Because the Ocean Initiative

11 April 2019

In collaboration with the Spanish Ministry the Ecologic Transition and the European Commission, the Because the Ocean initiative organised a second regional workshop in Madrid 10-11 April. The workshop was preceded by an Opening Conference to increase general awareness on the ocean climate nexus ahead of COP 25 Climate Change Summit, in Santiago de Chile, 2-13 December 2019. The United Nations Framework Convention (UNFCCC) is the international treaty establishing the basic obligations of the 196 Parties and the European Union to combat climate change. It was signed at the Earth Summit in 1992 and came into force in 1994.

Susana Salvador, OSPAR Executive Secretary, presented OSPAR's regional work on climate and ocean acidification, to feed in the workshop theme on “how the regional sea conventions and their accumulated scientific knowledge be better used in relation to climate change”.

The meeting concluded that:

  • There are significant interlinkages between the ocean and climate, and silos between the two policy communities are starting to break down;
  • Knowledge on ocean and climate interlinkages is improving, but more research is needed to substantiate emerging findings;
  • The publication of the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and the Cryosphere in a Changing Climate in September 2019 is a great opportunity to increase general awareness on the ocean climate nexus ahead of COP 25 and in anticipation of the UN Decade on Ocean Science for Sustainable Development(2021-2030);
  • It is key to ensure environmental integrity and accountability in the context of ocean and climate action;
  • Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement offer opportunities to address ocean and climate interlinkages, but other vehicles such as National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) should also be considered as they can be more conducive to certain types of ocean-enhanced climate action;
  • Concentrating on advocating for the inclusion of a dedicated UNFCCC agenda item on the ocean might risk delaying meaningful action;
  • There is ‘great appetite’ for political initiatives to increase the momentum on the ocean-climate-biodiversity nexus, provided that they have an added-value compared to existing declarations; and
  • Cooperation between the marine and climate communities should be fostered at international, regional, and national levels.

More information on the event and Because the Ocean, can be found here:

The meeting report is now available here:

Host, Teresa Ribera Rodrigues, Ministry for Ecological Transition, opens the meeting.