United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Intervention by Mr. Riaz Hamidullah , Director General (Economic Affairs) , Ministry of Foreign Affairs , Bangladesh on Cluster V : conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas (13), eco-system and bio-diversity ,on 3 April 2014, at 10th OWG Session , United Nations , New York :

Mr Co-Chair
To begin with, we align ourselves with the statement delivered by Bolivia, on behalf of G 77, and Benin, for LDCs.
The seas and oceans constitute our critical global commons. It applies for the coastal countries as much as for the countries without access to seas. It is increasingly recognized that in the context of emerging construct of ‘blue economy’, in many ways, the marine resources hold significance for a great majority of countries and of global population. At the same time, many of the coastal countries face manifold challenges, in many cases existential threats even. What is also of growing concern is also an absence of adequate analytical, evidence-based, scientific assessment of the changes in many of the seas. And, the statements made by Nauru, on behalf of AOSIS, Italy, the US – among many others – refers to various related dimensions and the wider context. Indeed, majority of the coastal countries are also countries in special needs and circumstances – that is, the SIDS and LDCs.
From that perspective, we find the set of targets that you proposed worth considering. Those may be considered under an integrated approach to secure sustainable management of eco-system and resources. And, on the earlier cluster, we heard a similar resonance from some delegations as well.
Building on your menu further, perhaps we could consider the targets, as follows:
- Promoting sustainable exploitation of marine resources
- Promoting sustainable use of marine fisheries and address all IUU fishing practices
- Protection of marine resources; and establishment of marine protected areas
- Address marine pollution, destruction of marine habitat and ocean acidification
These, we believe, would help us hone in on a broader set of targets. The others, which could be much more specific to country or regional scenarios, may best be left to nationally determinable indicators.
Though we are not yet reflecting on the related means of implementation, we would need to see how to create an optimum set of economic incentives, applicable under diverse regional and economic scenarios. Also, how do we build critical scientific and managerial capabilities in the coastal countries related to those targets.
As we said earlier, while such a set of targets may appear rather short, we believe, it is time that we look at the ones that are most cross-cutting, strategic and eventually could help us reach many others through focused set of indicators.
Along the same line, in regard to the focus area on eco-system and bio-diversity, the targets that are suggested in your paper, some of these would better qualify as indicators. As such, we would like to consider the following as possible targets, some of which could be left for determination by countries:
- Protection of critical eco-systems
- Conservation and sustainable use of bio-diversity
- Sustainable management of forests, including through involvement of all relevant stakeholders
- Sustainable utilization of genetic resources and sharing of benefits
- Addressing land degradation and soil erosion
- Promotion and Protection of traditional knowledge and practices
Thank you, Mr. Co-Chair.