A Wealth of Integrated Ocean Assessments – what do they tell us and what should we do with them?
Serge Garcia, Jake Rice and Despina Symons actively participated in the IUCN Congress, held in Hawaii (1-10 September). FEG had been actively involved in the preparations throughout the year, participating in discussions and providing amendments to the draft motions being submitted by IUCN members with the view to ensure a balance and objectivity in their text and, later on in the deliberations and their outcomes. During the Congress, besides following and contributing to the discussions and exchanges in the various events in relation to fisheries as well as the contact groups negotiating the resolutions, FEG, through EBCD and in collaboration with various partners, organized this knowledge cafe aimed to outline the several sources of new information about the ocean and its biodiversity become available in recent years. Some examples include: (i) the UN World Ocean Assessment; (ii) the World Ocean Commission Report; (iii) the FAO High Level Panel Report on Food Security, Fisheries and Aquaculture; (iv) a number of UNEP Regional Seas assessments; (v) parts of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO 5) parts of the IPCC 5th Assessment report; (vii) the final products of the Census of Marine Life; and (viii) all the background documents produced on the SDG 14 on oceans. This event aimed at critically examining the strengths and short-comings of these new assessments and information sources, and determining how they can be used collectively to advance the dialogue on marine biodiversity, its conservation and sustainable use. This knowledge Café, was well attended, and participants has many constructive ideas for using the existing assessments as a foundation for improving marine conservation and management, and for more efficient collaboration in future efforts.