Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Effective ocean governance, ocean & coastal sustainability, blue-green development seem to be among the new clichés formed by experts in the development circles notably the international organizations. Westerners are particularly prone to ‘fetishism of the concept’ as the late sociologist C.Wright Mills noted the phenomenon (in his critique of Talcott Parsons), so this fetishism finds manifestation in the eco-development terrain quite expectedly.

The efforts towards the blueprinting of ocean & coastal sustainability has become an interagency effort. The first blueprint was just recently launched, which the drafters hope will enlighten stakeholders in the forthcoming eco-summit to be held in Brazil next June. Just exactly how far this blueprint will make impact remains to be seen, more so that cash-strapped Western nations are in a panic situation to salve their own backyards’ economic downturns and mal-adaptive tailspins, thus rendering the green agenda as second fiddle.

Below is a report about the said blueprint coming from the UNESCO media office.

[Philippines, 18 December 2011]

Launch of an inter-agency blueprint for ocean and coastal sustainability
Cover, A blueprint for ocean and coastal sustainability: Interagency paper towards the preparation of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, launched the inter-agency report Blueprint for Ocean and Coastal Sustainability, prepared by the UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), as a contribution to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) which will take place next June in Brazil.
The report contains 10 concrete proposals
• (i) to reduce stressors & restore the structure and function of marine ecosystems,
• (ii) that support the Blue-Green Economy,
• (iii) leading to Policy, Legal and Institutional Reforms for effective Ocean Governance, and finally
• (iv) supporting marine research, observation, technology and capacity transfer.
A number of delegates (Brazil, Australia, Monaco, India, France, Grenada on behalf of AOSIS, and Korea) delivered statements presenting their national priorities for Rio+20, stressing the need to provide political weight to ocean issues within the existing and future sustainable development agenda. The meeting was also addressed by H.E. M. Meetarbhan, Co-chair of UN Informal Process on Oceans (Mauritius) and Ms L. Inniss, Co-coordinator of the UN Group of Experts on the Regular Process for Reporting and Assessing the State of the Marine Environment.
Related links:
• Address by Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO (.pdf)
• Statement by Mr. Terence Moore, Secretary General of the Grenada National Commission on behalf of AOSIS (.pdf)
• Blueprint for Ocean and Coastal Sustainability
Source: Natural Sciences Sector

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