Monday, November 19, 2012

FIELD Outlines Considerations for Sustainable Development Goals on Oceans

A new report by the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD) highlights how oceans-related issues might be incorporated into the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The report, titled "Sustainable development goals and oceans-related issues," is based on a workshop with organizations working on the environment, animal welfare, law, health and local fisheries, at the local, national, EU and international levels.

Workshop participants discussed the potential impact of an oceans SDG, and noted that States "ignore" many international commitments. Climate change was identified as one priority issue for a potential SDG on oceans. Participants also emphasized the importance of marine protected areas (MPAs) to protecting biodiversity and maintaining fish stocks.

It also was noted that UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) focuses on dividing resources among States for purposes of exploitation, and that an oceans SDG should focus instead on allocating resources for the purpose of maintaining the resources. Another participant suggested that instead of focusing on the SDGs, it may be better to improve existing frameworks, such as regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs). [Publication: Sustainable development goals and oceans-related issues]

Photo courtesy of elias_daniel via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)