Posted by Susan Jackson
16 June 2012
Greetings from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where I’m attending the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development with thousands of people from around the world. Yesterday I spoke during a side event held by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the US agency responsible for fisheries. Today I’m presenting on a panel discussing the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction Project, which ISSF is proud to be a part of, along with WWF and the UN FAO, the tuna RFMOs and Birdlife International. This is an important project that will lead to measurable change and improvements in how highly migratory fisheries – like tuna – are managed.
Among the more than 500 side events and announcements taking place here in Rio, is another one ISSF is pleased to support. Today, the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Oceans announced a Declaration for Healthy and Productive Oceans to Help Reduce Poverty and ISSF is one of the first groups to sign on. This Global Partnership is an assemblage of governments, civil society organizations, private sector companies and associations, research institutions, UN agencies, multi-lateral banks and foundations, which will contribute resources and unite behind achieving healthier oceans.
The declaration pledges to build upon existing efforts in convening stakeholders to mobilize significant resources for public and private investments in priority ocean areas; and will work to implement a series of interrelated policies by 2022. The announcement addresses key ocean issues, such as pollution, coastal and ocean biodiversity and sustainable seafood production. It reinforces some key positions that ISSF has focused on this past few years, including the need to “Reduce the open access nature of fisheries by creating responsible tenure arrangements, including secure access rights for fishers and incentives for them to hold a stake in the health of the fisheries.” The declaration also aims to “Halve the current rate of natural habitat loss and reduce habitat degradation and fragmentation, by applying ecosystem-based approaches to management.”
These are efforts groups like ISSF can, and should, actively support. Thus far, dozens of unique entities have joined this impressive collective, and more are expected to sign on in the days and weeks ahead. These are exciting time for marine sustainability efforts, and ISSF is proud to be a part of it.