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Did you know that the ocean drives global systems that make Earth habitable for us and also other animals. Our drinking water, rainwater, weather, climate, coastlines, and even the oxygen in the air that we breathe in, are all provided and regulated by the sea?

This resource is a key feature for our sustainable future. Therefore, it needs to be carefully manage. However, at current time, there is a continuous deterioration of coastal waters due to pollution, and ocean acidification is having an adversarial effect on the functioning of ecosystems and biodiversity. This also cause negative impact to small scale fisheries.

Saving our ocean must be a priority because marine biodiversity is critical to the health of people and our planet. Marine protected areas need to be well plan and manage, plus regulations such as overfishing, marine pollution and ocean acidification need to be put in place in order to preserve it for the future.

Therefore, United Nations decided to established this as one of the Goals in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. It will be name as Sustainable Development Goal 14(SDG 14) - Life Below Water. The official wording for it is "Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development". For this goal, it has ten targets to be achieved by 2030.

 

The 10 Goals:

  • By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution.

  • By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans.

  • Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels.

  • By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics.

  • By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information.

  • By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation.

  • By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism.

  • Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries.

  • Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets.

  • Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want.

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