Position paper

IUCN Position Paper for UN Ocean Conference 2022

IUCN welcomes the increasing recognition and importance given to the ocean since the first UN Ocean Conference in 2017 and also welcomes the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021–2030 to strengthen scientific understanding of the ocean.

IUCN notes with regrets that none of the targets to be met by 2020 have been achieved. IUCN urges UN Member States to take increased action to meet all targets of Sustainable Development Goal 14 and redouble efforts to achieve those with an already lapsed 2020 timeline. In this regard, IUCN encourages States to adopt a strong, action-oriented political declaration at the 2022 UN Ocean Conference.

Recognizing that synergistic action is more urgent than ever, IUCN also calls on States to commit to the adoption of an ambitious post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular SDGs 14 and 15.

Further, IUCN exhorts all Parties to conclude, in 2022, an ambitious international legally binding instrument under UNCLOS on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Agreement), to conclude in 2024 negotiations on an internationally legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, and to adhere to, ratify and implement other international law instruments that address ocean and marine biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.

Regarding voluntary commitments, IUCN notes that to ensure a meaningful contribution towards a healthy ocean, and a just transition towards a low carbon and sustainable blue economy these must rely on a supportive framework for their monitoring, reporting and verification.

Finally, IUCN highlights the importance of promoting proactive, effective, equitable, inclusive, gender-responsive implementation of SDG14 and the need to ensure the full and effective participation of Indigenous peoples and local communities including their free, prior, and informed consent, and the full recognition of the rights of Indigenous peoples to their lands, territories and resources, as set out under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).