7 Jan 2019 - Can humans use the ocean as a tool for lifting people out of poverty, all the while protecting its valuable ecosystems?
7 Jan 2019 - Can humans use the ocean as a tool for lifting people out of poverty, all the while protecting its valuable ecosystems? Certainly, say proponents of the growing sustainable blue economy movement. The first-ever Sustainable Blue Economy Conference, held in Kenya in November 2018, brought together thousands of ocean experts and activists to discuss how to sustainably use our ocean.
The concept is gaining momentum , including at the highest levels of decision making. In September, 12 heads of state from around the world and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, Peter Thomson, launched the High-level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy to catalyse bold solutions for ocean health and wealth. We asked Madhushree Chatterjee, Chief of the Natural Resources and Interlinkages Branch of UN DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development Goals to give us her impressions of this growing movement.
What do we mean by a “blue economy”?
“The blue economy comprises a range of economic sectors and related policies that together determine whether the use of ocean resources is sustainable. An important challenge of the blue economy is to understand and better manage the many aspects of oceanic sustainability, ranging from sustainable fisheries to ecosystem health to preventing pollution. Secondly, the blue economy challenges us to realize that the sustainable management of ocean resources will require collaboration across borders and sectors through a variety of partnerships, and on a scale that has not been previously achieved. This is a tall order, particularly for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) who face significant limitations.”
How can building a blue economy help us achieve the SDGs?
“The blue economy concept seeks to promote economic growth, social inclusion and preservation or improvement of livelihoods while at the same time ensuring environmental sustainability—all issues integral to the 2030 Agenda. So, to build a blue economy, we will need to put sustainability at its centre. This will require careful attention to all decisions and their cross‑sectoral implications. We will need to ensure that policies do not undermine each other and that interlinkages are leveraged for the benefit of people, planet and prosperity.”
Help the Secretariat of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development visualize the world’s action to #SaveOurOcean
Calling all data visualizations specialists! This is an opportunity to showcase your skills to the international community in New York. Deadline: 10 July 2017
Data visualizations help make large amounts of data more readily accessible and understandable by turning numbers, letters and connections into aesthetically pleasing visuals, making it easy to recognize patterns, trends and to identify exceptions.
The Secretariat of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) is offering a unique opportunity to data visualizations specialists to showcase and present their skills to the international community by analyzing and visualizing data from the 1,380 voluntary commitments that were announced in the lead-up, and during, The Ocean Conference, held on 5-9 June 2017 at United Nations Headquarters, New York.
The visualization from the selected winner will be featured during the HLPF at the Partnership Exchange special event, which takes place at the UN headquarters on 17 July 2017.
As the modalities resolution of the Ocean Conference A/RES/70/303 decided that "the Conference shall contribute to the follow-up and review process of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by providing an input to the high-level political forum on sustainable development", the report of the Ocean Conference will be one of the background documents for the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) 2017, to be held on 10-19 July 2017 at UN Headquarters in New York. Hence, the above report is also available on the website of HLPF at: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf
SDG Advocate Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden joins global effort to save our ocean
12 June 2017 - “Do what you can, do it wisely, and most importantly do it now. A healthy ocean is not a luxury item. It is a necessity for survival.
12 June 2017 - “Do what you can, do it wisely, and most importantly do it now. A healthy ocean is not a luxury item. It is a necessity for survival. And taking care of the ocean means taking care of ourselves,” Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden said, as she addressed the Stockholm Resilience Centre event on “Engaging the private sector in SDG 14” on 9 June, taking place during the Ocean Conference at UN Headquarters in New York.
One of 17 Sustainable Development Goals Advocates, the Crown Princess joined the international community during the Conference week to show her dedication and commitment to help save our ocean.
Addressing the side event aimed at presenting and discussing the efforts by companies in SeaBOS (Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship), a science-based sustainability initiative involving nine of the world’s largest seafood companies, Crown Princess Victoria spoke passionately about the critical state of our ocean.
“Have you ever experienced a forest fire?,” she asked the well-attended auditorium, referring to one of the largest forest fires that Sweden experienced a few years ago. “The roaring flames. The massive heat. The smoke. It is a dramatic experience – even frightening,” she said.
“Looking out at the sea, on the other hand, is a very different experience,” she continued describing a stunning, peaceful view. “But the beautiful surface is not telling the whole truth. Overfishing, global warming and pollution are destroying the ocean. Not with flames and smoke, like a fire. But silently, invisibly, deadly,” the Crown Princess said.
“All alarm bells are ringing: We are coming dangerously close to fatal tipping points,” she said, noting the critical role that the ocean plays for life on earth. She also described the role of the seafood industry, stressing that all food that we get from the ocean needs to be produced in a sustainable way.
Crown Princess Victoria praised the SeaBOS initiative aimed towards sustainable seafood action by connecting the global seafood business to science; wild capture fisheries to aquaculture; and European and North American companies to Asian companies. SeaBOS is also one of the 1,328 voluntary commitments made in connection with the Ocean Conference.
Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, Isabella Lövin also commended the initiative and looked back on a successful week and Ocean Conference, an event for which Sweden has held the co-presidency together with Fiji.
“When we discuss climate change, it is difficult to see it in front of you, but for the degradation of the ocean, we can see it in front of us,” Ms. Lövin said. “We feel it in our hearts that this is not tolerable anymore,” she said, also praising the fact that the Conference had raised our awareness on plastic litter. Ms. Lövin said we had let “the genie out of the bottle”, and that “we will not be able to put it back again”.
The Ocean Conference Newsletter - from Co-Presidents Sweden & Fiji
May 2017 edition | #SaveOurOcean -
Member States, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, businesses, philantrophies, civil society organizations, the scientific community and United Nations entities continue their mobiliziation to accelerate efforts to #SaveOurOcean.
With over 160 commitments registered mid-May, the Voluntary Commitments Registry (oceanconference. un.org/commitments) contains inspiring initiatives from around the world aiming to address the critical condition of our oceans, seas and marine resources. The online registry provides an overview of global efforts to advance the implementation of Goal 14. Commitments registered by the global community have covered all of the seven targets of the Goal.
The online registration of voluntary commitments is straightforward and Member States and other stakeholders are strongly encouraged to register commitments ahead of the Conference. The registry will remain open after the Conference.
The seven partnership dialogues of the Conference will be interactive and action-oriented. The panels are composed of expert panelists and moderators, and chaired by 14 co-chairs from Indonesia, Norway, Palau, Italy, Mozambique, Monaco, Senegal, Canada, Grenada, Estonia, Peru, Iceland, Kenya and Australia.
Speakers who take the floor are encouraged to discuss their voluntary commitments and initiatives to advance Goal 14. Concept papers providing the foundation for each dialogue are available on the Conference website.
Call for Action:
The next round of Call for Action consultations, which are organized by co-facilitators Portugal and Singapore, will take place on 23, 23, and 25 May. After two rounds of negotiations, in March and April, it is paramount that Member States gather around a document that can be adopted by consensus during the June Conference week. Co-facilitators have also engaged closely with other stakeholders during each consultation round.
A civil society organization based in Costa Rica, CoopeSoliDar also works in Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Its commitment to The Ocean Conference is focused on SDG targets 14.2, 14.4, 14.5, 14.a and 14.b.
Founded in 2000, the self-managed social cooperative provides professional services to community groups, including providing support to decision-making processes at different levels, strategic planning, proposal preparation, workshop facilitation, development of management plans in protected areas with community participation, knowledge generation, community use of biodiversity, legislative and policy advice, as well as publication of environmental materials.