Successful Outcome of Rio + 20 Conference for Oceans and Marine Issues


There are 20 paragraphs in the  Rio+20 Conference Outcome Document “The Future We Want” ( on oceans and seas, and an additional three paragraphs on small island developing States , which stress the critical role that oceans play in all three pillars of sustainable development, and a commitment to protect, and restore, the health, productivity and resilience of oceans and marine ecosystems, and to maintain their biodiversity, enabling their conservation and sustainable use for present and future generations. The contribution that oceans can make to the sustainable economy, or the blue economy, was  also recognized. One of the few concrete developments at Rio was an agreement to launch a plan to protect the high seas, though the meeting postponed the decision for a High Seas Biodiversity Agreement for  two years. In addition to the formal outcome, the Rio+20 process included the opportunity for governments and other organizations to make voluntary commitments, allowing civil society to capture the opportunity as to the next phase of the sustainable development paradigm. There are currently five Rio+20 registered Voluntary Commitments in the category of Oceans, Seas, and SIDS, two of which were registered by the Global Ocean Forum. See for more information:

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About Magdalena A. K. Muir

Magdalena AK Muir, B.A., J.D., LL.M. is Adjunct Professor at John Hopkins University, where she teaches on offshore wind, ocean energy and offshore grid infrastructure marine in the Masters of Science- Energy Policy and Climate program. Magdalena is Associate Professor, Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University, and participates in the Nordic Centre of Excellence for Strategic Adaptation Research (NCoE NORD-STAR) on adaptation to climate changes in Scandinavia and the Arctic. She is a Research Associate with Arctic Institute of North America, a bi-national research institution based at the University of Calgary, and teaches on international energy issues at this university. She is a member of the Law Society of Alberta and is a practicing barrister and solicitor with International Energy, Environment and Legal Services Ltd.. For the Arctic, Magdalena collaborates with the University of the Arctic and the Centre for the North Roundtable of the Conference Board of Canada, and is a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. . Since 2004, Magdalena is Advisory Board Member, Climate with the Coastal and Marine Union (EUCC), leading their engagement on sustainable energy development in Europe, including offshore wind and ocean energy and grid infrastucture. She is active on European climate adaptation and mitigation policy, and in the QualityCoast global programme for sustainable tourism destination criteria. Further information on these EUCC activities are found on the EUCC webpage entitled: Articles and Presentations on Adaptation and Mitigation of Climate Change for Biodiversity, Ecosystems, Energy and Water ( Dr. Muir has the following research projects, which are implemented in cooperation with the AINA, John Hopkins University, Duke University, Aarhus University and the NCoE NORD-STAR. - Adaptation Governance for Global and Climate Change in the Circumpolar Arctic - Arctic Resource Development and Climate Impacts, Adaptation, and Mitigation - Beaufort Sea Project for Climate Change: Impact and Adaptation to Climate Change for Fish and Marine Mammals in the Canadian Beaufort Sea - Changing Oceans in a Changing World - The Circum-Arctic Health Project : Northern & Remote Community Health & Resilience Considering Economic & Environmental Changes - Parallels for Arctic and Antarctica Governance and Resource Management - Sustainable Energy Development - Sustainable Tourism See for further information on these projects

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