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Second International Workshop to Consider
a Regular Process for Global Reporting and
Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment
Including Socio-Economic Aspects

United Nations Headquarters, New York | 13-15 June 2005

Earth Negotiations Bulletin - ENB
Daily Web
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06 June
07 June
08 June
09 June
10 June &
13 June - - - - - - - - -
14 June - - - - - - - - -
15 June &


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2nd Global Marine Assessment Workshop Begins in New York

On Monday, delegates to the second international workshop to consider a regular process for global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment, including socio-economic aspects (GMA-2) elected John Roberts of the United Kingdom as Chair of the workshop, and discussed the nature of the Assessment of Assessments, as well as aspects of a Task Force to conduct such an assessment. Above, DOALOS director Vladimir Golitsyn, Chair John Roberts, and GMA-2 Secretary Alice Hicuburundi.

Monday, 13 June

After opening the meeting, Vladimir Golitsyn, director of DOALOS, noted that it was time to elect a chair, and that John Roberts of the United Kingdom had again been put forth as candidate.

Speaking for the EU, Hermien Busschbach of the Netherlands supported Mr. Roberts as candidate for chair.

After delegates agreed on his election, John Roberts took the chair and thanked them for allowing him to continue this work.

UN Legal Advisor Nicolas Michel provided an overview of the establishment of the GMA, and encouraged participants to bring new life to this endeavor by focusing on the Assessment of Assessments.

Kim Sun Pyo of the Republic of Korea called for the GMA to strengthen global understanding of the state of the marine environment, stressing this does not include the management of marine living resources.

E. Salif Diop of UNEP suggested taking stock of existing activities, and of the added value of all relevant UN agencies.

Dmitry Gonchar of Russia underlined the need for member States to be involved in the GMA on a geographic basis.

Jake Rice of Canada noted that the GMA is not merely putting together an inventory of reports, but a critical appraisal of their objectivity, and stressed the importance of evaluating how effectively they have been communicated.

Tom Laughlin of the United States highlighted that an assessment should look at global, regional and local assessments, including both governmental and non-governmental assessments.

Jane Willing of New Zealand noted the importance of understanding the objective and purpose of the discussion, and suggested benchmarking information and identifying gaps and areas of duplication.

Manimuthu Ghandi of India enquired about the integration process for data arriving in the Assessment of Assessments.

Serge Beslier of the European Commission asked whether the Assessment of Assessments would be arranged globally, or regionally.

Alfonso Ascencio of Mexico enquired about the pattern of communication from the steering committee or task force to governments.

Argentina noted that a task force with enough resources can be ambitious, and encouraged review of resources available to determine the correct level of ambition.

Serge Garcia of FAO said a task force would in fact be a steering group with a strong governmental and scientific component.

Mari Skâre of Norway suggested taking a little more time to reflect on the composition of the task force, and including representatives from member States.

Norma Taylor Roberts of Jamaica asked what role UN Oceans could play in the administrative functions of raising funds for the Assessment.

Jean-Claude Sainlos of IMO stressed that it has an important role to play in the dialogue at the General Assembly, and urged avoiding overlaps.

Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) recommended that the initial stage of technical groups be constrained in size.

Umit Unluata of IOC described his agency's collaboration with the GMA, highlighting its cooperation with UNEP in developing an inventory of existing assessments.

Zhou Yong of China noted that during the first international workshop, the question of sizing regions for assessment had been greatly debated, and recommended that it be left to the experts, rather than addressed by the workshop.

Related Links

Earth Negotiations Bulletin's report on UNICPOLOS-5 (HTML, PDF, TXT).
Earth Negotiations Bulletin's report on UNICPOLOS-4 (HTML, PDF, TXT).
Sustainable Developments’ report of the Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands (HTML, PDF, TXT).
UN Division for Oceans Affairs and the Law of the Sea (UNDOALOS).
GMA International Workshop site.
Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.
Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) - Chapter 17.
Deep Sea Conservation Coalition rationales for a short-term moratorium on deep sea bottom trawling.
European Coalition for Silent Oceans information on underwater noise pollution.
Ocean Noise Coalition information on underwater noise pollution.
Ocean Mammal Institute information on underwater noise pollution.
Centro de Conservación Cetacea, Chile information on underwater noise pollution.