Panel members discussing at the Marine Regions Forum.
Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven (BMZ), Angelique Pouponneau, Jens Frølich Holte, Árni Mathiesen and Maria Damanaki at the closing panel.
Photo: IISD/ENB / Mike Muzurakis


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SDG 14 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development seeks to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.” However, experts agree that the upcoming 2020 deadline for meeting four of the SDG 14 targets will likely be missed. At the Marine Regions Forum early in October, they discussed approaches and solutions for a radical shift in oceans governance.

Acidification and pollution, unprecedented biodiversity loss driven by overfishing and habitat destruction – the fact that the ocean is in crisis has once again been highlighted by two recently issued reports by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). At the same time, a growing world population is becoming increasingly reliant on the ocean for food and livelihoods. What has to be done to achieve a healthy ocean, and what could the role of regional governance be in this context? Around 200 international participants discussed these issues at the three-day Marine Regions Forum in Berlin/Germany early in October 2019.

Smart aquaculture is part of the solution

Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), demonstrated just how important the oceans are for human life. Half of the oxygen in our atmosphere is generated by micro-plankton. In other words, every second breath we take is created by oceans.

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