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