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7, Place de Fontenoy
75352 PARIS 07 SP, France


Nurturing the democratic debate.  
04-06-2002 10:00 pm Paris - The UN and leading international scientific agencies will launch the UN Atlas of the Oceans on World Environment Day (June 5) at a meeting of UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission in Paris. More than two years in development and after a decade of planning, the Oceans Atlas represents the most ambitious global scientific information collaboration ever online and an international consensus-building tool expected to assist negotiations of future marine-related agreements.
Amid mounting concern over continuing deterioration of marine and coastal ecosystems, several of the world's foremost ocean agencies have created this new initiative with the goal of reversing the decline and promoting sustainable development of oceans. Over-fishing, destruction of coastal habitat and pollution from industry, farms and households are endangering marine life and even the global climate. The Atlas spotlights these and other acute marine issues. The UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has been the lead agency responsible for coordinating this ambitious project.

The launch will be held at 18:30 in Room II at UNESCO's Headquarters:

· Welcome from UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura and co-host Ichiro Nomura, Assistant Director-General for the Fisheries Department of the Food and Agricultural Organization (on behalf of FAO Director-General, Jacques Diouf)

Brief presentation by Serge Garcia (Director of the FAO Fisheries Resources Division) on behalf of the Atlas Steering Committee
Presentation by a representative of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Demonstration by Atlas Project Director, John Everett
Question and answer session

For more information, contact :
Peter Coles
UNESCO Bureau of Public Information
Editorial Section
Tel: (+33 1) 45 68 45 41
e-mail: p.coles@unesco.org

Source Media Advisory No.2002-19


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