Ocean Watch: Assessment and Promotion of Progress in the Implementation of the 1992, 2002, and 2012 Global Commitments On Oceans, Coasts, and Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
Description/achievement of initiative

The continued assessment, policy dialogue, and reporting of the progress (or lack thereof) in meeting global commitments related to oceans, coasts, and SIDS will ensure continuous exchange of information, sharing of best practices, and provide the opportunity to develop novel approaches to fill gaps in past commitments, and to address new and emerging challenges. This serves to maintain a high public and political profile, and to mobilize the ocean community to achieve effective implementation of commitments.

This builds on the work undertaken by the GOF and partners, in the report Oceans at Rio+20: Summary for Decision Makers, available online.

Implementation methodologies

The systematic tracking of commitments will be undertaken by the GOF network of experts and collaborators through Global Ocean Conferences, dialogues, and policy analyses. These multi-stakeholder interfaces have proven to be a valuable tool for mobilizing action and highlighting the crucial role of the oceans in the lives of much of the world. Assessment of progress in the implementation will be patterned on the report cards developed prior to Rio+20, which helped to set the agenda of decision-makers in the Rio+20 process, and elevated oceans and coasts to one of the major themes of the Rio+20 Conference. These efforts, in addition to sustained discussions and information sharing through Oceans Days at related fora, including the CBD and the UNFCCC, will support the production of a report in 2017 (5 years after Rio+20) on Oceans in the Post-Rio+20 World: How Well Are We Doing in Meeting the Commitments from the 1992 UNCED, 2002 WSSD, and the 2012 UNCSD.

These assessments will continue periodically every 5 years, serving to maintain a high public and political profile on the commitments made at UNCED, WSSD, and Rio+20, to identify key gaps in implementation, and to identify pathways for assisting nations in filling implementation gaps.


Global Ocean Forum (GOF)
United Nations Development Program
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO
Ocean Policy Research Foundation, Japan
Deliverable Date
Hold the 6th Global Ocean Conference, including the preparation of policy briefs, which will address the implementation of commitments related to oceans, coasts, and SIDS made at the Rio+20 Conference and the earlier sustainable development summits 2014
Feature progress made on global commitments related to oceans, coasts, and SIDS and promote accelerated implementation among high-level decision-makers, especially at the 6th Global Ocean Conference. 2014
Produce a major report on Oceans in the Post-Rio+20 World: How Well Are We Doing in Meeting the Commitments from the 1992 Earth Summit, the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, and the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development 2017
Undertake periodic assessments (every 5 years) on progress made on major commitments on oceans, coasts, and SIDS from UNCED, the WSSD, and the Rio+20 Conference, keeping these ocean issues high on the agenda of national, regional, and global decision-make 2017
Resources devoted to implementation
Type Details
Staff / Technical expertise Expert staff on policy issues related to sustainable development and oceans, coasts, and SIDS
In-kind contribution Facilities, network of over 2,500 ocean leaders and collaborators from intergovernmental, governmental and non-governmental organizations, research and academic institutions, and the private sector

Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain, President, Global Ocean Forum, bcs@udel.edu

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