Thank you to the Co-Chairs for this opportunity.
Our mandate and work on the ocean rely on sound science. In our current support to G20 members, for example, we are promoting recommendations focused on ocean-based solutions, identifying common areas of cooperation and investments in ocean science, marine technology and innovation that are necessary for an enhanced understanding of the ocean-climate nexus.
We are promoting the enhancement of ocean science-policy interfaces and the integration of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) and ecosystem-based approaches, such as investing in blue carbon storage for climate change mitigation and increasing marine protected areas to preserve key ocean ecosystems, especially around mangroves, salt marshes and coral reefs.
Within the framework of the 2017 Ocean Conference, ESCAP submitted a voluntary commitment to strengthen data partnerships for the Ocean in Asia and the Pacific.
I am pleased to share that we have fully implemented that commitment. This work produced national pilots on ocean accounting, supporting China, Malaysia, Samoa, Thailand and Viet Nam. All five countries now have national inter-agency working groups and aligned the pilots to national ocean policy priorities.
Having adequate data is a prerequisite to scientific developments, which may provide the solution to many of the ocean challenges.
Our ocean calls for comprehensive decision-making supported by integrated data solutions. This requires more comparable and integrated data on oceans and the services they provide to humanity and commonly agreed terminology so that we know what we measure and how to measure it.
Ahead of this Conference, ESCAP submitted a new voluntary commitment to continue to convene governments and other stakeholders to enhance regional cooperation on the conservation and sustainable management of the oceans and marine ecosystems.
This will be enabled through our Regional Decade Programme, designed by ESCAP in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Development Programme to support the implementation of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.
We are committed to bridging the gap between ocean science and policymaking by strengthening science-policy interfaces. This is to guarantee that ocean science can translate into effective and sound policymaking.
Going forward, we will continue to support member States in the delivery of Sustainable Development Goal 14, especially by improving the effective implementation of ocean-based solutions.