlined in the MSI including inter alia:
 
  • Delimitation of maritime boundaries;
  • Extension of Continental Shelf;
  • Assessment of living and non-living seabed resources;
  • Analysis and assessment of the status of marine and coastal resources including fish stocks;
  • Monitoring and control of fishing vessels;
  • Elimination of unregulated fishing and management of fishing capacities;
  • Monitoring, conservation and sustainable manage of coral reefs and coastal biodiversity;
  • Addressing impacts of coastal development, tourism, and fishing practices and pollution.
 
In this endeavor, SIDS and relevant regional and international development partners should work together to develop and implement initiatives to promote the sustainable conservation and management of coastal and marine resources, drawing upon best practices from other regions. At the same time, development partners should help SIDS to have necessary legislative and other capacities to enable them to fully implement MSI proposed measures, and also to join various treaties and international governance systems.


Objectives and thought provokers

 
Against this background, this Working Luncheon proposes to reflect on the following:
 
1.       Progress made and priority attached by the SIDS to this key area of the MSI
 
What are the SIDS doing regarding the sustainable management of their coastal and marine resources nationally, regionally, and inter-regionally?
 
2.       Identification of some exemplary projects and programmes led by the SIDS that contribute to the implementation of the MSI
 
How important is the issue of the sustainable management of coastal and marine resources for the SIDS particularly in terms of trade, exports, attracting investments, food security?
 
3.       Identification by development partners of efforts made to support the SIDS in their efforts to implement the MSI with a special focus on the sustainable management of coastal and marine resources.
 
What should be the role of development partners and multilateral institutions in supporting the SIDS regarding this issue?
 
4.       Assessment of support already provided and prospects for future support in the context of the MSI, with a focus on coastal and marine resources
 
How the SIDS agenda could be furthered in a practical and concrete way?
 
5.       How can international agreements with development partners, namely EPA’s, be used to strengthen the implementation of the MSI
 
What are the renewed efforts that the International community need to set itself for the next 5 years of implementation of the MSI?
 
 
 
 
 



[1] Verbatim from the Report of the International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, Port Louis, Mauritius, 10–14 January 2005 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.05.II.A.4 and corrigendum), chap. I, resolution 1, annex II.