Commitments on ocean acidification at the US Secretary Kerry’s “Our Ocean” conference 2016

The “Our Ocean” conference series, launched by US State Secretary John Kerry and organized by the US Department of State, came to its third edition on 15-16 September 2016. The goal of these conferences is to inspire the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists, and civil society to identify solutions and commit to actions to protect and conserve our ocean and its resources.

Participants in the third “Our Ocean” conference in Washington, D.C.  announced over 136 new initiatives on marine conservation and protection valued at more than $5.24 billion, as well as new commitments on the protection of almost four million square kilometers (over 1.5 million square miles) of the ocean.

Ocean acidification was discussed as one of the key ocean issues of our time, alongside marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and climate-related impacts on the ocean. A number of commitments addressing ocean acidification were announced during the conference:

  • The Pacific Coast Collaborative announced the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification, which will advance scientific understanding of ocean acidification, reduce the causes of acidification, protect the environment and coastal communities from impacts of a changing ocean, expand public awareness and understanding of acidification, and build sustained support for tackling this global problem. The Alliance will actively seek inclusion of ocean acidification mitigation and adaptation commitments in the COP 23 international climate agreement.
  • The United States, in partnership with the University of Washington, announced the launch of the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network’s web portal, a user-friendly website that makes real time ocean acidification data from buoys and moorings around the world freely available to the public.
  • The United States announced that it has allocated $600,000 through the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Peaceful Uses Initiative to the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Center (OA-ICC) located at the Environment Laboratories in Monaco.
  • The United States announced $300,000 in funding to enhance capacity (equipment and training) for ocean acidification monitoring in the Pacific Islands, Latin America, and the Caribbean, in partnership with The Ocean Foundation.
  • The Ocean Foundation announced that it will train 50 scientists in the Pacific Islands, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Arctic to research and monitor ocean acidification, provide them with ocean acidification observing equipment, and expand the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network over the next three years.

Further information.

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