Wednesday, February 15, 2017

UN Meeting Opens To Address Ocean Protection

Representatives from States are gathering at the UN in New York today to hold preparatory talks ahead of a High Level conference in June.  The purpose of both meetings is to consider how the Ocean Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 can be achieved.

 The SDG calls for the international community to “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”, and is made up of a series of essential but bold targets to achieve this.

NGOs attending the preparatory meeting this week are clear that it will take a robust, determined and ambitious approach to delivering this goal with all states being held to account for their commitments, and delivery monitored at regular intervals.

Peggy Kalas of the High Seas Alliance says: “This must include bringing legal protection to the biodiversity of the high seas through a new treaty, a goal we could be close to achieving and which was set out as a priority need for the ocean at Rio+20.”

Karen Sack of Ocean Unite says: “We need to see tough commitments and accountability to turn the health of the ocean around, that means real and measurable commitments, for example to strongly protect over 30% of the ocean through the establishment of Marine Protected Areas by 2030.”

Torsten Thiele of Global Ocean Trust added: “It is crucial that States and businesses establish a roadmap of financing needs, gaps and pathways to achieve SDG14. Protecting the ocean requires economic investment but this is as nothing compared to the cost of allowing further damage to the life support systems it provides.”

The Preparatory Meeting takes place on Feb. 15-16th, with the formal High Level meeting opening on June 5th.