Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs): A challenge and an opportunity for the marine capture fishery sector.

A meeting of experts organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) and the Fisheries Expert Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Commission on Ecosystem Management (IUCN-CEM-FEG) coordinated by EBCD has been tasked to draft a guidance for the implementation of OECMs in the marine capture fishery sector.

This meeting, co-financed by the Nordic Council, EBCD, FAO and the CBD Secretariat, was held in FAO’s premises in Rome (Italy) from 7 to 10 May 2019. It involved 25 experts in fisheries and biodiversity conservation from various countries and institutions. The discussions were based on the CBD COP Decision 14/8 (see here) and a Background Document jointly prepared by FEG and FAO experts that contains an analysis of the CBD COP Decision 14/8 when considered from the perspective of marine capture fisheries, as well as reflections on the OECM identification, management, monitoring, evaluation and reporting in the sector (see here for full Background Document).

The Meeting Report, with the elements of guidance it contains is being finalized and will soon be available. More work will be needed to examine further the scientific and policy challenges brought about by OECMs which are clearly emerging as a golden opportunity for the fishery sector to demonstrate its willingness to reduce its footprint and contribute to improved conservation and to the related international commitments (in Aichi Target 11 and subsequent targets, SDG 14, and the CBD Post-2020 framework on biodiversity conservation).

FAO is committed to develop the guidance further, through additional processes involving the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI), to produce Technical Guidelines on the use of OECMs in the marine capture fisheries sector, in support of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.

Chair of the meeting, Gunnstein Bakke (at the left side of the picture), facilitating round table discussions
IUCN/CEM/FEG presenting the background document to the experts
The CBD Secretariat and other experts contributing to the discussions

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