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Climate

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A healthy ocean is critical to achieving global targets to limit climate change.

Climate change poses stark risks to the health of the ocean and to the realization of a prosperous and sustainable ocean economy. Acidification and rising ocean temperatures are negatively impacting important industries such as fishing and tourism, as well as the wellbeing of coastal populations. There is an urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit further temperature rise. 

Although at risk, the ocean is also central to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. To highlight the important role of the ocean as a solution to global climate change, the High Level Panel will advance an initiative for ocean-based climate action for launch at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, comprising the following elements:

 

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The Ocean as a Solution for Climate Change: 5 Opportunities for Action

An innovative analysis to quantify the additional contribution that ocean-based mitigation strategies, such as the installation of offshore wind turbines, and protection of mangroves, coral reefs and seagrasses can play in reducing the global emissions gap, but also the range of other direct benefits that such strategies can deliver for people and ocean ecosystems. 


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Summary for Decision-makers -
The Ocean as a Solution for Climate Change: 5 Opportunities for Action

 

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Call to Ocean-Based Climate Action

An urgent Call to Ocean-Based Climate Action by the heads of government who serve as members of the High Level Panel members to inspire political commitments, business partnerships and investments to scale up and accelerate action in six priority areas to confront the threat of climate change and help meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

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Areas for Action

Some national governments have already committed to developing new initiatives, partnerships and providing significant funding investments to rapidly accelerate ocean-based climate solutions in line with the 6 action areas below. The indicative commitments made by HLP members to date are captured below. Note, this list will be further developed to reflect new ideas as they emerge.

  • Invest in Nature-Based Climate Solutions

    Restore, protect and manage coastal and marine ecosystems, including mangroves, seagrasses, salt marshes, macroalgae and reefs, to enhance their ability to sequester and store carbon, adapt to the effects of climate change, and improve coastal resilience.

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    Australia
    • Australia established the International Partnership for Blue Carbon and encourages other countries to actively participate. The Partnership builds connections between governments, research agencies and non-government organisations to build awareness, share knowledge and accelerate practical action that protects and restores blue carbon ecosystems. Launched by Australia at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21, the Partnership has grown to almost forty members since its establishment.    The Partnership is recognised as the primary international forum on blue carbon. Through the Partnership, members develop and share practical tools to address common questions, share findings between blue carbon initiatives, and together examine policy settings for financing blue carbon. The Partnership also offers a platform for countries to showcase their action on blue carbon to the world.    Together with a coordinating group, Australia has served as the Secretariat of the Partnership since its launch. Commitments are sought from other countries to sustain and build on the success of the Partnership. Commitments could include hosting the next annual meeting in 2020 or other events, shared leadership, financial support or taking a lead role of the secretariat, joining the coordination group or engaging in focal groups.
    • The IORA-CSIRO Blue Carbon Hub aims to build knowledge and capacity for protecting and restoring blue carbon ecosystems throughout IORA Member States by:  • providing a knowledge hub to provide advice and capacity building expertise to IORA Member States  • engaging in research that seeks to improve knowledge and provide the evidence base for the development of robust policy and finance mechanisms  • disseminating best practice information to international partners  • seeking to develop partnerships with organisations that can assist with implementation of activities that meet these objectives.  Blue carbon initiatives address multiple development goals through a single policy framework that incorporates economic growth, environmental sustainability and social inclusiveness.
    • Australia has committed $6 million from 2018 to 2021, to support national climate action and livelihoods in Papua New Guinea and Fiji, through enhanced measurement, management and investment in blue carbon ecosystems. The Australian Government together with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), will work collaboratively with a range of partners in PNG and Fiji, to build technical capacity for gathering and using data on blue carbon stocks, and to incorporate blue carbon into policy and decision-making frameworks.
      Subsequently the initiative aims to establish blue carbon projects, test and validate offset methodologies, and mobilise markets for blue carbon investments. 
    • Australia has committed $2 million between 2019 and 2022 towards working with Indonesia to address policy and technical priorities for the sustainable management of coastal blue carbon resources. Funding will used to strengthen Indonesia’s blue carbon research capacity, build tools to inform decision making, and support coordination of policy development for ecosystem management. 
    • During the International Year of the Reef, in May 2018, the Australian Government announced additional A$500 million boost to reef protection, including a A$443.3 million partnership with the non-Government Great Barrier Reef Foundation and A$56 million over five years to expand the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s environmental management and compliance operations. The aim of this investment is to accelerate delivery of the Australian and Queensland governments' Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, which is based on the best available science, draws on 40 years of analysis and is underpinned by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s strong management. The Foundation has an ambitious target to increase the investment by a further $300 to $400 million through philanthropic, corporate and individual giving, and contributed funds/effort by research and delivery partners.    The partnership with the Foundation includes:  • $201 million to improve water quality through changed farming practices such as reduced fertiliser use and adopting new technologies and land management practices  • $100 million to harness the best science to implement reef restoration and support Reef resilience and adaptation  • $58 million to expand the fight against the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish  • $40 million to enhance Reef health monitoring and reporting to track progress and inform better management  • $22 million to support Indigenous and community reef protection activities to increase traditional owner and broader community engagement on the Reef, including Indigenous sea country management, coastal clean-up days and awareness raising activities.    Early in 2018 the Australian Government announced additional funding of A$60 million to tackle crown-of-thorns starfish, water quality, to put more Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority field officers on the water and to scope a major research and development program for coral reef restoration
    Fiji
    • Fiji is committing to the integrated management of its whole EEZ (100%) together with 30% under protection in a marine protected area by 2030. Fiji is calling for a Coalition of nations to join this commitment and secure the integrated management of up to 40% of the ocean if all EEZs are included.
    Japan
    • Japan will continue its support for implementation of ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction in developing countries through the Resilience through Investing in Ecosystems — knowledge, innovation and transformation of risk management (RELIEF-Kit) project which has been undertaken by IUCN together with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity funded by Japan Biodiversity Fund. Japan will continue to contribute to promotion of Ecosystem-based Adaptation and Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction in developing countries through this project. 
    • In several parts of Japan, local governments, industries and academia have worked for conservation, restoration and creation of coastal ecosystems such as seagrass meadows, tidal marshes, and mangroves, recognizing their multi beneficial values. Japan has conducted distribution surveys of seagrass beds using satellite images in the enclosed coastal seas since 2015.
    Kenya
    • This €3.1million German-IKI funded project aims to secure and restore terrestrial coastal forests and mangrove ecosystems in Kwale County for biodiversity conservation and community livelihood. This will be done through establishing and building the capacity of public-private-people partnerships. The project is working with communities, government authorities and private sector on ecosystem restoration, sustainable management of resources and the integration of ecosystem values into policies and plans.
    • The World Bank facilitated the development of Kenya’s national mangrove management plan for 2017-2027 period. The Plan was prepared in compliance with Forests Act (2005), which provides for preparation of management plans for all gazetted forests. It provides a road map towards sustainable management of mangrove ecosystems in Kenya for enhanced livelihoods. The Plan embraces collaborative and participatory approaches in natural resource governance that leads to ownership of the initiatives by the stakeholders. The estimated budget for implementing the Plan is US$ 3.8million 
    • TThe objectives of the project are to: • Measure the health of mangrove forests in Lamu County in terms of their spatial extent, productivity, and biodiversity; • Work with Kenya Forest Service and other agencies in integrating blue carbon into national climate change agenda; and • Train, educate, and empower community and other stakeholders on blue carbon assessment, monitoring, and management. The project fits with both national and local priorities, action plans and programs on environment and food security; and will help to achieve global sustainable goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement. The initial budget of US$300,000 has been secured through Pew Charitable Trust (USA) and WWF. Additional financing of US$600,000 is being sought to allow incorporation of Blue carbon into climate change agenda.
    • Coral reefs and seagrasses are some of the most productive and biodiverse ecosystems on earth, protecting shorelines, and nourishing livelihoods of coastal communities.  However, natural and human induced stressors have led to increased loss of coral reefs and seagrass habitats with a general decline in ecosystem health. To address these ever-growing threats to fragile seagrass and coral reef ecosystems it was found necessary to develop conservation strategy for Kenya.  The strategy seeks to promote biodiversity conservation, safeguard and secure livelihoods of coastal communities, spur sound and focused scientific research. Successful implementation of the strategy will ensure that the structure and functions of these ecosystems is ensured. Innovative vulnerability analysis through IUCN Red List of ecosystems for coral reefs will be applied in 2019-2020 to inform the new strategy and identify nature-based climate solutions. The estimated budget for revision and implementation of the strategy is US$ 5.0 million over the 2019-2023 period.
    Mexico
    • Mexico is committed to invest in nature-based solutions to protect and restore the great marine diversity of our country, and increase its resilience to the effects of climate change. By expanding and strengthening our Fishing Refuge Areas, we aim to recover trophic chains, reduce bycatch, and protect the natural processes of fish reproduction and fish breeding. To date, we have 13 regulatory agreements in force, including 41 polygons at 13 different sites in four federal entities, covering an area of over 20,000 km2. Within these Fishing Refuge Areas, more than 100 target, secondary and incidental species of fish, molluscs, echinoderms, crustaceans and sea turtles are being protected. Mexico will expand at least 100 000 new hectares of Fishing Refuge Areas on which their planning and design will take into account fishing production as well as socio-political and ecological factors, including the enhancement of marine connectivity in face of climate change.
    • The Government of Mexico is implementing a Coral Reef Restoration Program, which aims to tackle the effects of climate change in the world’s second biggest coral reef located in the Caribbean Sea. Through this ongoing program, Mexico is committed to restore 47,000 corals by the end of 2019 and 265,000 corals by 2022 looking to increase this target by the end of the administration. The restoration program is based in the reproduction of 13 species of corals using biotechnological techniques and subsequent planting in their natural habitats. This initiative aims to return the structure and ecological functionality of marine ecosystems that have been damaged by climate change effects such as sea level rise, hurricanes, acidification and temperature raise.
    • Mexico is developing the Strategic Action Program of the Great Marine Ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico. With this program, we commit to improve water quality, restore coastal ecosystems, and prevent depletion of important species for fisheries. The United Nations Environment Program is acting as the implementing agency for this project, which is coordinated jointly by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) in Mexico and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the US. The program is set to be completed by 2021, with a fund of 12.9 million dollars granted by the GEF. By that date, we aim to: • Improve water quality in the coastal area. • Avoid depletion and promote recovery of living marine resources. Promote community involvement in conservation and restoration of the quality of coastal and marine ecosystems.
    Namibia
    • Currently, Namibia’s entire coastal belt is gazetted as national parks, and includes 3 coastal RAMSAR sites, namely Walvis Bay lagoon, the sandwich harbor and the orange river mouth, hence they are protected. Further, Namibia’s marine waters which are less than 200 meters in depth are protected from most commercial fishing activities, as they are breeding grounds for fish. The Government of Namibia is therefore confident of exceeding the 10% MPA target once these areas, which are already protected, are gazetted as MPAs. 
    • Namibia is considering establishment of biodiversity offset schemes to finance marine conservation in partnership with marine economic sectors such as mining, transport and fisheries. 
    Norway
    • Norway will work to secure and sustainably manage marine vegetation and blue forests - nationally and internationally - in order to bind carbon and protect marine biodiversity. 
    • Norway will continue to develop seaweed and kelp aquaculture such as by granting free licenses for growing seaweed and kelp.   
    Portugal
    • In response to growing concerns about climate change resulting from increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, considerable interest has been drawn to the possibility of increasing the rate of carbon sequestration. Given the potential of marine organisms (particularly algae) to capture carbon and the need to contribute to global efforts on climate change mitigation, Portugal commits to evaluate marine ecosystems and identify areas to implement carbon sequestration solutions, for instance through new projects aimed at restoration of degraded seagrass and macroalgal habitats or scaling up previous projects developed along the Portuguese coastline. 
    • Protected area networks are the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation policies, focusing the protection of ecosystems, habitats, species and genetic resources and thus providing a wide range of benefits to society and economy. Portugal presently has c.a. 7 per cent of the coastal and marine areas under national jurisdiction classified as marine protected areas. On the occasion of The United Nations Ocean Conference (New York, 5-9 June 2017), Portugal submitted as a commitment to comply with SDG 14.5 the classification of at least 14% of maritime space under national jurisdiction as a marine protected area. Adhering to the IUCN recommendation approved at the World Conservation Congress 2016, Portugal commits to protect about 30% of its national maritime space by 2030.
  • Harness Ocean-Based Renewable Energy

    Scale up offshore and ocean-based renewable energy, including wind, wave, tidal, current and solar, to meet future energy demand and become cost-competitive.

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    Australia
    • The Australian Government is investing AUD$70 million in the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) https://blueeconomycrc.com.au/, a 10 year $329 million collaboration between 45 Australian and international partners. The Blue Economy CRC will bring together expertise in aquaculture, marine renewable energy and marine engineering as part of a collaborative effort between industry, researchers and the community to develop innovative and sustainable offshore industries to increase Australian seafood and marine renewable energy production. The CRC has five research programs: Offshore Engineering and Technology, Seafood and Marine, Offshore Renewable Energy Systems, Environment and Ecosystems, and Sustainable Offshore Developments. 
    Japan
    • Japan, which is surrounded by the sea on all sides, recognizes that it has great potential for ocean energy such as offshore wind and ocean current. Above all, the cost of offshore wind power has been drastically reduced in the world, and Japan also has been establishing the rules for use of sea areas through the Act on Promotion of Utilization of Sea Areas for the Development of Marine Renewable Energy Generation Facilities and promoting the technology development.  In addition, with regard to power generation utilizing ocean energy such as ocean currents, there are still major issues in terms of cost and stable supply worldwide. 
    Namibia 
    • Namibia has been identified as one of the countries with the best potential for wind power generation globally, especially around the town of Lüderitz. 
    Norway
    • The Norwegian state-owned enterprise Enova has approved an application for funding up to NOK 2,3 billion (approximately USD 255 million) in support of the Hywind Tampen project, a floating offshore wind farm currently being planned in the North Sea.
    • Norway proposes to open offshore areas for renewable energy. 
    Portugal
    • In 2017 Portugal approved the Roadmap for the Industrial Strategy of Oceanic Renewable Energies. The main objective of the Roadmap is to maximize the investment made in R&D and Innovation in oceanic renewable energies (wind offshore and waves) to formulate a sustainable financing model and an Industrial Strategy for Ocean Renewable Energies. Oceanic renewable energies would be able to supply 25% of the national annual electricity consumption and could replace almost all coal in the national electricity mix. In recent years, several research and technological development projects have emerged, with a strong component of innovation and experimentation, specifically through modeling and testing of new technologies, infrastructure construction, development and installation of wave energy prototypes, tidal energy and wind energy. Within this scope is under way the WindFloat Atlantic, a pioneering project involving the installation of three offshore wind turbines on floating platforms. The high nominal capacity wind turbines (8.4 MW) will be the largest already installed on floating platforms at sea. The 25 MW wind energy production platform will be installed about 20 km from the Portuguese coast, in an area with a depth of 100 meters, with the start of production planned for the near future. This project, currently in the pre-commercial phase, involves an investment of more than 100 million euros over 3 years 
  • Decarbonize Ocean-Industries

    Invest in the solutions needed to support rapid decarbonization of ocean industries, including shipping and marine transport, port infrastructure and operations, fisheries, aquaculture and tourism.

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    Australia
    • The Australian Government is investing AUD$70 million in the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) https://blueeconomycrc.com.au/, a 10 year $329 million collaboration between 45 Australian and international partners. The Blue Economy CRC will bring together expertise in aquaculture, marine renewable energy and marine engineering as part of a collaborative effort between industry, researchers and the community to develop innovative and sustainable offshore industries to increase Australian seafood and marine renewable energy production. The CRC has five research programs: Offshore Engineering and Technology, Seafood and Marine, Offshore Renewable Energy Systems, Environment and Ecosystems, and Sustainable Offshore Developments.  
    Fiji
    • Fiji and the Marshall Islands co-chair the Pacific Islands Blue Shipping Partnership which is a Coalition of 7 Pacific countries, bilateral and multilateral partners, and private sector that are committing to cut 40% of emissions from shipping in these Pacific countries by 2030 and committing to making their shipping sector 100% carbon-free by 2050 with an innovative blended funding package.
    Japan
    • Japan, as a major shipping and shipbuilding economy, has actively contributed to global initiatives at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to reduce GHG emissions from ships. Since 2017, Japan has been serving the Chair of IMO's committee in charge of climate actions. Currently, Japan is actively engaged in work at the IMO to develop a new global mechanism to further cut emissions from ships to achieve the GHG reduction target set out in the IMO's Strategy.    To facilitate such global initiatives, Japan provides a number of technical cooperation and capacity building. Nippon foundation, Japanese NGO, provides nine fellowship programs with multiple partners such as the World Maritime University (WMU) and the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI), and more than 1,200 alumni from 140 countries are engaged in ocean policy including climate and environment policy.
    Namibia
    • Namibia is in the final stages of ratification of Annex 6 of the MARPOL Convention (Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships), which includes our commitment to achieve 50% reduction in greenhouse gasses emissions from ships by 2050, in line with IMO Agreement.  
    Norway
    • Norway will reduce emissions from domestic shipping and fishing vessels by half by 2030 and promote the deployment of zero- and low-emission solutions in all vessel categories. 
    • Norway will prioritize zero- and low-emission solutions in public procurement of ferries and high-speed vessels, onshore power supply in ports and the development of tax incentives and public support schemes in order to support the introduction of low- and zero emission solutions. 
    • The Norwegian state-owned enterprise Enova has supported 80 projects to date totalling more than 580 million NOK (approximately USD 65 million) for onshore power supply in ports, and more than 1,6 billion NOK (approximately USD 178 million) to the construction of zero- and low-emission ships. 
    • Norway will promote the development of an international market for low- and zero emission maritime solutions. 
    • Norway will support developing countries in reducing GHG emissions from ships through the project "GreenVoyage-2050" by the International Maritime Organization.   
    Portugal
    • Portugal has a valuable geostrategic position to boost the use of LNG in the marine fuel mix. In this sense, one of the main objectives of the planned investments will be the establishment in Continental Portugal and the autonomous regions of Madeira and of the Azores of a service area for supplying Atlantic LNG ships. Moreover, the creation of a re-exporter hub for natural gas, is envisaged. This hub will contribute to the decarbonization of the maritime transport. In this context, Portugal is committed to invest in the terminal of Sines Port and to boost innovation on specialized ships for LNG supply and in green shipping activities.
    • In Portugal ports activity is of major importance for the ocean economy and for Portuguese economy as whole. Over the last years much international regulation was designed, approved or comes into force that regulates the environmental dimension of ports. Port system in Portugal will implement a comprehensive sustainability strategy that comprises all aspects of their activity that might result in negative impacts on environment, including marine environment.
    • In Portugal the number of ships that scale the ports, during last 10 years, had a growth higher than 20%, both in goods and passengers, and even higher in cruises. Simultaneously, the activity of naval industry started increasing its production and exports. So, Portugal will continue the projects to find and implement in the construction of new vessels or requalification of the existing, to improve the sustainability, annul emissions and reduce air and water pollution. Also, will be implemented solutions of efficient consumption of energy and water.
  • Secure Sustainable Food for the Future

    Promote sustainable, safe, equitable, resilient and low-carbon sources of food from the ocean to feed and improve the nutrition of present and future generations, including mitigating food insecurity.

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    Australia
    • The Australian Government is investing AUD$70 million in the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) https://blueeconomycrc.com.au/, a 10 year $329 million collaboration between 45 Australian and international partners. The Blue Economy CRC will bring together expertise in aquaculture, marine renewable energy and marine engineering as part of a collaborative effort between industry, researchers and the community to develop innovative and sustainable offshore industries to increase Australian seafood and marine renewable energy production. The CRC has five research programs: Offshore Engineering and Technology, Seafood and Marine, Offshore Renewable Energy Systems, Environment and Ecosystems, and Sustainable Offshore Developments.  
    Kenya
    • Under the Fisheries Management and Development Act, 2016 the Kenya Government is investing in co-management models for small scale fisheries with Beach Management Units (BMUs). Activities include capacity building, leadership development and development of by-laws, including those for protecting fish stocks for sustainable food production through Locally Managed Marine Areas. This is one approach to improve fisheries management effectiveness through the establishment of joint fisheries co-management area managed by local communities (BMUs) in collaboration with county authorities.    
    • The Kenya Marine Fisheries and Social Economic Development Project (KEMSFED) has an overall goal increase socio-economic benefits and coastal livelihoods from the marine fisheries and coastal aquaculture while safeguarding associated ecosystems’ integrity by strengthening the governance institutions for Fisheries and Blue Economy.      
    Namibia 
    • Namibia has already increased national fish consumption from 4kg per capita in 2014 to current 15.4 kg per capita in 2018.  
    Norway
    • Norway will continue the knowledge-based management of fishery resources and facilitate growth in the aquaculture industry within a sustainable framework. 
    • Norway will increase knowledge and awareness of the role of sustainable food from the ocean for achieving food security and improved nutrition. 
    • The Norwegian Seafood Research Fund (FHF) has initiated a knowledge based review of the Norwegian seafood industry’s climate imprint. The study will feed into the growing global methodology on the subject.
    Portugal
    • Long description: Portugal is implementing a new large range plan for supporting a scientific control of stocks according to MSY, including an increase in scientific cruises to evaluate the stock conditions and management plans. According to the new plan for sustainable aquaculture Portugal is implementing a huge transformation in the rules and localizations, controlling and reducing the density, the use of renewable energies and the requirements for the control of water. The objective is to contribute to reducing the consumption to levels environmentally compatible with the maintenance of biodiversity.
  • Advance the Deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage

    Reduce barriers for carbon capture and storage below the seabed through international collaboration, including mapping the storage potential of the sub-seabed geological formations.

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    Norway
    • Norway is allocating NOK 535 million (approximately USD 60 million) for CO2-storage appraisal well under the North Sea seabed 
    Portugal
    • Portugal has just approved its Maritime Space Management and Planning, the first in European Union, to map the areas appropriate to different maritime activities and those with potential for carbon capture and storage. In parallel is mapping the natural resources and the geological characteristics of seabed and sub-seabed. The ocean has a major role in carbon absorption, retaining fifty times more carbon than the atmosphere. This central role in the global carbon cycle needs to be considered in the route to a carbon neutral society. Artificial reefs, biological transformation and improvement of storage capacity, will be studied and potentially applied
  • Expand Ocean Observation and Research

    Scale up support for integrated local-to-global observation and research to better inform decision-makers on the observed and projected impacts of climate change, warming and acidification on the ocean, and the role of the ocean in the global carbon cycle.

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    Australia
    • The Climate and Ocean Support Program in the Pacific (COSPPac2) builds on Australia's long-term support for core climate information services across the Pacific. It supports Pacific Island national meteorological services and other relevant agencies to understand and use climate, ocean and sea level data and information to develop and disseminate useful products and services for the Pacific Is governments and communities, building resilience to the impacts of climate change, climate variability and disasters. $26.1 million over 2018-2022 inclusive of New Zealand contribution of $2.3 million.   
    • The Australian Government is committed to global ocean observing. It has invested $195 million in its Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) as a national research infrastructure over thirteen years to June 2019 and will invest a further $87 million over the next four years to June 2023. The Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda commits to long term funding of national research infrastructure out to 2029 and we expect IMOS to continue over that timeframe. IMOS makes all of its data accessible to the marine and climate science community, other stakeholders and users, and international collaborators via the Australian Ocean Data Network. IMOS has enabled over 5,000 scientific outputs by hundreds of organisations, and its observations and data are used by major marine, climate and Antarctic research programs addressing national priorities across the Education, Industry, Environment, Defence, Agriculture and Infrastructure portfolios. IMOS is an Australian commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 14, and is recognised by IOC-UNESCO as a Regional Alliance of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS).  
    • Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) has gone from zero investment in surface wave and offshore wind observing pre-2017, to $0.5 million in 2017-19, then a further $1.7 million in 2019-23. This indicates a clear response to demand for observations and data relevant to research on ocean renewables.    IMOS will work across industry, service providers, governments and research institutions to build capability and knowledge in the national and international ocean renewable energy community. IMOS is also co-chair and host organisation for the Australian Forum for Operation Oceanography, providing a path to impact through working with marine industries, consulting companies, and government agencies using ocean observations and data to make decisions on a daily basis.   
    • Australia has announced, as part of the whole of government Australian Antarctic Strategy and 20 Year Action Plan, that it will be leading a major Antarctic research project to recover the oldest continuous ice core, in excess of a million years old. This work is a key project to understand global climate, and particularly the way all earth system elements interact on long timescales, from the ocean, to ice sheets, the earth’s crust and the atmosphere. This initiative includes the logistical capability to traverse deep into the Antarctic interior and establish a mobile inland presence for years at a time, as well as the technology for drilling an ice core 3 kilometres deep into the ice. The initiative has funding of $45 million to 2025/26. Australia is taking an international leadership role as part of a broader international cooperation that will see two or more such cores recovered through this time period to explore and validate the major changes in climate that have occurred through the last 1-1.5 million years.   
    • Australia is engaged in improving its ocean observation capabilities through enhancing the coverage and quality of its seabed maps. Better information regarding the topography of the sea floor will have flow-on effects for better understanding ocean currents and climate, fisheries, and increased safety of life at sea. Seabed mapping also presents new economic opportunities through the design, construction and operation of unmanned ocean exploration vehicles.  AusSeabed is a partnership across government, industry and academia that is coordinating the collection of seabed data efforts in Australian waters and making it easier for everyone to get to this invaluable data. Research vessels such as the Marine National Facility’s R/V.    Investigator, the Australian Antarctic Division’s new icebreaker R/V Nuyina ($1.9 billion investment in the Nuyina over 30 years), and the upcoming Defence-Australian Hydrographic Office Hydroscheme Industry Partnership Program will provide capability for progressing this collection effort. This work will also contribute to the global Nippon-Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project, which aims to map the entirety of the ocean floor by 2030.   
    • The Australian Government is funding a new $3.5 million (2019-2023) project to be undertaken by the secretariat of the Pacific Community to examine the natural features used to generate maritime zones in the Pacific that are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise and other climate change related impacts. The land and natural maritime features used by the Pacific island countries to generate maritime zones include low-elevation islands, sand cays, rocks, and associated coral reef systems. The permanence of these types of features are at risk due to climate change impacts including sea level rise, ocean acidification, extreme weather events, loss of habitat and decreasing biodiversity.    The project will improve scientific understanding of the impacts of climate change on these natural features and contribute to the capacity of Pacific island countries to make decisions about possible management strategies.   
    Japan
    • The AP-PLAT is a new initiative, established on 16th June 2019 during G20 Ministerial Meeting, to share climate risk and adaptation information via online with the stakeholders in the Asia and Pacific region. The AP-PLAT will also develop scientific knowledge and useful tools on adaptation and promote capacity buildings through partnership of like-minded organizations and countries in the region, aiming to create an enabling environment for climate risk informed decision making and practical adaptation action. AP-PLAT has accumulated a number of practices in the region including advanced assessment methodologies using the Satellite data, which were gathered through Japan's bilateral projects in the Pacific area and other datasets provided from the scientific institutes in this area.   
    • Japan has promoted climate change research, such as TOUGOU (Integrated Research Program for Advancing Climate Models), for decades to develop cutting-edge climate models, taking into account a variety of complex interactions in the climate systems, such as marine biogeochemical processes important to the global carbon and nitrogen cycle. Climate change projections by those climate models have served as a scientific knowledge basis to IPCC reports and climate change measures. For example, the scientists have been studying how tropical cyclones will change while oceans are getting warmer, and how intensified tropical cyclones would exacerbate storm surge risks on top of the ongoing sea level rise for not only around Japan but also in Southeast Asia and Pacific island countries. Better understanding of climate change and its impact related to ocean is crucial for climate change measures on global and local scale.      
    • Global ocean monitoring and scientific findings in relation to oceanic environmental changes are definitely required for sustainable development and effective usage of ocean and oceanic resources, which are at heart of SDG14. Against this background, the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) intends to promote the following three actions below under international collaboration:  1)Continuous global ocean monitoring by use of conventional Argo float network;  2)Enhancement of deep float network to obtain information on deep ocean, which can be directly connected to marine resources monitoring. Through this initiative, Japan hopes to take lead in the international community to clarify the mechanism of deep ocean climate changes by deploying deep float and solving related technical issues;  3)Enhancement of biogeochemical float network to monitor global changes of biogeochemical variables which are deeply linked to ocean acidification and changes in carbon cycle in conjunction with global warming.  The obtained data will be made available to the public nearly in real time as basic/essential information used in every action to contribute to the goal of SDG14.  Enhancement of marine scientific knowledge is essential for addressing the challenges of SDG14 such as ocean acidification, marine pollution and conservation of the sea and marine resources including biodiversity. JAMSTEC has been obtaining marine physical, chemical and biological information by using research vessels, deep-sea survey systems, mooring and floats, etc. The information gathered is useful for achieving SDG14, and has been widely shared through the Internet and by other ways. For example, JAMSTEC operates Biological Information System for Marine Life (BISMaL) which collects and shares photos and movies of marine lives as well as biodiversity information including distribution. BISMaL works as an information platform for Japanese node of Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS), which is operated by UNESCO/IOC.      
    Kenya 
    • Through IOC/UNESCO, Kenya is a member and actively contributes to the Global Sea Level Observation System (GLOSS) which is a network of 300 sea level monitoring stations around the globe. We have two station located in Mombasa and Lamu and have deployed argo float which collects sea level data as part of the global network. These two stations are dedicated components of the Indian Ocean Tsunami warning system. The data from these two stations can therefore be used to either confirm or cancel a Tsumani alert in the region. There is also increased investment in ocean-atmosphere research and observing by the meteorological department and in providing coastal weather/hazard alerts on weekly basis.   
    • The Second International Indian Ocean Expedition (IOE-II) is currently underway. Kenya is participating in this expedition and providing the Research Vessel RV Mtafiti as a research platform for ocean observation in the region. We have a team of highly trained scientists in the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute and Universities who gather and analyse oceanographic, marine and fisheries data. Kenya is not working in isolation but in collaboration with other countries in the region to map her resources in order to harness the Blue Economy    
    • The regional training center established by IOC/UNESCO at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute in Mombasa equips experts from the region with skills for processing and analysis of data, and also maintains several regional ocean databases and directories providing useful information for management of ocean environment and resources.   
    • Kenya’s Coastal Research and Development – Indian Ocean (a non-profit research organization) is on the Global Ocean Observing Systems Biology and Ecosystems Panel, and leading the development of new Implementation Plan for the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network for 2019 onwards.    
    Namibia 
    • This is in addition to our annual budgetary allocations for maritime research, and includes US$ 2.3 million to facilitate research on oceans, especially on fisheries stocks and marine ecosystem, and a further US $ 2.7 million to intensify the fight against illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing, and improve ocean governance.    
    • The Benguela Current System is a large marine ecosystem which is jointly managed by the three countries through the Benguela Current Convention   
    Norway
    • Norway will continue to monitor and research the ocean with research vessels and other relevant infrastructure, including newly built polar research vessel and marine research vessel designed to assist developing countries in improving fisheries management.  
    Portugal 
    • Marine ecosystem services (e.g. water filtration, flood-control, oxygen, food provision, transportation support, inspiration and cognitive development) are essential for life on earth and for human societies. This is particularly true in countries such as Portugal that have a big coastal and marine area under national jurisdiction (c.a. 3.8 million Km2) that represents c.a. 97% of its territory. Mismanagement of natural capital persists in many situations and its full value is not reflected in socio-economic policies and political decision-making despite its fundamental importance for society's well-being. Portugal has developed an innovative approach regarding blue economy accounting through its Satellite Account for the Sea, under the National accounts. Ocean ecosystem or biodiversity values are considered in the Satellite Account for the Sea if they have a market value: fish landing, coastal tourism and the value of sun and beach tourism, coastal view and additional value on property, for example. On the other hand, the Ocean Economy concept adopted under the existing Satellite Account for the Sea does include the ocean ecosystem or biodiversity values not traded in market (not considered by the National Accounts) and, in that sense, opens an avenue to work in a coordinated way to develop ocean environmental accounts and ocean ecosystem services accounts. Thus, recognizing that sustained efforts are needed to develop new tools for the valuation of marine ecosystem services and their benefits to socio-economic systems, Portugal commits develop a system for marine natural capital and ecosystem services accounting that may become a decision-making tool    
    • Long description: The ocean economy is expected to grow worldwide in the coming years and more than double its Gross Added Value by 2030. Additionally, the sustainable ocean economy can offer powerful solutions that will contribute positively to the sustainable development, and simultaneously to Ocean Health and the Climate Agenda. Public policies have to embrace the challenge of Ocean Health and Ocean Wealth as one sole objective, supporting the governance on the best scientific knowledge available, and on comparable and comprehensive ocean statistics. More and better data, and improved knowledge are the basis for a better Ocean governance. Strengthened partnerships with this objective are top political priorities for Portugal in the coming years. Portugal has prepared an Atlantic Deep Sea Observatory, based in Azores, and assume the commitment of its implementation in 2020. It will be the extension of Air Centre, an existing scientific and business international coalition concerning with the space.

Responding to the High Level Panel’s Call to Action, companies and other organisations are also starting to form coalitions and grow partnerships to advance relevant action, including:

  • The Pew Charitable Trusts is launching a 3-year initiative to support countries to incorporate coastal wetlands and coral reefs into their National Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. They will work in partnership with governments, researchers and other NGOs.

    “The High Level Panel’s Call to Ocean-Based Climate Action demonstrates the value of protecting coastal wetlands as a nature-based solution, which is integral to the global effort to build resilience and protect our ocean in a changing climate. Coastal habitats are among the planet’s most biologically rich ecosystems. They protect shorelines during storms and are critical for carbon sequestration, making them an important part of mitigation and adaptation efforts for countries that have signed the Paris Agreement,” says Tom Dillon, Vice President and Head of Environment for The Pew Charitable Trusts.
  • Ørsted and Equinor, two companies in the forefront of offshore renewable energy, have announced the creation of a new industry-led coalition to scale up ocean-based renewable energy in support of efforts to achieve the Paris Agreement. The coalition is bringing together leading ocean industry players and will present a roadmap for action at the UN Ocean Conference in June 2020.

    “The only way we can combat climate change is by working together to take real action, and on behalf of Ørsted, and Equinor, two of the world-leading offshore wind developers, I am delighted to announce this new coalition for action for offshore renewable energy. The report reveals that ocean renewable energy, and in particular offshore wind energy, has a huge potential to help mitigate climate change, so we are looking forward to bringing industry players together, in response to the High Level Panel’s Call to Ocean-Based Action, to understand how we can take an international perspective to the challenges we will face and coordinate in our action to unlock the full potential of ocean renewable energy to prevent global overheating,” says Benj Sykes, Vice President at Orsted and leading on the Coalition for Action for offshore renewable energy.
  • The Getting to Zero Coalition: will work with industry towards having commercially viable zero emission vessels operating along deep sea trade routes by 2030, supported by the necessary infrastructure for scalable zero-carbon energy sources including production, distribution, storage and bunkering.

    “We support the Call to Ocean-Based Climate Action from the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy and agree that the full phaseout of GHG emissions from shipping will only be possible with the introduction of zero-carbon fuels. Hence, it is our ambition to accelerate the deployment of commercially viable deep-sea zero emission vessels by 2030,” says Johannah Christensen, Managing Director, Global Maritime Forum, a partner of the Getting to Zero Coalition.
  • The Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS) Initiative, representing ten of the largest seafood companies in the world, operating in wild capture fisheries, aquaculture, and feeds, will advance strategies to enhance sustainable fisheries, and investigate mechanisms to adapt to climate change impacts on seafood production. These industry leaders are working to refine science-based strategies for global action, aligned with the High Level Panel’s efforts to accelerate action to secure sustainable food from the ocean.

    “The ambition of SeaBOS members is to increase the production of healthy and sustainable seafood, and to improve ocean health overall. The members recognise the positive benefits that eating more sustainably produced seafood can have at lowering the global food carbon footprint, as called for by the High Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, and also note that it would have positive social and ecological impacts to have a healthier ocean. These efforts will help shine a light on the science-based solutions that industry will need to prioritise to increase sustainable seafood production, improve ocean health. Combined, those actions will assist in reducing the overall carbon footprint of protein production and food sources globally,” says Mr Shigeru Ito, Chairman SeaBOS, also CEO and President Maruha Nichiro Corporation.
  • The Chilean Salmon Aquaculture Association (SalmonChile AG) has called for an industry-wide initiative aimed at reducing by 50% the use of antibiotics by the year 2025 and monitored by the prestigious Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program.
  • The Chilean National Society of Fisheries (SONAPESCA) has called for a sustainability certification of the largest Chilean fishery, the Jack-Mackerel, under the strict standard of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), with the view of making it the largest certified fishery in Latin America.
  • The Chilean Salmon Aquaculture Association (SalmonChile AG) has highlighted the objective of reaching 50% carbon neutrality by 2020 and 100% by 2025 of its member company “Salmones Camanchaca", setting an example of leadership for other companies to follow.