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CLIMATE ACTION, GENUINE PARTNERSHIPS & MULTI-STAKEHOLDER TRUST BUILDING KEY FOR IMPLEMENTING COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIPS FOR SDG14

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The  key  tools  for  implementation  towards  achieving  SD14  include  leadership  advocacy  on  climate  action,
genuine  partnerships,  multi-stakeholder trust  building  and financial  sustainability. This was  relayed  by the
Pacific  Islands Development  Forum  (PIDF)  Secretary  General,  François  Martel  while  delivering a  high  level
panel keynote address on  Saturday 3rd September  during  a session  on  “Time to act for oceans in the 2030
Agenda: collaborative partnerships for SDG 14”  held at the International  Union for  Conservation of Nature
(IUCN) World Conservation Congress currently underway at the Hawaii Convention Centre.

The PIDF Secretary General was asked  to provide a perspective from the Pacific Leaders community on what
it will take to get a successful outcome at the UN Oceans Conference to be held in June 2017.

He  highlighted  outcomes  from  a  Summit  of  Leaders  where  several  sessions  were  held  on  harnessing  the
Pacific  Ocean’s  wealth,  guarantying  the  ocean’s  health  and  on  enhancing  collaboration  for  achieving  the
SDG14 Life under water.  Secretary General Martel  said  that the seas surrounding the islands of the Pacific
support the largest tuna fishery of any ocean in the world.

“Under the  Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission they have  responsibility for the conservation,
management and sustainable use of the tuna resources across an area that covers around 100 million km2 –
that’s  20  percent  of  the  Earth’s  surface  –  and  this  doesn’t  include  the  Eastern  Pacific  nor  makes  any
reference  to  its  biodiversity  other  than  tuna  or  its  critical  role  as  a  carbon-sink,”  commented  the  PIDF
Secretary General during the keynote delivery.

He shared with the large audience that  the  Pacific Islands leaders’  community refer to their status as Large
Oceanic Developing States and for a good reason.

“We no longer refer to green economies but to green growth in blue economies and a Sea of Islands, instead
of islands in a sea”, he said.

Most of their wealth, current and potential economic growth and food security for their people depend on
the  ocean  and  its  marine  resources  within  their  EEZ.  In  order  to  have  an  efficient  an  effective
implementation of  the  SDG14 Secretary General Martel said that first  it is about  urgency  on Climate action
(SDG13). This was repeated at all Summits, as the key to sustainable ocean governance and the protection of
Pacific Islanders human-rights.

“Once the ocean ecosystems processes and carbon-sink capacity become overwhelmed and trigger at scale a
massive  acidification  crisis…God  knows what  impact  it  will  have  on  marine  resources regardless  of  all  our
efforts as a global community”, said the Secretary General.

“All islands on the planet need no reminder why 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial level need to be our
absolute maximum to avoid disaster and reverse the trend in the long-term, but still most of the nations that
signed the Paris Agreement see the 2 degree Celsius as their minimum limit” he added.

He also stressed that partnerships (SDG17) were equally important.

“The watershed of actions on Pacific sustainable ocean governance truly came about around 2007, some 9
years ago using another important global framework known as the Convention on biological diversity (CBD) ”,
he commented to the audience.

“In  Curitiba  Brazil,  the  CBD  adopted  its  newest  Programme  of  Works  on  Island  ecosystems  and  in  a  one evening-event,  President  Remengesau  of  Palau  launched  the  Micronesia  Challenge,  President  Tong  of
Kiribati officially declared the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) then the largest MPA in the world, Fiji
committed 20% of its coastal marine areas to conservation through Locally Managed Marine Areas and the
Global Islands Partnership (GLISPA), with the support of  Palau and  the Seychelles,  was born,”  emphasised
Secretary General Martel.

All  these  initiatives  are  still  active  and  in  full  swing today  –  and  literally  have  set  the  scene  for  more  and
more  ambitious  challenges  around  the  globe  for  other  innovative  ways  of  protecting  and  governing  the
oceans.

“So when we are talking about capacity development for SDG14 why not build from the lessons learned of
these  initiatives  –  we  need  to  look  at  three  key  factors  here  –  multi-stakeholder  trust  building  and
partnerships  for  action  (not  talk),  engagement  level  at  sub-regional  and  national  scale ,  and  financial
sustainability”.
He  added  that  all  these  successful  and  celebrated  initiatives  have  many  points  in  common  and  we  are
reminded of this by Leaders in what they expect. They have the hallmarks  of multi-stakeholders partnerships
but  -  let’s  say it  –  from  leaders  in  conservation  organisations  be  it  from  Civil  Society, Foundations  and/or
visionary  Corporations  -  that  put  emphasis  on  leadership  building  at  sub-regional  and  national  levels  and
learning/exchange networks.

“For  this  to  work,  they  all  set  about  to  focus  on  financial  sustainability,  so  most  of  these  initiatives
established Trust Funds and other types of endowment and sinking funds to move away from what I call “the
curse  of  the  3-year  project  cycle”  virtually  imposed  on  islands  by  most  well-wishing  donors,”  he  further
commented to the audience.

In his  conclusion  the Secretary General said that  Leaders of the Pacific have become advocate for action by
the global community in  working towards key objectives such as  Climate action  –  developing a new Pacific
Climate  Treaty  to  phase  out  fossil  fuels  and  set  up  a  Climate  Compensation  Fund  to  catalyze  sustain able
development in the islands and keep the momentum of their leadership in Paris. Also on  Fisheries  -  Claim
ownership  of  the  Pacific  fisheries  and  lead  the  dialogue  to  empower  small  islands  to  engage  on  an  equal
footing  with  distant  nations  through  regional  management  authorities  and  value  their  resources  for  their
critical importance and scarcity.

It also includes  Marine Areas beyond national jurisdiction –  promote the conservation of ABNJ in the Pacific
as no-take zone and reserves and use the instruments like UNCLOS with implementation plans to address
threats and intensifying uses witch are undermining the health, productivity and resilience of the oceans.

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