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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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GMA-2 Delegates Discuss Draft Details

On Tuesday, 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 (second GMA international workshop) reconvened in Plenary to discuss a draft chairman's proposal of conclusions. The draft contains sections on features of the Assessment of Assessments, aims of the Assessment of Assessments, organizational arrangements, finance and resources.

After delegates discussed the draft text, Chair John Roberts adjourned the session in mid-afternoon, and circulated Revision 1 of the draft text one hour later. Discussion of the revised draft text will resume in Plenary on Wednesday morning.

Above, delegates Lori Ridgeway of Canada and Tom Laughlin of the United States receive copies of the first Draft conclusions from Ching Suntaree of DOALOS.

Tuesday, 14 June

Mostafa Dolatyar of Iran supported calls for the assessment to include socio-economic aspects, in order to be policy relevant.

Stefan Keil of Germany drew attention to the fact that taking into account socio-economic aspects is within the mandate of the GMA, as reflected in the language of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.

Declan Smyth of Ireland noted that human coastal activities, such as population growth, zoning laws, and tourism, impact the marine environment and should also be assessed.

Mari Skâre of Norway suggested narrowing down the inclusion of socio-economic aspects to include the impacts of land-based pollution, but opposed recommendations on relevant land-based human activities.

Serge Garcia of FAO suggested that UN agencies propose a list of experts to be approved by the steering committee, and clarified that scientists would not elaborate policy options.

Marcos de Almeida of Brazil suggested that the Assessment of Assessments should be "relevant" rather than "policy relevant."

Elie Jarmache of France suggested that the expert group include both representatives chosen by member States and by UN agencies.

Michael Huber of GESAMP acknowledged that the failure of scientists to communicate scientific data to policy makers is an obstacle to good governance.

Ben Playle of Australia deemed it unnecessary for national authorities to endorse NGOs' work to legitimize it, stressing quality of data, rather than source, is key.

Hermien Busschbach of the Netherlands pointed out that scientific information on the high seas is gathered by NGOs, and highlighted the need to use all available data.

Lori Ridgeway of Canada highlighted that Australia's clarification of "under the purview" would help avoid GMA looking like a closed process, and encouraged relying on the professional views of experts for decisions on data.

Jane Willing of New Zealand supported calls for ensuring adequate participation by developing countries, and input from regional organizations.

Yoshiaki Ito of Japan supported IMO's involvement in the process, highlighting its expertise in issues of pollution and dumping from shipping activities.

Tri Tharyat of Indonesia proposed inclusion of Multilateral Environmental Agreements in the steering committee.

Jean-Claude Sainlos of IMO said it would make relevant information available to the process, but stressed lack of human and financial resources as a basis for not being lead agency.

E. Salif Diop of UNEP stressed the importance of basing the assessment on what programmes already exist, highlighting the GPA as one of these, in order to complete the work in the prescribed amount of time.

Alfonso Ascencio Herrera of Mexico noted that the Assessment of Assessments includes both natural sciences and social sciences.

Tapani Kohonen of Finland highlighted country assessment experiences, noting the important role of regional organizations and commissions in the process.
Around the GMA

Chair Roberts read a copy of the Draft conclusions.

Constance Arvis of the United States conferred with Lori Ridgeway of Canada.

DOALOS director Vladimir Golitsyn answered a question from Huh Jung Ae of the Republic of Korea.

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.