Fourth Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands: Advancing Ecosystem Management and Integrated Coastal and Ocean Management by 2010 in the Context of Climate Change April 7-11, 2008, Hanoi, Vietnam
The Fourth Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands: Advancing Ecosystem Management and Integrated Coastal and Ocean Management by 2010 in the Context of Climate Change, organized by the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands and by the Government of Vietnam, with the leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) - Fisheries, and with leadership roles by a number of organizations, was held from April 7-11, 2008 in Hanoi, Vietnam. The 4th Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands brought together 439 ocean and coastal leaders from 62 countries, representing all sectors, including governments, intergovernmental and international organizations, non-governmental organizations, the business community, ocean donors, and scientific institutions.
The conference assessed essential issues in the governance of the world’s oceans, with a focus on moving toward an ecosystem-based and integrated approach to oceans governance at national, regional, and global levels. For the first time, a concerted effort wasmade to bring oceans policy together with climate change issues, which, as indicated in the 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will have profound effects on ecosystems and coastal populations around the world, especially among the poorest people on Earth and in small island developing States. The conference focused especially on assessing the progress that has been achieved (or lack thereof) on the global oceans targets established by the world’s political leaders at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development: Achieving ecosystem-based and integrated ocean and coastal management by 2010, reducing marine biodiversity loss by 2010, establishing networks of marine protected areas by 2012, and restoring fishery stocks by 2015, among others.The conference underlined that ocean and coastal managers are at the front line of climate changes. The climate issues that ocean and coastal leaders around the world will need to face will ineradicably change the nature of ocean and coastal management, ntroducing increased uncertainty, the need to incorporate climate change planning into all existing management processes, the need to develop and apply new tools related to vulnerability assessment, and the need to make difficult choices in what inmany cases will be “no win” situations, involving adverse impacts to vulnerable ecosystems and communities.Conference participants underlined that we must begin this process now, including altering coastal development that is already in the pipeline--we don’t have the luxury of waiting 10 years before we consider the implications and before we act.
An extensive preparatory process involving twelve multinational Working Groups (involving 254 ocean experts from 68 countries representing all sectors and regions of the world) was mobilized to prepare analyses and specific policy recommendations to the 4th Global Conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, April 7-11, 2008. The Policy Briefs prepared by each Working Group are available on theYouTube Channel noted below.
Coverage of the Global Conference is available at the following sites:
• The Global Forum, the World Ocean Network and the World Ocean Observatory have created a
special GOC2008 website and YouTube channel designed specifically to inform audiences across the
world about the context and work of the Global Forum using rich media.
GOC2008 YouTube Channel:
These sites enable viewers to:
• Explore the proceedings of the Conference and each major ocean issue being addressed
• View the reports, recommendations, and Policy Briefs of the Global Forum’s 12 Working Groups,
which have been mobilized to provide recommendations on priority next steps that the international
community should take on major ocean issues
• Watch ocean and coastal experts from various sectors around the globe in brief interviews addressing
major ocean topics and issues.
The International Institute for Sustainable Development –Reporting Services (IISDRS) provided daily coverage of Conference proceedings.