World Oceans Conference 11-15 May 2009, in Manado, Indonesia

The World Ocean Conference (WOC) 2009 is forum for the world community to discuss current issues in the marine field which are related to climate change, and how the world can wisely utilize the ocean to weather crisis. Furthermore, WOC 2009 is expected to create a more aligned global vision and commitments from participating governments and institutions to work together to improve marine resource management.

The oceans play major roles in determining the world climate system, but increasing rate of global climate change in recent times has threatened marine lives and the livelihood of the people.

The latest legal framework that constitutes and governs the use if the ocean, The Convention on the Law of the Sea, (UNCLOS) 1982 is now 27 years. The climate system and the pressure to the world’s oceans have dramatically changed since. In addition the law did not really address the ways in which governments manage maritime affaires related to the impacts of global climate change on the oceans, or indeed the role of the oceans in the phenomena of global climate change.

The world has at least experienced a number of economic recessions and crises since 1982. The Asia Financial crisis in 1997 and global recession today have caused major upsets to the ocean. Over fishing and in manners that destruct the ecosystem of the ocean, pollutions and coastal degradation have terribly impacted the balance of marine ecosystem. The recent global recession will threaten the oceans as well because poverty and unemployment will turn global populations to seek means of subsistence from the oceans.

To address these threats, Indonesia has taken the initiative to organize a World Ocean Conference (WOC) in Manado on the 11th – 15th May 2009, hereafter referred to as WOC2009, which will be attended by Ministers and High Level Government Officials and High Level Officials from Multilateral Organizations.

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