Showing posts for "Oceans"
Below is a guest post by Alexandra Kerr, program coordinator in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.
Today the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). After a week of intense deliberations in Stockholm, Qin Dahe, co-chair of the working group that produced the report, summarized the findings, revealing that “the atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amount of snow and ice has diminished, the global mean sea level has risen and that concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased.” And perhaps more importantly—in case there remained an inkling of doubt—humans are definitely to blame. Read more »
–Singapore (November 2, 2012)
The dynamic city-state and commercial entrepot of Singapore offers an ideal vantage point to consider the geopolitical and economic crosscurrents washing over East Asia. The past three years have underscored the contradictions between East Asia’s dual geoeconomic and geopolitical orders. Notwithstanding China’s modest recent slowdown, three decades of explosive growth have made it the region’s clear economic fulcrum. At the same time, regional stability remains undergirded by a “hub and spoke” system of longstanding bilateral alliances between the United States and China’s neighbors—including Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand—as well as emerging security partnerships with Indonesia, Vietnam, and others. Read more »
Conflict is simmering in the South China Sea, where China is butting heads with four members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)—Vietnam, the Phillippines, Malaysia, and Brunei (as well as Taiwan)—over territorial claims. As China seems to gradually step up aggression in the region, the Obama administration continues the seventeen-year-old policy of backing ASEAN as a hedge against nationalist aggression by the burgeoning naval power, China. Read more »
I spent late July alongside the Bay of Fundy, marveling at the world’s most spectacular tides. But the power of the sea can be misleading. The world’s oceans may look omnipotent, but they are all too vulnerable to the short-sighted actions of mankind. As I wrote last summer from Norway’s Lofoten Islands, the oceans are in deep crisis, thanks to rampant overfishing, calamitous pollution, and unprecedented acifidication induced by climate change. Read more »
As the UN Conference on Sustainable Development—more popularly known by its moniker, “Rio+20”—wraps up today in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, initial reports from the summit are bleak. The final outcome document, painstakingly hashed out in down-to-the-wire negotiations, contains few concrete and time-specific commitments. The World Wildlife Federation dubbed the text a “colossal failure,” a sentiment echoed by the European Union, which lamented the document’s “lack of ambition.” Read more »
It is high time the United States joined 162 other states and the European Union in becoming party to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)—thirty years after the Reagan administration first negotiated the treaty.
On May 23, the White House dispatched its big guns to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where Senator Kerry is holding hearings on UNCLOS. The message from Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, was unequivocal: Acceding to the treaty is profoundly in the U.S. national interest. Read more »
Last week, as the world’s media focused on the deepening crisis over Syria, it missed a less pressing story with profound long-term implications. The High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability, appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, released a sobering assessment for the world’s seven billion inhabitants. The document—Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing—offers humanity a stark choice: modify our patterns of production and consumption, or risk crashing through the “planetary boundaries” of growth and social progress. Read more »
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The Global Governance Monitor tracks, maps, and evaluates multilateral efforts to address today's global challenges, including armed conflict, public health, climate change, ocean governance, financial coordination, and nuclear proliferation.