Event planned for launch of declaration at UN Ocean ConferenceJune 27, 2022 Minister of Environment Sir Molwyn Joseph, Antigua & Barbuda
Concept: Sustainable Development Goal 14 has a specific target to increase the economic benefits to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) from the sustainable use of marine resources by 2030. This includes increasing scientific knowledge, developing research capacity and transfer of marine technology taking into account the IOC criteria and guidelines, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to development of developing countries, in particular SIDS and LDCs. However, very limited progress has been made on this front in SIDS, due to the persisting problems in developing, sustaining and locally retaining capacity. This indicates that business-as-usual approaches to capacity building are not sufficient to meet the needs of SIDS to secure a thriving future in changing oceans, especially considering the combined threats of warming sea temperatures, ocean acidification, de-oxygenation and pollution, amongst others. Key factors contributing to this problem include: a lack of common understanding about the meaning of capacity building, the problems that hinder effective and equitable outcomes; ineffective or absent mechanisms for cooperation including matching self-identified needs with resources to meet needs in the long-term or retain capacity; and a lack of monitoring frameworks to track progress and promote best practice. Moving forward, there is a clear need to address these factors in order to enhance and accelerate implementation of SDG 14.7. The Event: In this context, the Chair of AOSIS is proposing to organize an event to launch a “Declaration for the enhancement of scientific knowledge, research capacity and transfer marine technology to SIDS” at the Second UN Ocean Conference taking place in Lisbon from 27 June to 1 July 2022, under the theme “Scaling up ocean action based on science and innovation of Goal 14: stocktaking, partnerships and solutions”. The Declaration, to be endorsed by all AOSIS Member States, highlights the key challenges currently faced by SIDS in capacity building and transfer of marine technology, and calls for enhanced partnerships that will overcome these specific challenges through: (i) Promoting better understanding of the specific issues faced by SIDS in current initiatives for capacity building and related transfer of marine technology; (ii) Ensuring that the needs of SIDS are met in terms of knowledge, science and technology for the development and implementation of ocean policy; (iii) Shifting predominant narratives concerning one-way initiatives and approaches that perpetuate inequities and deliver ineffective outcomes; (iv) Establishing best practice approaches to developing, implementing and sustaining capacity development partnerships; (v) Promoting information and knowledge exchange, including on modalities for capacity building and related cooperation in science, technology and innovation, and measurements of effectiveness. In addition to the launch, the event will also feature new announcements and commitments in alignment with the Declaration, including a knowledge sharing hub for SIDS.
Sub Topic: UN Oceans Conference