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United Nations Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity Food and Agriculture Organization International Atomic Energy Agency
International Maritime Organization Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Internationa Seabed Authority United Nations Environment Programme
UNDP World Meteorological Organization United Nations Foundation

Head Department of Navigation and Oceanography, Russia National Geographic Society National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA
World Ocean Observatory United Nations Foundation
Ocean issues < back     Text-only
Global, regional and national issues relating to the oceans and their governance are described, with an emphasis on sustainable development:
  • Climate Variability and Climate Change: addressing temperature changes, sea level rise, ocean acidification, ice changes, currents, storms, disease, algal blooms, impacts, adaptations, outlook for the future including possible adaptations to reduce impact, research and governance institutions.
  • Economics: includes economic yield and rent, poverty reduction, investment, profitability, economic incentives and disincentives, projections.
  • Emergencies: dramatic and unexpected events negatively affecting people and their ocean activities, including harmful algal blooms, storms, typhoons, hurricanes, tsunamis, icebergs, warning and aid institutions.
  • Food Security: access and availability of seafood from capture fisheries or aquaculture and related problems including poverty; contains information on aquaculture, fisheries precautionary approach, catch trends and projections, institutions, enforcement, food security and the future.
  • Governance: contains frameworks, institutions and processes involved in the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other policy development and implementation (including laws and programs) at an international, regional and national level.
  • Human Health: includes issues such as algal blooms, pollution, water-borne diseases, food quality and contamination, invasive species introductions, contingency planning, urban crowding, environmental modification, dredging and outlook for the future.
  • Pollution and Degradation: describes negative modifications of the ocean environment, pollution and degradation, problems associated with mitigation, ocean dumping, human-generated ocean noise, food safety, nutrients from the atmosphere, non-point source pollution, impacts, controls, outlook for the future.
  • Safety at sea: addresses safety at sea, safety standards and accidents, piracy, storms, transport of dangerous goods and other cargo-related issues with a concern for human welfare and conditions at sea.
  • Sustainable Development: covers issues related to sustainable and responsible conduct in using the oceans such as renewable energy and integrated coastal zone management, with mention of small island developing states (SIDS).

Each of these topics includes background information, the role of the UN-Oceans agencies, legal and policy frameworks, institutions, research needs, and an assessment of what the future holds.