The Conference was organized by the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts and Islands, which was created in 2002 by an informal World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) coordinating group in Johannesburg, South Africa. Comprised of individuals from governments, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the Global Forum serves as a platform for cross-sectoral information sharing and dialogue on issues affecting oceans, coasts and islands, with the goal of achieving sustainable development in these areas. The event brought together over 430 participants from 71 countries representing governments, UN and other international agencies, NGOs, industry, oceans donors, organized science groups, and networks of museums and aquaria.
In attendance were James Oliver (IUCN GMP Project Officer), Elizabeth De Santo, (IUCN WCPA-Marine MPAs Coordination Officer, based in IUCN-US Washington DC office), and Lindsay Aylesworth (Marine Fellow, IUCN-US). James and IUCN colleagues Lucy Emerton (Head, Asian Regional Environmental Economics Programme) and Mark Smith (Water Management Advisor) organized a pre-conference workshop on Payments for Ecosystem Services in collaboration with GEF IW-Learn. Elizabeth, Lucy and Mark led breakout sessions to help participants think through the process of assigning economic values to ecosystem services, which included a role-playing negotiation exercise. Lindsay served as rapporteur for the pre-conference workshop and promoted Sailing to Barcelona at the conference.
During the conference, participants heard presentations by high-level officials and engaged in topical panels and discussion sessions on three major themes: (i) achieving ecosystem management and integrated coastal and ocean management by 2010; (ii) climate, oceans and security: addressing impacts in vulnerable ecosystems and in vulnerable coastal communities, especially in Small Island Developing States (SIDS); (iv) and the governance of marine ecosystems and uses in areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.
Elizabeth represented IUCN WCPA-Marine in a panel organized by the CBD Secretariat on Next Steps in Assessing Progress in Halting Marine Biodiversity Loss by 2010. Her co-panelists included Marjo Vierros (UNU), Nicole Glineur (GEF), Chua Thia-Eng (East Asian Seas Partnership Council, Philippines), David Johnston (OSPAR) and Hon. Moah Idechong (Congressman, Palau). Elizabeth gave an overview of IUCN WCPA-Marine’s work towards facilitating the process towards CBD targets, namely increasing awareness/capacity and sharing information.
Afterwards, James, Elizabeth and Lindsay visited the Nha Trang Bay MPA, the first comprehensively developed and managed MPA in Vietnam. Its establishment was supported by the 2001-2005 Hon Mun MPA Pilot study, which was co-financed by GEF, DANIDA, IUCN and the Government of Vietnam. The project was implemented by the Ministry of Fisheries, Khanh Hoa Province, and IUCN. James, Elizabeth and Lindsay were warmly welcomed by Mr. Kinh Truong, Director of the Nha Trang Bay MPA Authority, and Ms. Hoa Nguyen, Head of the Community Development and Education Awareness Team. For further information on this successful project, see http://www.nhatrangbaympa.vnn.vn/