Category Archives: Sustainable Development

Development that conbsider economic, social and environmental dimensions of equal importance

FIRST MEETING OF I-O NET, 25-27MAY 2015 IN TOKHYO

25-26 May2015 Final ISACI Presentation I-O Net First Meeting, TokyoIslands and Oceans Net (IO Net) 1st General Meeting

Outcome Highlights

Islands and Oceans Net Secretariat

Ocean Policy Research Institute

Ocean Policy Research Institute, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation (OPRI, SPF) organized the Islands and Oceans Net (IO Net) 1st General Meeting with the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), University of Wollongong and the University of Tokyo Ocean Alliance at the Ito International Research Center, University of Tokyo from 25 – 26 May 2015.

IO Net is an international collaborative network for the organisations and individuals (called “Partners”) who support the Joint Policy Recommendations “For the Better Conservation and Management of Islands and Their Surrounding Ocean Areas” and collaborate and cooperate on a voluntary basis to implement it

190 participants including 27 from overseas attended the IO Net 1st General Meeting. At the opening session, Mr. Hiroshi Terashima, President, OPRI, SPF which serves as IO Net Secretariat underlined that the IO Net is an international collaborative network for the organisations and individuals that collaborate on a voluntary basis to promote the better conservation and management of islands and their surrounding oceans, and stated that this meeting was intended to facilitate the development of concrete projects to implement the Joint Policy Recommendations. Prof. Stuart Kaye, Director, ANCORS stated in his video message that he welcomed the launching and the operationalization of the IO Net. Prof. Toshiyuki Hibiya, Director, University of Tokyo Ocean Alliance affirmed his determination that the University of Tokyo Ocean Alliance will carry out advanced academic research and play a proactive role in promoting sustainability in the Pacific island countries.

Mr. Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman, The Nippon Foundation stated in his keynote speech that the alarming phenomena that threaten human existence have emerged in the ocean and been progressing silently and steadily and the time has come now for establishing an international organization that addresses  ocean issues comprehensively. As an honourable guest, H.E. Mr. Anote Tong, President, the Republic of Kiribati stated that the Pacific island countries have been greatly affected by climate change and variability and the fate of the island countries hinges upon the collaboration of international community and expressed his expectation to the activities to be carried out under the IO Net. Honourable Mr. Kazuyuki Nakane, Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan welcomed the undertaking of the IO Net that can forge the close long term relationship between Japan and the Pacific island countries.

At this Meeting, Mr. Hiroshi Terashima, President, OPRI, SPF, Prof. Alistair McIlgorm, Capacity Development Coordinator, ANCORS and Mr. David Sheppard, Director-General, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) presided the Meeting as Co-Chairs.

At the sessions, the participants had fruitful discussions on the challenges faced by the small island countries and the proposed future activities based on the presentations made by the participants from the Pacific island countries, Japan and international organisations under the agenda of the conservation and management of islands, management of islands’ surrounding oceans, responses to climate change and variability, and capacity development and institutional strengthening.

At the wrap-up session, the participants discussed the launching of concrete projects under the operational guidelines of the IO Net and affirmed the direction of future activities. They have also confirmed that the interested partners of IO Net will discuss and materialize various project proposals for their implementation and the IO Net Secretariat (OPRI, SPF) support partners to develop and implement the projects through collecting and sharing of related information and making and circulating a list of proposed projects.

The Meeting was a great success and highly fruitful as many participants have attested their enthusiasm and commitment to promote international collaboration for undertaking the proposed activities to implement our Joint Policy Recommendations “For the Better Conservation and Management of Island and Their Surrounding Ocean Areas”. The co-organisers would like to cordially express appreciation to those who attended and supported the Meeting and ask for continuous support to future activities of IO Net.

Further details of the future activities for the IO Net will be posted at http://blog.canpan.info/ionet-jpn. Please address any further inquiry to the IO Net Secretariat (ionet@spf.or.jp、Dr. Keita Furukawa, Senior Researcher k-furukawa@spf.or.jp and Mr. Masanori Kobayashi, Researcher, m-kobayashi@spf.or.jp、Ocean Policy Research Institute, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation)

Islands and Oceans Net Secretariat – Ocean Policy Research Institute, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation Attention: Dr.Keita Furukawa and Mr. Masanori Kobayashi

Address: Toranomon 35 Mori Bldg, 3-4-10, Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0001 Japan

Tel: 81-3-5404-6855, Fax: 81-3-5404-6801

Oceans Intervention – Feb 2013, Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals

Thank you, sir. My name is Imogen Ingram and I am from Island Sustainability Alliance CIS Inc. I speak on behalf of the Indigenous Peoples Major Group.

Speakers on yesterday afternoon’s panel spoke eloquently about major issues confronting Indigenous Peoples, particularly in the Amazon which are relevant to Indigenous peoples and we support a stand-alone SDG within a rights-based framework to deal with Oceans, Biodiversity and Forests. Yesterday, one speaker explained how in Iceland, a rights-based approach to fisheries has been in place since the early 1900’s. His view was that although it was a difficult process, it was achievable, and fair. We believe that such workable governance could be used as a guidance to resolve social and environmental issues impacting on Indigenous Peoples, in compliance with the principle of Prior Informed Consent.

In 2012, the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights under the Office of the High Commission on Human Rights commenced and in its Report A/68/279 it mentions that the objective is to 1 “identify gaps identified in implementation and challenges with regard to the State duty to protect against business-related human rights abuses, the corporate responsibility to respect human rights and the corresponding obligations relating to access to effective remedy”. This concerns many Indigenous Peoples who have been left with legacy contaminants in abandoned mines in their territories, as well as the pollutants from new mines, both artisanal and large-scale, which currently affect their drinking water and traditional foods. In our view, the Rio Principles of polluter pays should apply, and those who created the problem should pay to clean it up. Where those entities for legacy pollution have disappeared, the burden falls upon the State.

With regard to food sovereignty, it was the alarm raised by Indigenous Peoples of the Arctic that resulted in the Stockholm Convention, after biomonitoring results showed contamination of the human food web by Persistent Organic Pollutants produced many thousands of miles away,. With their dependence on seafoods, Arctic Peoples have again become aware of contamination by persistent toxic substances in their water and foods, with damaging effects on the health of their communities. The most cruel aspect is that they only contribute negligible amounts of these contaminants. And they may not leave their territories to which they are bound by culture and tenure.

A further issue discussed by expert panels yesterday was that forest lands of indigenous peoples are often taken for development, often resulting in displacement of those who have thousands of years of residence but no formal tenure over their territories. This development often takes the form of hydroelectric power projects, where the power generated is for the benefit of others far away. Again, Indigenous Peoples feel that a rights-based SDG would assist in the process of redress or avoidance of such alienation of their territories.

In conclusion, yesterday afternoon a question was asked about how to obtain data from widely dispersed Indigenous Peoples. We believe that data can come from Indigenous Peoples themselves, in cooperation with global monitoring agencies so that the information is presented in a suitable and useful manner.

Thank you sir.

1Report on Transnational Corporations to the 2nd UN Forum on Business and Human Rights

Oceans – Sustainable Development Goal

WOMENS MAJOR GROUP CONTRIBUTION

FOR THE 8TH SESSION OF THE OPEN WORKING GROUP

ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS– OCEANS AND SEAS1

DRAFT #4 , VER 6 – 23 JANUARY 2014

The oceans and coastal regions forming part of the oceans ecosystems are rich in resources which provide contribute not only livelihoods for coastal marine communities but also global food sovereignty and food security. The International Programme on the State of the Oceans (IPSO) acknowledges a situation far worse than the conclusion reached by the UN Climate Change Panel of the IPCC, in that the ocean is absorbing much global warming and dealing with unprecedented levels of carbon dioxide. This international panel of marine scientists warns that the cumulative impact of these changes, and increased levels of deoxygeneation caused by coastal nutrient run-off, combine to produce what is described as the ocean’s “deadly trio” of threats. Revised figures are far graver than previous estimates , 2 and the IPSO has called for an urgent halt to ocean degradation.3 If ignored, we would lose the protective shield the ocean provides against the worst effects of accelerating climate change by absorbing excess CO2 and heat from the atmosphere.

The Women’s Major Group on Sustainable Development and the Post2015 Development Agenda therefore makes the following recommendations on Oceans and Seas to the Eighth Open Working Group on SDGs , followed by suggested indicators and targets.

RECOMMENDATIONS

THAT we reiterate the Womens Major Group unequivocal call for a “stand-­alone gender equality goal” in the post 2015 development agenda; and as a cross-cutting sustainable development priority. Addressing advancement of gender equality and human rights is central to transforming current economic, social, cultural, civic and political conditions, and should therefore be, be reflected in all negotiated outcomes. In this way, we can achieve redistribution of wealth, assets and power for social, economic and ecological justice for all. Without gender equality and human rights, the promise of health oceans, lands and air; poverty eradication; and sustainable development will remain unfulfilled.

THAT we support the call by AOSIS, (Association of Small Island States), many individual States and SIDs Interregional meetings and for a stand-alone SDG on Oceans, and inclusion of Oceans as a cross-cutting issue across all other targets and indicators;

THAT ambitious targets need to be implemented urgently, to reduce atmospheric air pollutants, such as carbon dioxide, mercury vapour, methane, POPs and other toxics because they increase greenhouse gase levels and drive up average global temperatures that cause sea level rise and threaten the existence of Small Island Developing States (“SIDS”)4 and low- lying coastal regions.

This requires strong political will on the part of both developed and developing countries. While all States suffer from climate change related issues, The Future We Want Report (2012) recognised, the special situation of SIDS who depend so greatly upon ecosystem services but also face exacerbated challenges due to small land mass; small and specialised economies, geographical isolation; relatively small populations; and costly and infrequent transportation. The smaller low-lying SIDS are worst off as they are threatened with entire loss of their homeland territories within a short timeframe.

THAT, building on the work of the ad hoc working group and before UNGA69, a negotiated decision is needed on the development of an international instrument under UNCLOS and harmonised with specific SDG targets and indicators. A specific legal regime for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in all marine environments of oceans and seas is required. It should have a legally binding status and adequate resources to allow for integrated and coordinated monitoring and enforcement for the full range of threats to ocean sustainability and for global biosphere protection, including in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

THAT SDGs negotiations adopt a biosphere-wide approach, which recognizes interdependence and interlinkage of atmospheric, terrestrial and marine ecosystems. In accordance with the UN Charter, UNUDHR, ICESER and UNDRIP inter alia, response and recovery plans, backed by significant trust funds, should be a prerequisite to any drilling, mining or extractive industry activities proposed, in particular on lands belonging to the state or to Indigenous Peoples. Consistent with corporate responsibility and internalization of costs, preventive measures are needed, including urgent removal from the coast and clean-up coastal refineries, shipping yards, railroads, manufacturing, chemical waste and sewage infrastructure within 3 metres above sea-level or the mean high water mark, whichever is the higher. In the case of SIDS, other protective measures and practices may be necessary to reduce hazards from infrastructure.

THAT Oceans governance needs to be strengthened by clustering multilaterally negotiated agreement on oceanic economic activities in accordance with Rio Principles and meaningful implementation of existing multilateral environmental agreements. Urgent global oversight is needed for oceanic economic activities, in particular for extractive industries. Member states represented in major global governance institutions, especially those dealing with economic, financial and trade affairs5 have been unsuccessful in ensuring that these institutions operate in a manner consistent with human rights obligations of Member States. Nor have environmentally sound practices been effectively considered. The outcomes have been economic systems that over-use oceans and lands for short-term benefits with no regard for long-term consequences, and impacts on ecosystems that have been degraded to the point where they cannot rebound from global warming, contamination and acidification.

THAT more ocean-focused scientific studies are needed at subregional, regional and global levels, on links between oceans and human health, implemented in partnership with state and NSA development stakeholders. Atmospheric mercury sources are from coal-fired power and artiisanal small-scale goldmining (“ASGM”), which is practised in more than 80 countries, many of them developing. The mercury is vapourised into the air, gets into waterways and eventually into oceans and seas. There it is transformed into methyl-mercury and ingested by fish and other marine creatures, and the humans that eat them. This research, carried out on a wide, global basis would provide missing baseline data about the extent of pollutants of the oceans and seas, with the objective of identifying and eliminating sources.

THAT implementation is needed of regional and subregional initiatives to promote sustainable conservation and management of coastal and marine resources, including achievement of Target 11 of Aichi under the Convention on Biological Diversity. Elimination of harmful subsidies that drive large-scale industrialised fishing and other marine overcapacity, banning the use of the most destructive fishing technology and practices, and combating IUU fishing;

THAT urgent measures are needed (including Means of Implementation, non-loan finances and resources) to assist all communities in SIDS and low-lying coastal communities forced by environ-mental changes to plan for relocation; to enable those affected to negotiate and implement agreements for peaceful transitions to other lands; to allow autonomous government to continue in the case of lands inundated with water; to recognise existing territorial boundaries of such States; to remind developed States of their commitments to adhere to agreed ODA levels, and for payments of Loss and Damage consistent with the agreement reached at UNFCCC COP19 Warsaw;

THAT to counter slow progress and any regressions in the UNFCCC, the SDG processes should lead the way in clarifying and highlighting the scale and urgency of climate change conditions, and setting trends toward ambitious and legally binding climate change commitments. The OWG should retain a broader macro view during the next three months of the principles, systems and processes which will underpin the SDGs and Post2015 Development Agenda , in addition to nuancing discussions on SDG goals, indicators and targets.

THAT both developed and developing countries make meaningful reductions in land-based activities that makes up the 80% of ocean pollution from wastes and nuclear contaminants. Wastes containing plastics, heavy metals, POPs and other toxic substances have resulted in gyres or ‘garbage patches’ in the oceans of the world. International cooperation is required to clean up these ‘garbage gyres’ and to prevent further dumping of wastes into the oceans through transparent and strong oceans governance provisions which include the global “high seas” . 6The plastics in these gyres threaten ecosystems, marine flora, fauna and human health because additive chemicals in the plastics break down and are released into the marine environment. Furthermore, global warming impacts on oceans render persistent organic pollutants (“POPs”) chemicals in these plastics more mobile and toxic. Slow breakdown rates of such chemicals as DDT mean that legacy chemical pollution remains. Concerns have also been raised over newer chemicals including brominated flame retardants, perfluorinated compounds, pharmaceuticals, synthetic musks used in detergents, and personal care products.

THAT both developed and developing countries strengthen ocean governance to Increase safeguards against Illegal, Unreported, Unauthorised Fishing (“IUUF”). In 2012, the UN FAO determined that 70% of world fish populations are unsustainably exploited. Of this majority, 30% have biomass collapsed to less than 10% of unfinished levels.7 The populations of SIDS and coastal regions rely on ecosystems services especially oceans for food, with 90%of artisanal fishing being for household use. Further, Pacific tuna fisheries are the last in the world fisheries that remain open, but moratoriums and closures may be needed in future to counteract IUFF including that of distant fishing nations. This further impacts the economies of SIDS who struggle to obtain fair and adequate returns from their fisheries resources.

THAT both developed and developing countries, in accordance with the Rio Principles on precaution, should impose a moratorium on experimental technology that may result in irreversible harm to the oceans. For example, experimental deep sea and seabed miningis a new and highly experimental activity for the extractive sector and ALL governments. No proven effective guidelines or standards exist with regard to environmentally sound safeguards for ocean ecosystems and ecosystem services, and ultimately human health. GeoEngineering is a term to describe the large-scale manipulation of ecosystems, including ocean fertilisation. A recent publication by ETC Group documents almost 300 projects under 10 different types of climate-altering technologies.8 We draw attentionto the de facto moratorium against ocean fertilisation established by the UN Convention of Biological Diversity (“CBD”)9. The hazards of experimental technology such as deepsea mining have not been meaningfully considered, and no safeguards are in place. Lessons learned from the Gulf oil spill mean that substantial trust funds are required to remediate or restore areas which have suffered degradation through accidents. When is it preferable to leave the minerals in the earth or seabed floor? A further issues for consideration is extraterritoriality, for example, with regard to deep ocean current systems. How does one country prevent the spread of contaminants to another country’s jurisdiction, and what consequences if it does happen?

THAT we support a moratorium on nuclear weapons processing and nuclear power plant construction;

SUGGESTED TARGETS

Establish baselines, as appropriate, and monitor subsequent in changesin:

  1. levels of marine invasive species;

  2. levels of bleaching and die-off of coral reefs;

  3. extinction rates of marine flora and fauna;

Increase and measure the numbers of ecologically-sound aquaculture systems and marine protected areas, from small-scale,through to transboundary.

SUGGESTED INDICATORS

Measure progress on urgent reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission to the global average temperature increase to achieve below 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, and long-term atmospheric GHG concentrations below 350 ppm carbon dioxide equivalent levels;

Measure levels of ocean acidification using proven independent, scientific verification measures;

Use proven, independent scientific verification, and community-based programmes, where feasible, to:

(a) Measure levels of nett income earned by SIDS with regard to fisheries governance, compared to revenue of distant fishing nations.

(b) Measure, reduction of overall catch with regard to sustainable fisheries after transparentland multilateral negotiation with affected SIDS;

(c) Monitor under-reporting of fishing catch in SIDS through proven, independent, verifiable community-based research methods;

(d) Measure the extent of pollutants in oceans and seas by more ocean-focused scientific studies , at subregional, regional and global levels, on links between oceans and human health, implemented in partnership with state and NSA development stakeholders; such programmes to include sampling of human hair for uptake of mercury, arsenic, cadmium and other persistent toxic substances with special focus on SIDS, Indigenous and coastal communities who depend on and fisheries dependent communities.

1This briefing paper was elaborated by members of the Women’s Major Group on Sustainable Development, http://www.womenrio20.org/. It is based on a more comprehensive report with recommendations for the post-2015 agenda by WMG members: http://www.womenrio20.org/docs/Womens_priorities_SDG.pdf. For more information, please contact Imogen Ingram, ISAC Inc: imogenpuaingram@gmail.com and Noelene Nabulivou, DIVA for Equality, & DAWN (Assoc): noelenen@gmail.com

2 The State of the Ocean 2013: Perils, Prognoses and Proposals -Executive Summary here: http://www.stateoftheocean.org/pdfs/IPSO-Summary-Oct13-FINAL.pdf

3 The International programme on the State of the Oceans is housed at Sommerville College, Oxford University, UK: http://www.stateoftheocean.org/research.cfm

4 Small Island Developing States of the Pacific, Caribbean, Indian and Atlantic Oceans

5 These include the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Trade Organisation (WTO),

6 Mark Gold, Katie Mika, Cara Horowitz, Megan Herzog, & Lara Leitner ‘Stemming the Tide of Plastic Marine Litter A Global Action Agenda’ Pritzker Briefs; UCLA, Emmet Center on Climate Change and the Environment, October 2013: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/ucla-report-identifies-legal-shortcomings-249108.aspx

7 Ibid #1

8 The World of Engineering: ETC Maps Earth System Experimentation‘: http://www.etcgroup.org/content/world-geoengineering

9 UN Convention of Biological Diversity (“CBD”) at its Ninth Conference of the Parties in 2008 at Bonn, Germany. This moratorium was then expanded to cover all geoengineering technologies at the CBD’s Tenth Conference of the Parties in 2010 at Nagoya, Japan.