The intersessional workshop of the Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) Global Dialogue with Regional Seas Organizations (RSOs) and Regional Fishery Bodies (RFBs) was held from 1st to 3rd August 2023. The event, conducted online, brought together experts, policymakers, and stakeholders from various regions. The three-day workshop was inaugurated with opening statements from the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of the Republic of Korea, the CBD Secretariat, FAO and the UNEP.
On the first day of the Workshop, the progress made on the regional roadmaps for cooperation since the third SOI meeting held in Busan in 2022 was discussed from different regions, viz., Western Indian Ocean, North Atlantic, and South & Southeast Asia. Dr. P. Krishnan, Director, BOBP-IGO, made a coordinated presentation on the initiatives taken against the roadmap in South and Southeast Asia.
On the second day, UN DOALOS and GOBI provided insights on the recently concluded marine biodiversity conservation beyond national jurisdictions (BBNJ) agreement. The concluding day focused on the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and the importance of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) in facilitating it.
Breakout sessions were held for each of the discussion themes in order to elicit regional perspectives on collaboration opportunities. Mr. R. Mukherjee, Policy Analyst, BOBP-IGO, presented the breakout group report of the S&SEA on "BBNJ: Opportunities, Challenges, and Way Forward".
The Workshop concluded with a call for its continuation, supplemented by intersessional work and sessions alongside major international events. RSO and RFB Secretariats were urged to act as "ambassadors", underscoring the dialogue's significance to their Parties/Member States for enhancing regional governance and collaboration.