UN Ocean conference set to commence in Lisbon to scale up in implementing SDG goal 14

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Lisbon: The five-day UN Ocean Conference will be held in the capital city of Portugal, Lisbon, from June 27 to July 1 to mobilize “science-based innovative solutions” to protect the state of the ocean. More than one hundred 30 countries will participate in the Conference.

The Governments of Kenya and Portugal will co-host the Ocean Conference, under the theme of “Scaling up Ocean Action Based on Science and Innovation for the Implementation of Goal 14: Stocktaking, Partnerships, and Solutions.”

Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water, adopted in 2015 as an integral aspect of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its set of 17 transformative goals.

Goal 14 stresses the need to conserve and sustainably use the world’s oceans, seas, and marine resources.

Advancement of Goal 14 is guided by specific targets that focus on an array of ocean issues, including reducing marine pollution, protecting marine and coastal ecosystems, minimizing acidification, ending illegal and over-fishing, increasing investment in scientific knowledge and marine technology, and respecting international law that calls for the safe and sustainable use of the ocean and its resources.

According to UN the Ocean Conference comes at a critical time as the world is seeking to address many of the deep-rooted problems of our societies laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic, which will require major structural transformations and common shared solutions.

” To mobilize action, the Conference will seek to propel much-needed science-based innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action” said the statement.

Liu Zhenmin, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, will serve as the Secretary-General of the Conference, and Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, will serve as the Special Adviser to the Presidents of the Ocean Conference on the ocean and legal matters.

Union Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Dr Jitendra Singh has already left for Portugal to take part in the UN Ocean Conference.

In his departure statement, Dr Singh said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India would be providing science and innovation-based solutions for the implementation of Goal 14 through partnerships.

“India has well-established collaboration and partnerships with UN agencies and research institutions for bridging the methodology and data gaps on SDG indicators,” he said.

The ocean covers 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, is the planet’s largest biosphere, and is home to up to 80 percent of all life in the world.

The Minister said, India is working towards the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, 2021-2030, for a clean, healthy, productive, predictive, safe and accessible ocean.

The Ocean generates 50 percent of the oxygen we need, absorbs 25 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions and captures 90 percent of the additional heat generated from those emissions.

It is not just ‘the lungs of the planet’ but also its largest carbon sink – a vital buffer against the impacts of climate change.

It nurtures unimaginable biodiversity and produces food, jobs, and mineral and energy resources needed for life on the planet to survive and thrive.

“There is a great deal we still do not know about the ocean but there are many reasons why we need to manage it sustainably – as set out in the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water,” It said.

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