In line with resolution ESCAP/RES/76/1 on “Strengthening cooperation to promote the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific”, the Sixth Asia-Pacific Day for the Ocean provided a platform for member States, and key stakeholders, for systematic and inclusive dialogue on priority areas and challenges in our region.
This Day for the Ocean was co-hosted as a tripartite event of ESCAP, UNEP and UNDP, within the framework of a Joint Contribution to the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
On 19 May 2023, ESCAP member States agreed to convene a dialogue on accelerating ocean-based action to combat climate change to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 and to hold the dialogue prior to the 2025 UN Ocean Conference. The discussions and recommendations collected during the Sixth Asia-Pacific Day for the Ocean will be considered in the preparation of this dialogue, to be hosted in late 2024 in Bangkok.
Participants may leverage this platform to showcase ocean initiatives that may align with the Ocean Decade, and potentially benefit from additional support from other sectoral groups. Furthermore, stakeholders may report progress made on voluntary commitments, and new initiatives. In preparation for the Day for the Ocean youth participants were able to submit nominations for the recognition of “Asia-Pacific Ocean Youth Champion”. A call for nominations was issued in September. During the event, ESCAP announced the winner of the 2023 Ocean Youth Champion award, as a result of this year’s campaign.
The Sixth Asia-Pacific Day for the Ocean took place on 30 October 2023 in a hybrid modality. With the support of partner organizations, the program offered a plenary opening, including a keynote speaker who discussed the main challenges and opportunities for the protection and sustainable development of the ocean in Asia-Pacific. This was followed by a selection of thematic interactive dialogues, which focused on:
a) Transitioning to a sustainable blue economy in Asia and the Pacific
b) Governance for Sustainable and Resilient Port Development
c) Ocean-based climate action
- Civil Society Organizations (including the youth and ocean protection NGOs)
- Private sector companies
- Students and staff of educational and academic entities
- Scientific community
- Intergovernmental bodies and regional organizations
- Local and national governments