Pew Group Issues Guidance on Oceans for Rio+20 Compilation Document

17 October 2011: The Pew Environment Group has published two documents to guide States in preparing their submissions to the Compilation Document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20). The publications contain recommendations for elements to include in the UNCSD outcome document, an outline of ocean-related commitments from the previous summits on sustainable development, and an analysis of gaps in implementing those commitments.

Considering that the long-term sustainability of the global environment is “central to achieving sustainable development… and a healthy global environment requires a healthy ocean,” Pew urges governments to advocate for strong language in the UNCSD outcome document to ensure the long-term sustainable management of the ocean and its resources. It notes that the effects of degraded ocean environments and depleted fisheries will be felt most by the developing world, and that coastal States and small island developing States (SIDS), will be on the “front lines” of this crisis.

The first document, titled “Ocean Earth: How Rio+20 Can and Must Turn the Tide,” addresses depletion of fisheries, with recommendations including full implementation of previous commitments, and eight additional areas for action by the international community. It also recommends implementing previous commitments on biodiversity, and outlines current gaps that could be addressed through an implementing agreement. Finally, the policy statement notes how such actions comprise a “pathway to a green economy.” Among its recommendations, Pew urges governments at Rio+20 to set in motion the negotiation of a new agreement under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) for the protection and conservation of high seas biodiversity.

The second document, titled “Rio+20: Time to Turn Back the Tide,” provides an analysis of gaps in implementation of previous ocean-related outcomes. And in a section on the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), Pew addresses the importance of institutional mechanisms. [Publication: Ocean Earth: How Rio+20 Can and Must Turn the Tide] [Publication: Rio+20: Time to Turn Back the Tide]