UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – UN Ocean Conference
The United Nations Ocean Conference was held for the first time in June 2017 in New York. It sought to mobilize action for the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources. Its theme was “Our oceans, our future: partnering for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14″. The Governments of Fiji and Sweden had the co-hosting responsibilities of the Conference. SDG 14 specifies targets to manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems. Therefore there is a need to focus on conservation of underwater resources.
Outcomes of the conference:
- A 14 point Call for Action was adopted as a consensus where, affirmation of strong commitment and sustainable use of the oceans was given by the participating Heads of State.
- A wide range of concerns such as illegal fishing, ocean acidification and plastic pollution in oceans were taken up for discussion in the conference as they have a strong relationship with concerns such as ending hunger, poverty alleviation, ensuring better access to sanitation and water, promoting health etc.
- A task force on marine litter was announced by the International Solid Waste Association in association with the conference.
- Recommendations were given to improve the oceanic and marine ecosystems by strictly checking unregulated, unreported and illegal fishing.
Targets under Sustainable Development Goal 14 : Life Below Water:
14.1 – prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds by 2025
14.2 – Sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts by 2020.
14.3 – Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including enhanced scientific cooperation at all the levels by 2020.
14.4 – Effectively regulate overfishing and harvesting, illegal, unreported , unregulated and destructive fishing practices.
14.5 – Conserve at least 10% of coastal and marine areas by 2020.
14.6 – Prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing by 2020.
14.7 – Increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing states and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources.