The Eye on Earth (EoE) Oceans and Blue Carbon Special Initiative launched a publication highlighting the importance of conserving and restoring coastal and marine ecosystems in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
‘The Oceans and Us' calls for improved understanding of the role of healthy oceans in sustainable development and recommends integrating the role of oceans into decision-making and planning.
9 October 2015: The Eye on Earth (EoE) Oceans and Blue Carbon Special Initiative launched a publication highlighting the importance of conserving and restoring coastal and marine ecosystems in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). ‘The Oceans and Us’ calls for improved understanding of the role of healthy oceans in sustainable development and recommends integrating the role of oceans into decision-making and planning.
The UN Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), GRID-Arendal, the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the University of Western Brittany Brest (UBO), and the Marine Ecosystem Services Partnership co-wrote the publication, which was launched at the EoE Summit.
“Healthy marine and coastal ecosystems are indispensable in our fight against poverty, to provide adequate nutrition, health and employment to the people on the planet, and to mitigate and adapt to climate change,” explained Christian Neumann, GRID-Arendal. She said 200 million people on the planet are directly or indirectly employed in marine fisheries.
The publication emphasizes the importance of healthy oceans in achieving the stand-alone goal on oceans (SDG 14) as well as an additional nine out of the 17 SDGs. It describes the linkages between the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and the SDGs, particularly Goals on ending poverty, ending hunger and achieving food security and improved nutrition; promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and full and productive employment; and reducing inequality.
The report explains how marine ecosystems help to ensure healthy lives by providing fish for human consumption and promoting well-being through opportunities for recreation and tourism as well as facilitating cultural traditions. It argues that healthy oceans can contribute to gender equality and peaceful societies, such as by fostering social cohesion among coastal communities that jointly manage their marine resources. The report further discusses oceans’ contributions to goals on infrastructure, industrialization and innovation; cities and human settlements; and climate change.
It also addresses, inter alia: marine and oceans ecosystem services; marine and coastal data requirements to achieve the SDGs; the importance of nature and the ocean in major religions; and policy actions in support of the SDGs.
The EoE Oceans and Blue Carbon Special Initiative aims to, inter alia, develop timely, fit-for-purpose, reliable and interoperable spatial databases for mangroves, saltmarshes and seagrasses and to build user communities to implement and interpret carbon and ecosystem service assessments for management planning and knowledge sharing. [Publication: The Oceans and Us – How Healthy Marine and Coastal Ecosystems Support the Achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals] [Eye on Earth Oceans and Blue Carbon Special Initiative Website] [IISD RS Coverage of the EoE Summit]