United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

ESCAP statement in Partnership Dialogue
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Marine ecosystems are an important source for livelihoods, employment, nutrition and opportunities for economic
growth in Asia and the Pacific Region but are increasingly under threat due to climate change, ocean pollution and
unregulated fishing. About 60 per cent of coral reefs in the region are at risk and an estimated 60 per cent of
mangrove forests, which constitute the first level of defence against coastal hazards, have been cleared. Countries in
Asia Pacific have mandated ESCAP to promote regional cooperation for the conservation and sustainable use of the
oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific and support implementation of
SDG 14.
Within this mandate the ESCAP Secretariat is undertaking two activities:
• The first is the development of an assessment of capacity development needs of the countries in Asia and the
Pacific for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14. A side event during this Oceans
Conference was organized and experts from member states and other stakeholders have provided specific
recommendations to ESCAP on the elements of this assessment.
• The second activity is a proposal to establish an Oceans Account Partnership for Asia Pacific bringing together
member States, expert institutions and other partners. Through this new partnership, member States will be
supported to develop an "Oceans Account" as a means of integrating information from across scientific
domains, policy frameworks and institutions to inform progress on SDG14. The Oceans Account would
ultimately serve countries develop policies that optimize the sustainable use of oceans while minimizing the
risk of ecological collapse and natural disasters. ESCAP has already submitted a voluntary contribution on the
basis of this activity.
The focus of the proposed Partnership is to support member states and therefore countries will be the main Partners.
To support the work of the Partnership, technical partners, funding partners and others will be invited to join. The
offered services to partner member states will be the following:
a. Assessment of capacity, data availability and institutional arrangements
b. Training and technical support
c. Regional exchange and share experiences on SDG 14 reporting and Oceans Account development with other
Partners.
ESCAP is welcoming expression of interest from member states, technical partners and funding organisations to join
the partnership and support the implementation of SDG 14 in Asia and the Pacific.
ESCAP is also proud to have supported Fiji and the Pacific island countries prepare for this conference including in
conjunction with the regional Asia-Pacific in-depth review of SDG14 that took place during the Asia Pacific Forum on
Sustainable Development and will be an input to the High Level Political Forum on SD this year.