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Sustainable Development Goal 14 explained in a nutshell

Sustainable Development Goal 14 aims at conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Ocean covers approximately 70% of the earth's surface and are a vital resource for humanity yet they are under threat from overfishing, marine pollution, ocean warming or acidification. In addition, over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. Urgent action is needed to protect them.

Mr Takehiro Nakamura, Coordinator, Marine and Coastal Ecosystems Unit, Division of Environmental Policy Implementation of UN Environment was interviewed by UNRIC Video in February 2017, while in Brussels for a workshop on ocean governance organized by UN Environment with the European Commission.

In this short video interview he explains what Sustainable Development Goal 14 is about and why 2017 is such an important year for the oceans.

2017 is a very important year for our oceans and seas, with some major upcoming major international events:

  • The United Nations are organizing The Ocean Conference in New York from 5 to 9 June to discuss the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal 14. The Conference aims to be the game changer that will reverse the decline in the health of our ocean for people, planet and prosperity.
  • Goal 14 will also be reviewed by the high-level political forum on sustainable development in July in at the United Nations in New York.
  • The 4thOur Ocean Conference that will be hosted by the European Union in Valetta, Malta from 5 to 6 October 2017, is all about driving the commitments that will reduce marine pollution, manage aquatic resources sustainably, mitigate climate change, and set up marine sanctuaries.


Tackling one of the major threats to Goal 14 (Life Below Water) – UN Environment #CleanSeas campaign

2017 also marked the launch in February at the Economist World Ocean Summit in Bali, of UN Environment’s campaign to tackle marine litter called #CleanSeas.

Our oceans are awash with plastic that is killing our seas. At stake is the health of over 600 species of marine animals, the world’s food systems and the economies of many marine communities . In the last 20 years, the proliferation of microbeads and single-use plastic has made the problem even more serious. Unless we act now, our seas will be filled with the leftovers of human consumption.

“Once you throw the garbage on the street, it is going to the rivers and the river will also carry the litter to the marine environment” Mr Takehiro told UNRIC. “The marine environment is becoming the last place to accumulate the litter in the world.”

The campaign focuses particularly on the single-use plastics such as plastic bags, “ because 80% of the marine litter is composed of plastics and we want to avoid the single-use plastics to enter into a marine environment. “

We are involving industry sectors producing plastics and civil society organizations, our member states and other international organizations to address the single-use plastics  and advocate for #CleanSeas.

For more information on the campaign see the website:

Or contact the campaign at: CLEANSEAS[@]UNEP.ORG

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