Regional experts meet to assess the state of the marine environment

Nov 12, 2012

Kingston, Jamaica, 13 November 2012.  The state of the marine environment is the focus of attention as experts from across the Wider Caribbean Region meet at the World Ocean Assessment Workshop for the Wider Caribbean, held under the auspices of the United Nations in Miami, Florida, from 13-15 November.


The Workshop, the fourth in the first cycle for the Regular Process of Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, including Socioeconomic Aspects, is part of the effort to develop the First Global Integrated Marine Assessment. Three previously held workshops of the first cycle took place in Santiago, Chile (13 to 15 September 2011), Sanya, China (21 to 23 February 2012) and Brussels, Belgium (27 to 29 June 2012). As the fourth workshop of its kind being held worldwide, it addresses the need to regularly provide accurate information on the state of the marine environment to decision makers, informed by an established Group of Experts.


This three day workshop will engage approximately 84 experts from over 30 countries across the Wider Caribbean Region and promote discussion on the state of the marine environment.  Experts will consider linkages between marine assessments, and identify capacity building needs and ways to address them. Discussions will focus on four main themes: biophysical aspects of the marine environment; food security and safety; human activities that influence the ocean; and, marine biological diversity and habitats.  


UNEP’s Caribbean Environment Programme, based in Kingston, Jamaica, which also serves as the Secretariat for the Cartagena Convention  and its Protocols, works to promote regional cooperation for the protection and sustainable development of the marine environment of the Wider Caribbean Region. UNEP CEP and its partners work with Governments across the region to establish projects and activities in an effort to respond to critical and emerging issues faced by marine ecosystems.   According to Nelson Andrade, Coordinator of UNEP CEP, “this workshop offers an opportunity to discuss many of the challenges facing the region in safeguarding their vital coastal and marine resources, so critical for fisheries, tourism, shipping and coastal development.   Much of the monitoring and assessment work carried out over the years by UNEP CEP and many other regional partners will be used during the discussions.”


The workshop is being hosted by the Government of the United States.  The United Nations Environment Programme’s Caribbean Environment Programme (UNEP CEP) is one of the key partners of this activity. Others include the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s Intergovernmental Oceanic Commission (UNESCO-IOC), the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).


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