Statement on passing of a Ocean hero Dr Biliana Cicin-Sain
Reflection by Felix Dodds: Biliana was a force of nature in the Ocean Community someone who I had the pleasure to work with on a number of Ocean related conferences that Stakeholder Forum engaged in.
I met Biliana in the run-up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 when most people were not seeing the importance of work on oceans. Biliana was a voice for those who were passionate about ocean issues she also brought people together. Her organization of the Global Forums on Oceans and in particular the one in 2012 complemented the Monocca Oceans conference in 2011 and helped move oceans up the political agenda for Rio+20. This gave it the prominence that helped secure at Rio +20, that governments committed themselves:
"to address, on an urgent basis [...] the issue of the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, including by taking a decision on the development of an international instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea."
It is very sad that she will not be here to see the outcomes from the Intergovernmental Conference on an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ intercessional work.
She organized ocean days at the UNFCCC bringing in oceans issues into a forum that had not considered them important before.
Her legacy will be carried on by her friends and colleagues who have worked with her over the years but also as professor and director of the Gerard J. Mangone Center for Marine Policy at the University of Delaware, Biliana she helped a generation of young 'ocean voices' to find their place in the world. They will take her vision forward in their work. Biliana we will miss you.
Statement by the IOC Community: Professor Cicin-Sain was a close collaborator and friend of IOC. Starting with her and her husband Professor Robert Knecht’s sabbatical at the headquarters of IOC in 1995-96, Professor Cicin-Sain’s work was instrumental in the design and testing of the Commission’s programme in Integrated Coastal Management. It is in the very premises of IOC that the book Integrated Coastal and Ocean Management: Concepts and Practices by her and her husband was written – a seminal book that formalized what went to become the most adopted framework to apply the ecosystem approach in the coastal areas of the world.