Press Release-WOC 2009


No. 119/04/IV/09

The climate system and the pressure to the world’s oceans have dramatically changed since the Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) took force in 1982. The law did not actually address the ways in which governments manage maritime affaires related to the impacts of global climate change on the oceans, or indeed the role of the oceans in the phenomena of global climate change.

In addition, the Asia Financial crisis in 1997 and global recession today have caused major upsets to the ocean. Over fishing and manners that destruct the ecosystem of the ocean, pollutions and coastal degradation have offensively created bad impact to the balance of marine ecosystem. The recent global recession will also threaten the oceans because poverty and unemployment will turn people to seek means of subsistence from the oceans.

To address these threats, Indonesia, as the largest archipelagic state in the world, has taken the initiative to organize a World Ocean Conference in Manado, North Sulawesi, on the 11th – 15th May 2009. The Conference will be attended by Ministers and High Level Government Officials and High Level Officials from Multilateral Organizations.
The 2009 World Ocean Conference is a forum for the global community to discuss current issues in the marine field which are related to climate change and how the world can wisely utilize the ocean to face global environment crisis. Furthermore, the Conference is expected to create a more aligned global vision and commitments from participating governments and institutions to work together to improve marine resource management.
A number of key issues to be discussed in the Conference i.e. climate change impacts to the ocean, the role of the oceans in regulating climate change, adaptation and mitigation efforts, and opportunities for regional/international cooperation. It is hoped that the Conference will achieve an increase of:
  • Cooperation between nations in order to manage marine resources,
  • Understanding across the global community regarding the vital role of the oceans in regulating global climate,
  • Global attention to the need to save small islands and coastal areas from the impact of climate change,
  • Commitment from international bodies and intergovernmental organizations to protect and conserve marine resources in order to ensure food security,
  • Preparedness to mitigate disasters caused by climate change,
  • Capacity at community level, especially coastal and small islands communities, to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Suva, 2 April 2009