The General Assembly has recognised that Workshops in support of the Regular Process are a key mechanism by which the World Ocean Assessment will be accomplished and States can enhance their assessment capacity. As described in the Guidelines for Workshops, the identification of capacity-building needs of States is a key goal of the Workshops. Some States may lack capacities either to conduct their own environmental or socioeconomic assessments of the marine environment, or to optimize economic opportunities from marine-related activities. Such capabilities are necessary for States to be able to contribute more fully to, and benefit more fully from, the Regular Process, including identification of priorities and of steps that States could usefully take to build the capacities of competent intergovernmental organizations (if any) through which the States collaborate.
Building capacity for conducting integrated assessments could include developing one or more of the following:
(i) standardised information content for assessments at various scales and common approaches towards assessment methodologies;
(ii) approaches for scaling up assessments (national, subregional, regional, global – that is, establishing how far assessments at one level can be used at other levels); and
(iii) reporting forms to assist the integration process, with the aim of securing coherence, consistency and comparability as far as possible.
Several of the Workshops have identified capacity-building gaps, which are described in the reports of these meetings. In response to the Workshop held in Sanya City, China, 21-23 February, 2012, and the identification of capacity needs to undertake marine assessments in the region, a separate capacity-building workshop was held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 17-19 September, 2012.