SDG 14 – Ocean, sea and marine resources sustainability and its importance
Life below water is one of the 17 Sustainable development Goals (SDG) which are the part of 2030 Agenda set by the UN General Assembly in september 2015. Sustainable use of oceans and marine resources are closely interrelated with others SDGs, human health and climate change. Studies show that the climate change is largely affecting the terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
Goal 14 is as follows: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.
Oceans are vitally important for the humankind as it provides humans with foods and jobs, at the same time plays key role in the development of coastal tourism, international trade and maritime transport industry. More than 80 % of the goods that we purchase are shipped. If we want to conserve the Earth as a habitable place, we should apply sustainable management in every field of our life, as well as in marine.
The major role of the ocean is that it hinders global warming by capturing and subsequently storing carbon dioxide produced by fossil fuels. On the other hand, this process, called carbon sequestration, has a number of perverse effects for an ocean and its biodiversity, such as the ocean warming, acidification and oxygen loss.
The first UN Ocean Conference held in june 2017 had 3 major beneficial outcomes such as “Call for action”, registry of voluntary commitments and partnership dialogues between different organizations on the protection of marine biodiversity, the prevention of marine pollution, the overfishing etc.
The adoption of the Brussels declaration “The ocean and climate change” by the initiative of the Belgian ministers has been the major success of the International conference on the Ocean and Climate change organiz in 2019. So that, more than 40 signatory countries agreed upon the adoption of the new legally binding instrument under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) by 2020.
The UN Ocean Conference, that was supposed to take place in June 2020, in Lisbon, Portugal, was postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Talking about the pandemic it is necessary to mention that, despite of its negative impact on the blue economy, it has had some positive impacts on the marine ecosystem. In fact, the reduction in the human activity in the field of oil and gas extraction, fishing, ocean freight services led to the recovery of the marine life.
The other surprising fact is that, the bacteria found in the depths of the ocean, are used to carry out rapid testing to detect the presence of COVID-19, as well as for AIDS and SARS. Researchers state that oceans are rich with the minerals that are essential for treatment of diseases such as cancer, nerve damage etc.