Learn, Engage and Act for the Future of Our Oceans!
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is pleased to invite you to join the Ocean Action Hub. The Hub aims to facilitate stakeholder engagement in the preparatory process for the Ocean Conference. If you’re concerned about the future of our Oceans – whether you’re a local or global activist, a scientific expert, or a government representative – the Hub is for you.
Oceans play a key role in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, couting with a dedicated SDG: Life Below Water (SDG-14). The oceans cover nearly three quarters of the Earth’s surface and contributes substantially to human development, including to the provision of food security, transport, energy supply, tourism and many of the planet’s most critical ecosystem services.
Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. However, today we are seeing 30 percent of the world’s fish stocks overexploited, reaching below the level at which they can produce sustainable yields.
Oceans also absorb about 30 percent of the carbon dioxide produced by humans, and we are seeing a 26 percent rise in ocean acidification since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Marine pollution, an overwhelming majority of which comes from land-based sources, is reaching alarming levels, with an average of 13,000 pieces of plastic litter to be found on every square kilometre of ocean.
The market value of marine and coastal resources and industries is approximately $3 trillion per year or 5 percent of global GDP. Yet, today our oceans are heavily affected by unsustainable practices, including over-fishing, land-based sources of pollution, habitat destruction, invasive species and climate change, particularly ocean acidification.
Facilitated by the UNDP, in partnership with the Governments of Sweden and Fiji, the Ocean Action Hub is an interactive platform aims to facilitate multistakeholders’ engagement as part of the preparatory process for the first United Nations conference dedicated to the oceans, to be held in June 2017 at the UN headquarters in New York. Another major upcomig event is the Ocean Conference Preparatory Meeting, to be held from 15-16 February 2017 in New York. The livestreaming of the meeting’s high-level panel on 14 February will be available here.
Following this meeting, the Ocean Action Hub will host active dialogues on ocean issues, facilitate co-development of solutions and voluntary commitments by multistakeholders, and provide a space for connecting and sharing ideas. The hub will bring together governments, the UN system, intergovernmental organizations, international financial institutions, NGOs, civil society organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community, private sector, philanthropic organizations and other actors to assess challenges and opportunities related to SDG-14. Visit the Hub to explore the news and resources available and register here to submit your own proposals, documents, events, videos or photos.
From Rio’s Guanarabara Bay to the world: Striving for sustainability
Rio’s Baía de Guanabara is one of the largest bays on Earth. It was the site of several sporting events during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The pollution of this body of water, which hugs the coast of Rio de Janeiro on the southeastern point of Brazil, has been a subject of notoriety in the global news coverage of the games. The situation of the Baía de Guanabara is more than just about keeping the bay beautiful for the Olympic Games; there is still life in the Baía de Guanabara – and many people whose lives depend on this rich marine biodiversity.
This is the stance of a local biologist, Ricardo Gomes, who is advocating for the urgent need to save the bay. Gomes has spent two decades swimming, diving, analyzing and filming the waters of the bay. In a forthcoming documentary co-produced with the UNDP RIO+ Centre, Gomes uses more than 100 hours of footage from the bay to highlight, not the pollution, but the fact that there is a vibrant array of marine life in the bay. Watch the documentary teaser below:
Gomes, who studied marine biology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, already launched another documentary about the marine life on the beaches of Copacabana and Leblon, two popular beaches in the Southern Zone of the city, called “Mar Urbano”. Gomes calls the Bay a type of “Blue Amazon” or a submerged Amazonian forest, mentioning that it’s much easier to preserve what you can see, and it’s difficult to create public pressure for marine life because of its submerged nature. Through the film, he hopes to shed light on the wonder of the bay’s life to pressure civil society and government to take action. Learn more about the film and UNDP’s collaboration with Ricardo Gomes here.