Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary, IOC-UNESCO
(Photo by IISD/ENB)

The 22nd session of Conference of Parties (COP 22) held in Morocco brought global delegates from different countries and sectors to discuss Global Climate Action. This year’s Ocean Action day was held on 12th November, 2016 had support from UNESCO-IOC (Inter-governmental Oceanic Commission) which was represented by the Executive Secretary Mr. Vladimir Ryabinin.

The UNESCO- IOC Executive Secretary moderated the Oceans and Climate: Science Solutions discussion where he reiterated the fact that the oceans are integral part of the Climate system, therefore it was important to bring in discussions on Oceans in the fight against climate change. He further encouraged the advancement and development of research in the areas surrounding the importance and the value the oceans to humanity. Development in this area would bring forth and establish the links humanity, oceans and climate change and provide solutions to climate related problems faced globally.

Among the discussions that took the center stage in this session included; the role of science in providing solutions to the current problems, the importance of integrating inclusivity and participation of community members in decision making processes especially those pertaining environmental and social risks, the urgency of having resilient communities in building climate resilience, adaptive and mitigation capacities as well as inculcating community perspective in solving problems was also prominent in the discussions. 

Conversion of science to policies was also brought up in the session where much emphasis was made on the importance of giving marine assessments a scientific perspective that would later made into policies that would help in the fight of climate change. The private sector was called upon to include long- term social and environmental risks into their decision-making processes and policies as they too had a role to play in fighting climate change. 

The session appreciated the roles of the Private sector and the Communities as key stakeholder and key actors in providing solutions in the fight against climate change. Realizing that not everyone has an environmental background, experts in the environmental field were encouraged use simple language that everyone could comprehend to enable them utilize the scientific information to provide solutions based on it.

IOC’s Sub Commission for Africa and the Adjacent Island States (IOCAFRICA) will work with other partners in the region to develop the capabilities for ocean observations and monitoring, ocean sciences and assessments, and ocean data and information exchange,  that are required for monitoring the roles of oceans in addressing climatic changes as well as predicting changes in the oceans.