The Need for a Special Sustainable Development Goal for the Ocean and Coasts and for Future Ocean Spatial Planning
A multidisciplinary research team of the Cluster proposes a dedicated Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for Oceans and Coasts. In support of the SDG, a Future Ocean Spatial Planning Initiative is in the planning stages to identify the opportunities and challenges facing our common future ocean.
The ocean regulates global climate, provides natural resources and is essential for international trade as well as recreational and cultural activities. However, human development, economic growth, and free access to ocean resources and services have exerted strong pressure on marine systems. Challenges range from overfishing, increased resource exploitation, and alteration of coastal zones to increased pollution. International cooperation and effective governance are required to balance the realization of new opportunities with the protection of the marine environment, and to promote the sustainable use of marine resources, emphasizing and respecting the environmental values of current generations and the needs of future generations. Developing and establishing a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) focussed exclusively on oceans and coasts could prove to be an essential element in reaching these goals. This proposal is therefore a timely contribution to current intergovernmental discussions surrounding a number of targeted SDGs, building upon the momentum of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and framing the post-2015 international agenda. A comprehensive set of ocean sustainability targets and effective indicators would help in assessing the current status of marine systems, in diagnosing any on-going trends, and in providing information for inclusive, forward-looking, and sustainable ocean governance.
see also: working paper on SDG Ocean and Coasts