Saturday, January 23, 2010

Indonesia wants UN to raise ocean issues at talks

Adianto P. Simamora in the Jakarta Post (Indonesia): Indonesia will once again raise ocean issues at the upcoming UN conference in Bali, to press for world recognition of the role of oceans in climate change. The Indonesian Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry said the country's delegation would push the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to include oceans in its program of work to help protect the oceans from the impacts of rising temperatures.

"We hope UNEP will adopt the ocean as its main mandate in its program of work," senior official Hendra Yusran Siry told The Jakarta Post on Friday. He added that once UNEP had done so, it would be easier to promote ocean issues at upcoming climate talks.

More than 120 environmental ministers are scheduled to meet at the Global Ministerial Environment Forum in Bali, organized by UNEP. The meeting will discuss, among others, green economies, biodiversity and ecosystems. The UNEP has named 2010 its Biodiversity Year. A draft decision on oceans, proposed by Indonesia, calls on UNEP to mainstream marine and coastal strategy into its program of work to improve the protection of maritime ecosystems.

…Hendra said Indonesia would also call on governments and international organizations to exchange information on climate change impacts to the marine ecosystem. Last month's Copenhagen climate summit failed to include the ocean issues at the Copenhagen accord.

The World Ocean Conference (WOC) hosted by Indonesia in Manado, North Sulawesi, last year adopted the Manado Ocean Declaration (MOD), which called for prioritizing ocean issues in negotiations at the Copenhagen talks. The MOD calls for adaptation funds and technology transfers to help ocean countries - including Indonesia - deal with climate change….

A coastline in Indonesia, circa 1915, from the massive collection of Tropenmuseum photos uploaded to Wikimedia Commons

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