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Because the Ocean

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The Because the Ocean Initiative was launched by 23 countries at COP21 in Paris in November 2015. These countries all signed the first Because the Ocean Declaration, which supported a then just proposed Special Report on the Ocean by the Intergovernmental Panel of experts on Climate Change (IPCC) and the convening of a high-level UN Ocean conference in support of the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, which focuses on the ocean, and promoted an Ocean Action Plan within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

A year later, a second Because the Ocean Declaration was launched during COP22 in Marrakech. In the declaration, the 33 signatory countries “encourage UNFCCC Parties to consider submitting Nationally Determined Contributions that promote, as appropriate, ambitious climate action in order to minimize the adverse effects of climate change in the ocean and to contribute to its protection and conservation.”

The Because the Ocean initiative is supported by its partners: the Ministry of External Relations of Chile, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Tara Foundation, the Pacific Community Secretariat, the Institute on Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) and Ocean Conservancy, among others.

The signatories of Because the Ocean initiative underlined the importance of developing further scientific knowledge not only to support mitigation but also to better understand socio-economic and environmental implications of climate change impacts on the ocean, with a view toward adaptation.

Based on a wide consultation work started in 2016, a guidance document, Ocean For Climate: Ocean-Related Measures in Climate Strategies has been published in October 2019 after the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) was released. The guidance document focuses on the ocean elements of the SROCC, examining the implications for ocean-based activities: those that can safely and sustainably contribute to mitigation efforts; and those that can be undertaken to increase ocean resilience. Key actions discussed in the guidance document include marine and coastal adaptation to climate change and hybrid solutions supporting both adaptation and mitigation in the fisheries and aquaculture sector such as Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture and Greening Shipping.

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Because the Ocean Initiative

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