The Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) reports on recent dialogues in Rio + 20
Professor Robin Mahon was invited by the Government of Brazil to be on the ‘Oceans Panel’ of the Sustainable Development Dialogues at Rio+20 (June 19th). The Panel addressed the top 10 recommendations coming out of an internet dialogue that had started months before. Three were taken to the Heads of State and Governments at Rio+20. In his opening statement Prof. Mahon focused on the need for a global ocean governance framework. “I am from a very small island out in a big ocean. Early in my career I realized that no matter how well we do at the island level we can only succeed in using our oceans sustainably if we work together with others that share that ocean. I like the action-oriented nature of the recommendations that have emerged. These are things we must do if we are to have healthy oceans supporting mankind. However, if these and all the other necessary actions are to succeed they must be supported at regional and global levels. In my view we are lacking the global ocean governance vision and framework needed to get these things done.”
“Ocean governance is a large scale job. Resources and problems cut across national boundaries and High Seas. We need solutions that also cut across these boundaries. I would like us to send a message to governments that it is time to give us the mandate and support that we need to tackle the problems at the scale at which they are occurring; a mandate to develop that integrated ocean governance vision and build that framework.” “Let me be clear. I am not talking about a top-down bureaucratic arrangement. We have outgrown that approach. We need innovative global ocean governance arrangements that allow us to fully use the lower level building blocks at regional, national and local levels, so that the global arrangement reflects the full value of inputs from all stakeholders at these lower levels. We need this so that when we engage fishers or any other stakeholder their input has an impact not only at the local level, but finds its way up to the levels above, at which decisions about the ecosystem are taken.We need action at all levels.”
The 60,000 people who voted on the Dialogues chose recommendation 1 (below). The second recommendation was chosen by the 1,500 people in the room on 19 June. The third recommendation was developed by the Panel on the day.
1. Avoid ocean pollution by plastics through education and community collaboration
2. Launch a global agreement to save high seas marine biodiversity
3. Take immediate action to develop a global network of international marine protected areas, while fostering ecosystem-based fisheries management, with special consideration for small-scale fishing interests.
Details of ongoing environmental research and educational outreach activities can be found in publications on the CERMES website.