Kenya and Portugal will Co-host the Second UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon from 2-6 June 2020. The Conference themed “Scaling up Ocean Action Based on Science and Innovation for the implementation of Goal 14: Stocking Partnerships and Solutions” is expected to cause systematic changes to the world’s approach on conservation and sustainable use of oceans.
Speaking during the Sixth Informal Advisory Committee Meeting of the UN 2020 Ocean Conference held in White sands Hotel, Mombasa Kenya, Amb. Macharia Kamau, Principal Secretary, Foreign Affairs, stressed the need to scale up oceans action for SDG 14, which affects all countries and the entire human race. The Meeting was attended by UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, Amb. Peter Thompson, and Permanent Representative of Portugal to the United Nations, Amb. Francisco Duarte Lopes.
In reiterating the importance of the upcoming conference in the achievement of SDG14, the PS stated that “the oceans generate 50% of the earth’s oxygen and governs the world’s climate”, adding that “Hydrological changes have impacted terrestrial and fresh water species and ecosystems consequently changing season’s activities”. He further maintained that “the negative impact on our oceans and marine resources affect food security, water resources, water quality, livelihoods, health and wellbeing, infrastructure, transportation, tourism and recreation as well as the culture of human society.”
PS Macharia emphasized that “it should be a worrying concern for all of us that the health of the ocean is rapidly deteriorating due to increasing temperatures, acidification, de-oxygenation, depletion of natural resources and pollution from land and sea. We urgently need to scale up ocean action for SDG 14 and reverse this deterioration.”
Underscoring the importance of science for the 2020 UN Oceans conference, the PS pointed out that effective policies and strategies based on science and innovation in the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and marine resources are required. To develop such policies and strategies, oceans scientific understanding, oceans observations and research are essential to predict the consequences of change, design regulations and guide adaptation.
The Lisbon conference will bring on board stakeholders in the conservation and sustainable use of the Oceans and other marine resources, business community, academicians and educators, scientists and researchers, finance institutions, non-governmental institutions, regional and global intergovernmental institutions as well as government.
The PS called on all stakeholders from the private sector, non-governmental organizations and civil society to register for the conference through the website www.un.org/en/conferences/ocean2020/. He further informed, that the Government of Kenya, in the spirit of leave no-one behind, has committed to ensuring youth participation during the conference by nominating a number of young people involved in blue economy projects and initiatives.
The stakeholders will be accorded an opportunity to harness their strength, expertise, knowledge, new generation of science based, concrete, ambitious commitments and actions to help forge new, inclusive and effective partnerships to support implementation of SDG 14. As one of the first milestones of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ newly launched Decade of Action for the SDGs, Kenya is proud to be co-hosting the Conference which will promote much needed science-based innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action.