Comprehensive Oceans Goal included in Zero Draft of UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals

 Magdalena AK Muir

The EUCC is participating in the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals with respect to Oceans that is currently underway in New York City.

The civil society groups including the EUCC attended the 10th Session of the OWG SDG on 31 March to 4 April 2014,  speaking as the “Friends of the Sustainable Development Goal on Oceans and Seas”, issued the following statement: We Stand Together for a Stand-alone Sustainable Development Goal on Oceans and Seas.

In this statement, EUCC along with civil society groups strongly supported a standalone goal on oceans, as ceans and seas are essential to the three pillars of sustainable development: environment, economy, and society, as they are essential for planetary survival, for national and global economic well-being, and for social well-being.

The EUCC also attended the 11th Session of the OWG SDG from 5 May to 9 May 2014. On 7 May 2014, civil society groups including EUCC issued a statement regarding SDG  Focus Area 13: Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Resources, Oceans and Seas. This May 7th civil statement included a continued focus on a standalone SDG goal for oceans, suggested improvements for marine biodiversity and conservation and consideration of impacts of ocean acidification, and immediate action to end illegal unregulated and unreported fishing. EUCC also proposed a specific focus on education of the public on the importance of conservation of marine resources, oceans and seas, and  educational programmes at all levels, specifically to encourage youth to enter this field. The complete statement endorsed by EUCC is found here.

A zero draft was just released by the chairs to this process on June 2, 2014, and will be discussed next at the June 16th to 20th meeting. This zero draft contains proposed goal on conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and sea. The text of that goal, as well as links to the overall zero draft and letter from the chairs for this UN process is attached below. This zero  draft needs to be discussed and agreed to by all states, but it is an initial good beginning for a standalone Oceans Goal as it addresses some of the key issues like ocean acidification, biodiversity and conservation, fishing, and establishment of protection areas. The EU, and European countries have been among the countries leading in the support of a comprehensive standalone oceans goal.

There will be a daily blog by EUCC  for this Oceans Goal on ENews during the important upcoming meeting UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals on June 16th to 20th.

Proposed goal 14. Attain conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas

14.1 by 2030, reduce by x% marine pollution of all kinds, including from land-based activities

14.2 by 2020, sustainably manage, restore and protect marine ecosystems from destruction, including by strengthening their resilience, and support relevant scientific research

14.3 address and prevent further ocean acidification

14.4 by 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing to restore by 2030 fish stocks to ecologically safe levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield

14.5 support sustainable small-scale fisheries and aquaculture, including by providing equitable access of small-scale and artisanal fishers to fisheries and markets

14.6 ensure the full implementation of existing regional and international regimes for managing oceans and seas by their state parties

14.7 by 2020, eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and destructive fishing practices

14.8 By 2020, conserve at least 10% of coastal and marine areas, including through establishing effectively managed marine protected areas, consistent with international law and based on best available scientific information

14.9 by 2020, eliminate subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, taking into account the need of developing countries, notably least developed countries and SIDS

14.10 by 2030, increase the economic returns to SIDS and LDCs from the sustainable development of coastal and marine resources from within their jurisdictions

14.11 implement integrated and participatory coastal management to increase resilience of coastal ecosystems


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