One of the highlights of the Climate Change Conference (COP23) was the launching of the Ocean Pathway Partnership (O.P.P) to ensure the ocean is an integral part of Climate Change negotiations process by 2020.
The Fiji’s Presidency, is a voice for the most vulnerable countries that include Pacific Islands with coastal areas on the nexus of the ocean and climate change.
The launching of the O.P.P. was highly supported by Pacific Island Forums Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor who was also present at COP23.
The Forum Secretariat and the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner’s role are to support their member countries in their activities.
She told the Samoa Observer: “the Ocean Pathway Partnership is an important initiative to come out of the COP23 for Pacific and other coastal States.
“The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner both stand ready, as always, to support their member countries and territories participation in the partnership.”
According to a statement issued on the O.P.P. it is to implement an effective pathway that will strengthen the role of the ocean in the Climate Change Conference while maintaining the neutrality and effectiveness of the Presidency and Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainamarama.
It will be critical to form a partnership of countries and stakeholders that can lead on various opportunities where the Presidency role is limited.
The Strategy for the Ocean into COP23 is towards an Ocean Inclusive United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Process.
The O.P.P. is an initiative that will embody the important relationship between the Ocean and Climate Change and launch an Ocean Pathway to ensure the ocean is an integral part of our U.N.F.C.C.C. process by 2020.
Furthermore this will enhance the opportunity to support ocean health and manage critical coastal and marine ecosystems from current and emerging climate change funding under the U.N.F.C.C.C.
“Support existing priorities that affect and are impacted by ocean and climate including; sustainable transport, cities and human settlements, population displacement and migration, coastal infrastructure, marine ecosystem services, ocean food security, human health and ocean energy.
“Strengthen mobilization and cooperation of the U.N.F.C.C.C. Parties for the conservation and enhancement of the resilience of the ocean for the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.
“Ensure the inclusion of appropriate climate mitigation and adaptation actions derived from the ocean, including from coastal and marine nature-based solutions, into NDCs
“Link existing ocean activities and partnerships within the ocean pathway and to the evolving role of the United Nations Special Envoy for the Ocean.” The statement further says the Ocean Pathway will connect with the following broader initiatives to ensure cohesion and effectiveness.
Actions on the O.P.P. will align the Ocean Pathway with the existing ocean alliances / coalitions in the action space including the Ocean &Climate Initiatives Alliance, the Ocean Acidification Alliance, the “Because the Ocean” initiative and the its partner commitments that call for overall action on the ocean across the U.N.F.C.C.C.