20 Apr 2018 - Earth Day is celebrated on 22 April since 1970. This international day reminds us about the interdependence between natural ecosystems and human life.
20 Apr 2018 - Earth Day is celebrated on 22 April since 1970. This international day reminds us about the interdependence between natural ecosystems and human life. It is a celebration of Earth’s biodiversity and a reminder that humanity’s future depends on how we care for our common planet. Earth Day brings us all together to think about our role in preserving nature and fighting climate change.
With more and more events that show the dramatic consequences of climate change for life on Earth, there is a risk that people feel powerless to stop and reverse the deterioration of the environment. A wave of ‘climate fatalists’, those who believe we can do nothing to stop climate change, can have a major impact in discouraging action. However, a recent global survey conducted by research firm Ipsos shows that no more than 14 percent of people tend to be climate fatalists. On the other hand, the survey shows that a shocking number of them are young people. In fact, 22 percent of those aged 16 to 34 believe that it is now too late to slow climate change, including 39 percent of under-35s in India, 30 percent in Brazil, 27 percent in Spain and Sweden and 29 percent in the United States.
With the universal adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the boldest-ever collective plan to change the world’s development path towards sustainability, it is imperative that young people become active players in shaping the future. Today’s young people will be the world’s decision makers, in business, politics and diplomacy, when we reach the 2030 deadline. Their ability to understand climate change and the power of human action in reversing the degradation of Earth’s ecosystems, will be key to the future of humanity.
As the theme of this year’s Earth Day is ‘Ending Plastic Pollution’, we call on young people to take action in their communities and cities to combat the harmful pollution of our ocean, which is already killing over 1 million seabirds, 100,000 marine mammals, and countless other marine species every year according to UNESCO. The Ocean Action Hub, a platform launched by UNDP and Sweden to encourage citizen action towards the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal No. 14: Life Below Water, now has over 260,000 participants from all over the globe. An incredible 93 percent of the Hub’s members are between 13 and 17 years old. We count on their action to #SaveOurOcean.
In celebration of the Earth Day 2018, we are hosting an event with the Smithsonian Institution’s #EarthOptimism movement, which is dedicated to promoting inspiring, positive news about citizen action to protect nature and advance sustainable development all over the globe. You can participate online. The trend of climate fatalism can be reversed with more young people engaged in climate and ocean action. We wish an inspiring #EarthDay2018 with #EarthOptimism. Join us in this movement for the good!
About the authors
Andrew Hudson is head of the Water and Ocean Governance Programme in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support at UNDP. Follow Andrew on Twitter: @AHudsonUNDP
Nancy Knowlton is the Sant Chair for Marine Science at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and Editor-in-Chief of the Ocean Portal. Follow the Smithsonian’s Earth Optimism Initiative on Twitter: @EarthOptimism
Earth Day 2018 was dedicated to ending plastic pollution. UNDP and the Smithsonian Institution held an online event celebrating #EarthOptimism2018 and our ocean. Watch the video recording below:
The event featured the Smithsonian's #EarthOptimism global digital campaign to raise public awareness of the challenges facing the well-being of the planet and the life it supports. To further Earth Day 2018's theme of ending platic pollution, the event also included a discussion of the future of our ocean and SDG14 with UNDP's Andrew Hudson, Head of Water and Ocean Governance and Nancy Knowlton, Sant Chair in Marine Science at the Smithsonian Institution.
New Platform to Galvanize Business Leadership on Ocean
13 Feb 2018 - The UN Global Compact has announced the establishment of a ‘Business Action Platform for the Ocean,’ a 3-year global programme focused on the ocean economy and sustainable development.
13 Feb 2018 - The UN Global Compact has announced the establishment of a ‘Business Action Platform for the Ocean,’ a 3-year global programme focused on the ocean economy and sustainable development. The Platform will be formally launched on World Ocean Day, on 8 June 2018, New York, US.
The UN Global Compact has announced the establishment of a ‘Business Action Platform for the Ocean,’ a three-year global programme bringing together a range of stakeholders to advance the ocean economy and sustainable development. The Platform will develop a business leadership framework focused on ocean growth, innovation and sustainability, with the aim of scaling up commitments and performance of companies.
The project will explore how to best protect the ocean’s health; mobilize the private sector to act, make investments and develop partnerships to leverage the ocean as a resource to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and enhance private sector engagement in advocacy and public policy. It will also gather new data and map industry-level impacts on sustainable ocean development.
Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact said that the global business community has a significant role to play in ensuring the sustainable use of oceans, and that this Platform aims to mobilize the private sector to help deliver on the SDGs. Also speaking on the Platform, the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen pointed out the importance of the ocean economy.
The Platform, which was announced on 2 February in Oslo, Norway, is one of a number of Action Platforms the UN Global Compact has introduced to help achieve the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs. Goal 14 on life below water calls for conserving and sustainably using the ocean, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
Fishermen along India’s western coast are now using square mesh nets and practicing sustainable marine fishing. It is earning them higher incomes, protecting marine biodiversity and paving the way for policy change in one of the country’s most important fishing coastlines.
UNDP India -
As the first rays of the sun began to brighten the skies of Malvan, one could spot the faint outlines of a trawler against the tangerine backdrop. The day had just begun, but the seafarers had already ventured deep into the treacherous seas. As the trawler braved its way through the choppy seas, Shelestian Fernandes stood tall on the deck, overlooking the sea, narrating his story as a fisherman. “The times were much tougher when I had a smaller boat,” he said. Today he is the owner of a trawler, a reliable crew and several fishing gadgets which has made his job easier.
Highlights of this story:
India is the second largest producer of fish in the world, employing over 14 million people in fishing and aquaculture.
Partnership with the Government of Maharashtra, aims to demonstrate that biodiversity conservation of coastal areas and sustainable livelihoods can go hand in hand.
The partnership brought in technical expertise from the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, introducing the square mesh net in the cod end of trawl gears in Sindhudurg.
Over 300 trawlers have already adopted more sustainable fishing practices like use of square mesh nets.
The new technology has significantly increased the monthly income of fisherfolk because of diesel has declined.
Maharashtra’s Fisheries Department has now issued an order proposing the mandatory use of square mesh nets for all 17,000 trawlers in the region.
Within 12 fathoms of the shore, the trawler began to slow down, and the crew cast the net into the water. The net was then spread out on the deck for the crew to have a good look at the catch for the day. They rejoiced at the catch, especially the Silver Pomfret, which was the coveted prize for the day. The distinctive feature about the catch was that every single fish was big and of a marketable size, with not a single juvenile or baby fish in sight. “We owe it to the square mesh net,” they said, “for sparing the juvenile fish for later when they are worth more than what they are now.”
The square mesh net was introduced in Sindhudurg region through a partnership between the Government of Maharashtra and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which aims to demonstrate that biodiversity conservation of coastal areas and sustainable livelihoods can go hand in hand. The partnership is supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
The partnership brought in technical expertise from the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, working closely with local fisherfolk to introduce the square mesh net in the cod end of trawl gears in Sindhudurg. Met with initial skepticism in this important fish landing centre, the initiative has gone a long way in becoming something that fishermen have embraced in their journey to sustainable marine fishing. Since 2015, every trawler in the district now uses square mesh nets.
In the frame of the second phase of the Marine and Coastal Protected Areas project that UNDP is implementing in Albania in cooperation with the National Agency of Protected Areas, and the financial
support of the AICS (Agency of the Italian Cooperation), a Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility is established in the vicinity of MPA Sazan – Karaburuni Visitor Center. The first turtle Orik is rehabilitated with the close assistance of the MPA Administration and the fishermen association.
Sustainable Fisheries Catches Momentum in Costa Rica
16 Nov 2017 - Just one year after launching the world’s first National Fisheries Platform, with GCP support, Costa Rica is making important headway towards creating a sustainable long-line
16 Nov 2017 - Just one year after launching the world’s first National Fisheries Platform, with GCP support, Costa Rica is making important headway towards creating a sustainable long-line industry for fishing large pelagics – such as tuna, swordfish and mahi-mahi.
In Recent years it has been a challenge for fishermen to access the fishing resource in Costa Rican waters, threatening the livelihoods of some 16,000 people directly involved as well as thousands more who work along the supply chain. And, demand is expected to only increase as large pelagics caught in the Costa Rican Pacific are mostly for export to big markets like the United States. Sustainable seafood strategies are urgently needed.
Led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, alongside the Costa Rican Institute of Fishing and Aquaculture and the Ministry of Environment and Energy, the National Platform for Sustainable Large Pelagics Fisheries was launch in December 2016. For the first time, there was a space where diverse stakeholders – such as representatives of long-line fishing, sport fishing, exporters, traders, restaurants, retailers, government authorities, academia, non-governmental organizations and even retailers in United States such as Chef Trading – could discuss the challenges that they face and what a sustainable industry for large pelagic might look like.
During 2017, stakeholders agreed on some of the most pressing challenges that they need to collectively address, which include: outdated technology, poor access to markets, illegal fishing and weak government capacity for fisheries management, research, monitoring, control and surveillance, and lack of constructive dialogue, among others.
Four working groups have now been set-up to find ways of overcoming these issues. Activities being explored include the use of precision fishing, developing responsible markets, protocols for reporting illegal fishing, and changing fishing practices to mitigate the impact on vital ecosystems. The ultimate goal is to develop and implement a National Action Plan and a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP), which is backed by the majority of stakeholders.
“This country must reach a balance between environment, economics and the social factors,” said the Minister of Agriculture, Luis Felipe Arauz Cavallini, at the December 2016 launch. “This Administration considers it of utmost urgency that these forums are opened so that the situations can be assessed from the perspective of every stakeholder, and based on this we can move collectively toward well-managed fisheries, with a vision of sustainable production.”
“The Platform is a necessary step for opening the doors to international markets, which increasingly demand more labels certifying that the products they trade come from responsible fishing and are not of illegal origin,” UNDP Resident Representative Alice Shackleford said.
The national long-line fishery sector is participating optimistically in this initiative. “For us, this dialogue is an opportunity to show our commitment to responsible fishing, and the sector’s willingness to join national initiatives, allowing us to take our products to new sustainable markets,” said Mauricio González, Executive Director of the National Long-line Fishing sector.
With momentum continuing to build, the Sustainable Fisheries Platform is now also attracting international interest, with actors such as Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership expected to join the initiative soon, ensuring alignment with international standards of sustainable fisheries.