On November 13-15, the United States hosted the World Ocean Assessment Workshop for the Wider Caribbean in Miami, Florida. The workshop is organized by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO.
The World Ocean Assessment is the product of the United Nations’ regular process for global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment, including socioeconomic aspects. The first World Ocean Assessment is projected to be completed by 2014, with subsequent assessments generated on a five-year cycle to inform policymaking.
The results of this workshop contributed a regional perspective and content for the first World Ocean Assessment. Specific workshop objectives were to review, evaluate, and compile an inventory of all relevant assessments, build an information network among regional experts, identify information gaps and build capacity for integrative assessment, and outline linkages between driving factors and the state of the marine environment. The workshop also promoted capacity building for conducting marine assessments and for utilizing knowledge acquired through assessments. Australia, Chile, the People’s Republic of China, Belgium, and Mozambique are hosting similar workshops to address the World Ocean Assessment content for other regions.
Experts from more than 30 countries registered to attend the workshop. Dr. Eric Schwaab, Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries, opened the workshop, and Donatus St. Aimee, St. Lucia Ambassador to the U.S. and co-Chair of the United Nations Ad Hoc Working Group of the Whole for the Regular Process for the Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, provided closing remarks.
For more information visit (www.WOAwcr.org).