COP28 Side Event Explores Ocean Law’s Role in Climate Change Commitments

Date: 27th November 2023

The High Seas Alliance, in collaboration with AIDA, IUCN, and Rutgers University, is set to make waves at COP28 with a thought-provoking side event titled “How can international ocean law assist States to meet their climate change obligations?“.

Scheduled for Monday, December 11, from 13:15 to 14:45 in SE Room 3 at COP28 in Dubai, the event promises a deep dive into the critical intersection of international ocean law and climate change responsibilities.

The distinguished panel assembled for this event reflects a wealth of expertise and global perspectives:

  1. Walter Shuldt, Chief Negotiator, Government of Ecuador: Bringing insights from the front lines of international negotiations, Shuldt will shed light on the challenges and opportunities for states in aligning ocean policies with climate change commitments.
  2. Cymie Payne, Rutgers University, IUCN: As a representative from academia and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Payne will provide a scholarly perspective on the legal frameworks available to support states in meeting their climate obligations.
  3. Rebecca Hubbard, High Seas Alliance: With a focus on High Seas conservation and the High Seas Treaty, Hubbard’s expertise will contribute to the conversation around the role of ocean governance in the broader climate change agenda.
  4. Lisa Levin, Scripps Oceanography: Levin, a representative from Scripps Oceanography, will bring a scientific lens to the discussion, highlighting the interconnectedness of ocean health and climate resilience.
  5. Nilufer Oral, National University of Singapore, UN International Law Commission: Oral’s contribution is anticipated to provide insights into the international legal landscape, especially in the context of the ongoing Race for Ratification of the BBNJ (Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction) Treaty.
  6. Javier Davalos, Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA): Davalos’ perspective from the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense is expected to add a crucial dimension to the discussion, addressing environmental defense in the Americas.

The central theme of the event, exploring how international ocean law can support states in fulfilling their climate change obligations, is particularly timely. Against the backdrop of the Race for Ratification of the BBNJ Treaty, the panelists will dissect the treaty’s potential impact on global efforts to address climate change through effective ocean governance.

As the world races towards a sustainable future, this side event promises to provide a compass for policymakers, negotiators, and advocates navigating the intricate waters of international ocean law and climate action.

Stay tuned for insights and a deeper understanding of how our shared commitment to the ratification and implementation of the High Seas Treaty can contribute to a climate-resilient world.

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