Towards a Sustainable Development Goal on the Ocean: a Healthy, Productive and Resilient Ocean for People

Island daily life
© UNESCO
When, local time: 
Monday, 3 February 2014 - 1:15pm to 2:30pm
Where: 
New York, United States of America
Contact: 
j.barbiere@unesco.org

Organized during the 8th Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, this side event will serve to:
- Underscore the importance of the ocean for sustainable development at the global and national levels;
- Discuss the existing proposals for a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)on the Ocean, and various perspectives on the way forward;
- Discuss approaches and next steps towards the development of consensus around a stand-alone SDG on the Ocean; and
- Mobilize governments, international organizations, and civil society to support the development of a stand-alone SDG on the Ocean.

The ocean is a global common of universal value, which drives global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. Our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the oxygen in the air we breathe, are all ultimately provided and regulated by the ocean. The ocean is facing increasing threats from unsustainable resource exploitation, habitat destruction and adverse impacts on biodiversity, in addition to impacts from climate change and ocean acidification, among other stressors.

All nations, whether they are on the edge of the ocean or land-locked, have a central interest in healthy and resilient oceans that support human development at national and global levels, and in preserving the ocean’s essential ecological goods and services.

The sustainable development goals (SDGs) process launched under the UN provides a unique opportunity to translate Rio+20 and previous commitments into concrete actions. Building on the great mobilization among governments, international organizations and civil society around ocean-related issues at Rio+20, a number of countries and organizations have put forth specific proposals for integrating the ocean into the SDGs, in the form of a stand-alone SDG on the Ocean.

The side event is organized by Pacific Small Island Developing States and Timor Leste, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO), and the International Coastal and Ocean Organization (Secretariat of the Global Ocean Forum), with the participation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Council of Science (ICSU).