Friday, May 15, 2009

75 Countries Adopt the Manado World Ocean Conference

Delegates from 75 countries agrees to adopt the Manado World Ocean Conference (WOC) on the agenda of the of the upcoming UN climate change talks in Copenhagen in December this year.

''The UN to adopt the Manado Ocean Declaration (MOD) at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Copenhagen is a road map stipulates that the MOD should compliment the UNFCCC in dealing with climate change talks," said Gellwyn Yusuf, Research Center in Chief on Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries in Grand Kawanua Convention Center, Manado, North Sulawesi, Thursday, May 14, 2009.

The Adoption was agreed upon during a high ranking official and Minister meeting attended by head of delegation from 75 countries. UNFCCC is an international treaty on environmental issues, which primarily relates to climate change and reducing global warming. Currently, nearly 200 countries have ratified the convention, which was first enforced on March 21, 1994.

With headquarters in Bonn, Germany, the UNFCCC has so far organized 14 sessions of the Conference of Parties (COP) on climate change, including Bali in 2007, to discuss emissions cuts set under the Kyoto Protocol.

The protocol regulates a legally binding emission target of five percent to all annex I, or developed nations, by 2012. Emission cuts are currently being met through the management of the energy and forestry sectors.

Indonesian Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Freddy Numbery has said that Indonesia's 5.8 million square kilometers of sea could absorb around 245 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) every year.

The Manado Declaration draft has suggested inviting those managing adaptation programs to consider including provisions for funding so as to integrate coastal and ocean management into the context of climate change.

It also stresses the need to promote the transfer of environmentally sound technologies for oceans from developed countries to developing countries to help the latter mitigate the impacts of climate change. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has to issue the first scientific report on oceans in relation to climate change in 2004.

Some of the countries which adopt the Manado World Ocean Conference such as Indonesia, Philippine, Thailand, Malaysia, Somalia, Suriname, Pakistan, Grenada, United States, Republic of Korea, France, India, China, Kampuchea, Angola, and Namibia

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on the opening remark in Manado yesterday said that the ongoing World Ocean Conference (WOC) in Manado, North Sulawesi, should not yield a new process for dealing with climate change.

The president made the remark when opening the WOC 2009 at the Grand
Kawanua Convention Center (GKCC) here on Thursday morning. "We have to make it plain that what we are going to do at WOC is not producing a new process but instead strengthen and complete the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)," the
President Susilo added.

Susilo said, the maritime community wanted marine issues to be part of a
global solution to problems related to climate change which had been
under discussion.

"We have to make sure that sensitive marine policies will be be included in the new regime so that a humanitarian approach can be made to the climate change challenge, an approach that is comprehensive and holistic," he said.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono added that if the Climate Change Convention in
Copenhagen adopted such an approach and the international community applied it well, then mankind would have a better future.

"It is an important opportunity for us to make a momentous statement
for the future of our oceans, planet, and human race, a message that
can be heard out there beyond this convention hall," the President said.

He elaborated that the last time the world heard a political message from the
maritime community was during the signing of an international maritime law in 1982 which gave a dramatic change to the maritime system.

"Now is the right time for the world to listen to another important message that we can only be safe in the 21st century if we are united to protect our oceans," he said.

Meanwhile on the recorded remark, U.S.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called to the delegates from more than 80 countries and international bodies, and Minister and other higher ranking official on The World Ocean Conference to do more to protect our oceans and preserve the long-term health of our planet and its people, and applauding Indonesia for hosting a conference.

Hillary Clinton said the health of the planet and the health of the oceans are linked. ‘’And today, our oceans are under stress from several sources: acidification and over-fishing, unconstrained development and pollution, and global warming,’ Clinton said.

A series of symposiums on science, technology and policy has also been held since Monday, bringing about 1,500 international scientists, climatologists, entrepreneurs and policy-makers to share the latest information, scientific knowledge and technologies related to the ocean from more than 80 countries. Ocean countries, most of which are developing nations, such as Indonesia, Philippine, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia attending the gathering in Indonesia's North Sulawesi provincial capital Manado to bring up the significance of oceans in climate change to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen in December, 2009.

The Copenhagen talks are expected to discuss a new regime to replace the Kyoto Protocol that will expire in 2012. The protocol requires developed countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions. "It is critical that we lay as much ground work as possible now to ensure a successful outcome in December. At the World Ocean Conference, you can help focus the world's attention on the link between oceans and climate change and advance global efforts to find science-based solutions to the problems we face," Clinton said.

The declaration is expected to table scientific support at the 31st session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, slated for Oct. 26-29 on the resort island Bali. The world's only authoritative body on scientific climate matters, the IPCC was established by the World Meteorological Organization and the U.N. Environment Program. It is now working on its fifth assessment report, including on the ocean, which is expected to be completed in 2014.

Meanwhile, delegation from China and Indonesia in the World Ocean Conference agree to form a newly organization call Indonesia-China Center for Ocean and Climate (ICCOC). The agreement was approving on the Signing of Memorandum of Understanding by Indonesian Research Center Body in Chief Gelwyn Yusuf and China Oceans Minister. Gelwyn said, the Cooperation on Ocean and Climate research in order to intensify the cooperation and communication on Ocean Science and Technology. The cost of the World Ocean Conference (WOC) and the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) Summit in Manado, North Sulawesi, had been estimated at Rp380 billion Indonesian rupiah.