Cablegate: Bintan Roundtable and Manado Ocean Declaration
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DE RUEHJA #2053/01 3110830
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R 060830Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 002053
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SUBJECT: BINTAN ROUNDTABLE AND MANADO OCEAN DECLARATION
REF: A. Shishak-Hayes email, October 29, 2008.
B. JAKARTA 1919
C. JAKARTA 1880
D. JAKARTA 1766
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1. (SBU) Summary: The Government of Indonesia (GOI) hosted a
roundtable meeting last week in Bintan, Indonesia, to prepare for
the World Ocean Conference (WOC). At the Roundtable, the GOI
presented a draft Manado Ocean Declaration (MOD) that was
substantially different from an earlier draft (ref B). Many
participants recommended that the MOD be shorter, more focused, and
clearly differentiated from the UN Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC) process. They also suggested that it list
supportable actions that typically fall under the purview of
Ministers of Oceans and Fisheries, in order to get political buy-in
from many countries. The GOI welcomed the "positive" comments of
the USG and other participants, and welcomed additional comments on
future iterations of the draft MOD. The GOI will circulate a new
draft in late November. End Summary.
Unexpected: The New Manado Ocean Declaration Text
2. (SBU) Approximately 50 delegates took part in the International
Roundtable on the World Ocean Conference (the Roundtable) from
October 30-31, 2008. (Note: The formal goal of the WOC, taking
place from May 11-15, 2009 in Manado, Indonesia, is to produce the
MOD. End Note). The participants received a new, substantially
revised, draft MOD (ref A). Surprised by this, most international
participants were unable to provide detailed, substantive comments.
However, they (in particular, the U.S., Canada, Australia, GEF and
UNEP) recommended that the GOI carefully review it and alter the
content and tone so that it reads like a document focused on the
importance of oceans, in the context of climate change impacts, not
one primarily about climate change. They also asked the GOI to
clearly differentiate the MOD from the UNFCCC process.
3. (SBU) Many participants recommended that the MOD be short and
focused on several key themes. They also suggested that the MOD
list practical, achievable, supportable actions that typically fall
under the purview of Ministers of Oceans and Fisheries. Some hoped
that the MOD would read more like a speech outlining a vision,
rather than a "typical" UN document. Priorities and opportunities
should be clearly articulated in the MOD, participants stressed.
Actions should be realistic and tangible and use existing mechanisms
4. (SBU) Post conveyed the consolidated USG comments provided by
the Department on the earlier draft MOD. The GOI welcomed the
"positive" comments of the USG, and said that participants'
observations were encouraging and useful for the next step of
redrafting the MOD. GOI officials later also welcomed any
additional comments on the new revised draft that the USG can
provide before the end of November (see para 12).
5. (SBU) GOI officials at the Roundtable said unofficially that
they hope to have all Parties to the United Nations Convention on
the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) sign the MOD. USG and other
participants noted that this was highly ambitious and that even a
smaller group of signatories would be challenging given the short
timeframe, but that having a simpler, more focused text is even more
important if this is the goal.
Government of Indonesia Perspectives
6. (U) In introductory remarks, Minister of Marine Affairs and
Fisheries (MMAF) Freddy Numberi challenged participants to "protect
marine resources that we all share" and to help craft a declaration
and conference that would change mindsets about the importance of
oceans. "No one country alone can address climate change", he said,
and the MOD should lead to practical action. Let us change what we
can, he concluded, bearing in mind differences between countries'
7. (U) The MFA's Director General for Legal Affairs and
International Treaties sent written remarks that focused on oceans
as the missing element in climate change talks, and on the need to
JAKARTA 00002053 002 OF 002
discuss the "positive interplay" between oceans and climate change.
Other MFA officials stated that the objective of the MOD was to
build consensus on practical actions to address the adverse impacts
of climate change on ocean ecosystems, complementing the existing
climate change framework. They would register the MOD as a UN
document to serve as a future reference on ocean and climate
Role of Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands
8. (U) Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain, Co-Chair of Global Forum on Oceans,
Coasts, and Islands (Global Forum) gave a presentation emphasizing
the importance of understanding--and developing policy responses
to--global ocean changes, encouraging a wide range of adaptation
efforts, and properly studying mitigation efforts that propose to
use the ocean (e.g. iron fertilization).
Dr. Cicin-Sain noted that the WOC is a government-led effort but
that the Global Forum is providing expert input and helping to
coordinate the program for Global Ocean Policy Day (see below).
Structure of the World Ocean Conference
9. (U) Presentations by the GOI and Global Forum indicated that
they are still working on the structure and content of the WOC, and
are open to suggestions. A bare-bones structure was outlined:
May 11: Presentation to senior officials by experts on the two
sub-themes, climate change impacts on the ocean and the role of the
ocean, followed by discussion of the draft MOD.
May 12: Discussion and finalization of draft MOD by senior
officials, presentation of draft to Ministers.
May 13: Global Ocean Policy Day. Hold several workshops on key
climate-ocean topics, possibly making use of some Working Groups
under the Global Forum.
May 14: Ministers deliberate over the draft MOD and issue the
May 15: Coral Triangle Initiative Summit.
Participation and Next Steps
10. (U) The GOI invited 25 States as well as academic experts and
international organizations to the Roundtable. Eight countries
attended: U.S.A., Canada (Department of Fisheries and Oceans), China
(State Oceanic Administration), Russia (represented by its embassy),
Australia (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the
Arts), Vietnam (Administration for Seas and Islands), Seychelles
(Special Advisor to the President), and the Philippines (Department
of Environment and Natural Resources).
11. (U) Other international participants included the Global
Environment Facility, United Nations Environment Program, Ocean
Policy Research Foundation (Japan), Advisor for Maritime Strategy,
Emirate of Abu Dhabi (UAE), and the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts,
and Islands. GOI representatives included officials from the
Ministries of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Environment, Foreign
Affairs, and Coordinating Ministry for People's Welfare.
12. (SBU) The GOI will circulate a revised draft of the MOD in late
November for further comment. It will make additional changes based
on the feedback received and then distribute this refined draft by
the end of December. The GOI intends to begin the first round of
consultations with States in mid-to-late January 2009. A pre-WOC
meeting in February (date and venue to be determined) would
constitute the second round of consultations with States.
12. (SBU) GOI representatives also floated the idea of a side
meeting about the WOC and MOD during COP-14 in Poznan, Poland, this
December. Participants suggested that this could be difficult,
given the already busy schedule.