June 2014 is the month of the Ocean

This June will be the month of the ocean, with the release of a new scientific study that is the first to value the carbon sequestration role of the high seas as well as the launch of the Global Ocean Commission’s full inquiry findings. Read on to find out more.

Wave in the Southern Ocean © 2009 John Weller

5 June: Launch of research by the Global Ocean Commission into the value of high seas services including carbon sequestration.

• 8 June: World Oceans Day.

• 16–19 June: In New York, the United Nations will hold a meeting on its work to fulfil the RIO+20 commitment towards law on the high seas.

• 16–17 June: United States Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a two-day conference in Washington to energise ocean action.

24 June: The high level independent Global Ocean Commission is launching its full proposals for action after an 18-month inquiry into the challenges facing the global ocean and the solutions required to meet them.

Global Ocean Commission Report and Proposals

June 24th 2014

New York: The high level, independent Global Ocean Commission will publish the findings of its 18-month inquiry into the threats facing the ocean and the solutions necessary to avert further decline and stimulate restoration of ocean health.

The Commission, which is comprised of serving and former senior politicians and business leaders with a range of experience and expertise, was convened in 2013 to formulate politically and technically feasible short, medium and long-term proposals to address key areas of threat to the high seas.

The closing report sets out these proposals and following publication, the Commissioners will bring them to world and business leaders able to action them. The Commission will also seek to engage individuals and civil society in ocean protection.

The High Seas and Us

June 5th 2014

London: At the start of the month scientists from Oxford University and The University of British Columbia will release the findings of their research into the value of high seas services including carbon sequestration.

This is the first time that scientists have attempted to identify the ecosystem services, which the high seas (the vast majority of ocean beyond national jurisdiction) perform, and to place an economic value on these.

The work was commissioned by the Global Ocean Commission to help improve decisions about ocean use, by placing a monetary value on ecosystem services as well as direct ocean resources.

The findings of both reports quantify the role of high seas life in carbon cycling, a gap in knowledge identified by the last IPCC report in 2013.