COP21: ‘Ocean Challenges’ Provide a Path ForwardNewsroom
On December 3rd, The Nature Conservancy and the Global Island Partnership co-hosted an event that brought together four of the best examples of how countries are working together to achieve positive change.
These are the ‘Oceans Challenges’ – so called because they involve countries ‘challenging’ one another to improve marine and coastal resource management, and in-so doing, building resilience to climate change.
The first of these Oceans Challenges was the Micronesia Challenge, initiated by President of Palau Tommy Remengesau in 2007, which connected five Micronesian jurisdictions. It was created in recognition of the dependence of these places and people upon the integrity of their marine ecosystems, and the fact that truly effective management of these resources could not be achieved through isolated action alone. Collaboration would be necessary to adequately address trans-boundary issues like over-fishing and climate change.
The Micronesia Challenge then went on to inspire the establishment of three similar models in very different parts of the world: the Coral Triangle Initiative that links six countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste) in Asia Pacific, the Caribbean Challenge Initiative, and most recently, the Western Indian Ocean Coastal Challenge.
Although global agreement and action is notoriously difficult, these regional challenge models can allow us some hope that countries can work together for the benefit of all – helping to improve resource management in a changing climate, as well as to ensure that climate finance is channeled where it is needed most, and quickly.
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