The coalition aims to have at least 200 aquariums raising public awareness about plastic pollution by 2019.
These actions are expected to support progress towards a circular economy and responsible consumption and production patterns, in line with SDGs 12 and 14.
26 October 2018: The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment) and the European Commission (EC) have launched a coalition of aquariums to combat marine plastic pollution and raise awareness on the world’s oceans. The organizations announced the coalition at the fifth edition of the Our Ocean Conference.
The coalition aims to have at least 200 aquariums raising public awareness about plastic pollution by 2019. To date, 106 aquariums from 33 countries have pledged support for the new coalition, including 67 aquariums from the EU. As part of the coalition, participating aquariums will organize permanent activities in their facilities to raise awareness on the sustainable management of oceans. Aquariums will also work to change their procurement policies to eliminate all single-use plastic items in their cafes, restaurants and shops.
The coalition’s actions will contribute to accelerating a shift towards a circular economy.
According to IOC-UNESCO, the coalition’s actions will contribute to accelerating a shift towards a circular economy, including changes in production and consumption habits and increased awareness among the public about the impact of relying on plastic for everyday needs. Such actions are in line with SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production) targets on sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources (target 12.2), reduction of waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse (target 12.5) and promoting public procurement practices that are sustainable (target 12.7). These actions also contribute to SDG 14 (life below water), including target 14.1 on preventing and reducing marine pollution of all kinds.
The Our Ocean Conferences have resulted in over 1,200 concrete, measurable and tracked commitments in support of sustainable management of the world’s oceans. The 2018 Our Ocean Conference took place in Bali, Indonesia, from 29-30 October. [IOC-UNESCO Press Release] [Our Ocean Conference Website]