43. Mr Ellick Adler (UNEP Regional Seas Coordinator) presented various possibilities for common relations between RFBs and UNEP. He explained the concepts underlying UNEP's Regional Seas Programmes, including the respective roles of engaged partners. Mr Adler referred to the publication "Ecosystem based management of fisheries: Strengthening cooperation between UNEP and FAO, the Regional Seas Programme and the Regional Fishery Bodies", which had been prepared jointly by FAO and UNEP. Based on this paper, he proposed seven areas for positive cooperation between RFBs and UNEP.
44. In discussion, some RFBs reported on their respective cooperative activities with relevant Regional Seas Programmes. Other participants expressed various concerns of a practical nature, the majority of which addressed the need to ensure that respective competencies of RFBs as opposed to Regional Seas Programme participants were not undermined. Mr Robin Allen (IATTC) noted an opportunity for his organization to collaborate with UNEP in any development of a marine conservation corridor for the Eastern Tropical Pacific.
45. As already noted, and in general, RFBs, especially RFMOs were mindful of the primacy of their competencies, but nevertheless recognized the potential utility of information exchanges with UNEP on matters of common concern. However, participants were like-minded in emphasizing that human and financial resources available to each body remain an important consideration. Therefore, the cost efficiency of any information exchanges with UNEP constitutes a major consideration. Consequently, it was felt that it was inappropriate for the current Meeting to formally address information exchange with UNEP in any prerogative sense. In this regard, any future information exchanges should be driven by clearly defined needs as well as on a case-by-case basis in response to specific questions. The Chairperson welcomed Mr Adler's offer to serve as the key UNEP contact in an effort to ensure that any future interchanges with the RFB community are more cost-effective than at present.