Ocean Pathway initiative to drive climate action on oceans
November 17, 2017
The vital role of the world's oceans in the processes and impacts of climate change has been recognised at COP23 with the launch by Fiji and Sweden of the Ocean Pathway initiative.
The initiative, driven by the Pacific countries, arose from the first UN Ocean Conference in June 2017, co-chaired by Fiji and Sweden, and aims to ensure that oceans are part of the UNFCCC agenda item and work programme by 2019, and that they are included in countries' Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
The partnership will also consolidate existing work being done to create a coordinated effort among governments at all levels, existing ocean alliances and coalitions, civil society and the private sector to create a stronger link between climate action and a healthy ocean. A working committee and secretariat will be based in Suva.
Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Fijian Attorney-General and Minister responsible for climate change said that Fiji and Sweden shared “a real concern on the state of our oceans and the relationship this has to our efforts with climate change”.
“Climate change and ocean health both need international frameworks and joint efforts of all stakeholders, making the Ocean Pathway Partnership a potentially very important platform for change. We’re all in this together and if we partner we can all do something about it together.”
The partnership was launched with the support of countries including Chile, Cook Islands, Dominican Republic, French Polynesia, Portugal, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Samoa and the Seychelles. A number of multilateral organisations and NGOs also pledged their support.
To join the partnership, prospective members are asked to actively advocate for the incorporation of the Ocean Pathway in the UNFCCC process, and to provide leadership for robust ocean commitments within Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), as well as international and domestic climate policies and actions.