June 2010 - Policy, Education and Deepwater Horizon

  • Global Ocean Conference 2010
  • W2O Announces New Subscription Service
  • World Ocean Radio: Deepwater Horizon


In May, over 850 national leaders, policy and decision-makers gathered at UNESCO in Paris for five days of presentations and discussions of on-going definition and implementation of international ocean policy. Sponsored by the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands, the United Nations Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), and the Government of France, the 5th Global Ocean Conference celebrated the International Year of Biodiversity and the 50th anniversary of the IOC.

Three major themes were addressed:

  • Ensuring Survival: Ocean, Climate and Security, Major Issues in Mitigation, Adaptation, and Financing in the Post-Copenhagen Climate Regime.
  • Preserving Life: Marine Biodiversity Networks of Marine Protected Areas, Development of an Ocean Agenda for the Convention on Biological Diversity Conference in Nagoya, Japan, in October 2010.
  • Improving Governance: Achieving Integrated Ecosystem-Based Ocean and Coastal Management at National and Regional Levels and in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction.
The conference included numerous policy, science and technical panels; roundtables of national officials, ocean parliamentarians, and regional, provincial and local authorities; and plenary and workshop presentations on the full spectrum of ocean policy issues. Presenters and attendees included ocean leaders from 80 countries, UN officials, and leaders from small island nations, non-governmental organizations, policy and research centers, universities, museums and aquaria, business and industry. Major presentations were made by HSH Prince Albert of Monaco; Monique Barbut, CEO, Global Environment Facility; Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain, Head of Secretariat, Global Forum; Wendy Watson-Wright, Executive Secretary IOC; and Dr. Ania Grobicki, Executive Secretary, Global Water Partnership.

During the meeting, W2O conducted a series of 30 video interviews with major participants that may be found at www.goc2010.org. A Conference Summary Report prepared by Earth Negotiations Bulletin is also available at http://www.iisd.ca/download/pdf/sd/ymbvol68num5e.pdf.


Through aquariums, science centers, maritime museums, and environmental organizations, the ocean community is estimated to be over 500 million persons worldwide. These organizations are an essential network for the global distribution of ocean information.  

But how? With what tools? And at what cost given the expense of creating video, educational materials, and other interpretive resources?

At the recent meeting of the World Ocean Network at Nausicaa, the French National Aquarium in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, The World Ocean Observatory announced the availability a new, subscription-based service that will provide such products at a low incremental cost, pro-rated and shared among multiple users. Content modules, provided twice a year on major ocean themes, will contain: one original and one curated HD films that can be used in theaters and exhibits and on kiosks and websites, two live web-based interactive events with field researchers, a supplemental educational resource package for program use, and a publicity widget to promote, measure, and evaluate audience response and interest.

The first module addresses Ocean & Climate and is available for distribution in Fall 2010. The service is an excellent opportunity for local sponsorship to underwrite the economical subscription fee.

You are invited to augment your institutional interpretive resources through these services. Future module themes will include Ocean Biodiversity, The Ocean and Human Health, The History of International Oceanography, and Nautical Archaeology.

For additional information, and to subscribe, please contact [email protected].


WORLD OCEAN RADIO: A Three-Part Series on Deepwater Horizon and the Ocean Future

The catastrophic collapse of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform and the ensuing release of millions of gallons of oil into the water and coastal environment of the Gulf of Mexico has become the most damaging man-made environmental disaster ever. It has dominated the headlines, focusing primarily on the damage to the beaches and wetlands, the flora and fauna of the Gulf, and the impact on coastal communities - the fishers and operators of tourist businesses that constitute a major portion of the local employment and economy. That this wave of "environmental refugees" has been created in the most developed nation on earth is a stunning reminder that the ocean is not immune to our indifference and intervention and is rapidly reaching a point of vast, irremediable loss. 
W2O has produced a three-part series of World Ocean Radio on the Deepwater Horizon disaster that addresses the lessons to be learned, new evaluation and management tools, and changed behaviors and values that must be applied if we are to avoid such catastrophe in the future and truly sustain the ocean for the benefit of all mankind.
We urge you to listen here, to share these broadcasts, and to consider how you might use or syndicate World Ocean Radio for your organization's mission, communications, and community. For additional information, please contact [email protected].