The forthcoming Ocean Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, will come at a critical time as the world is strengthening its efforts to mobilize, create and drive solutions to realize the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 in the context of an ongoing global pandemic. How we respond to COVID-19 beyond the immediate and necessary recovery of health and livelihoods will likely determine not only whether we will reach SDG 14, but also how sustainable the world of tomorrow will be. The high level United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development: The 2017 Ocean Conference co-hosted by Fiji and Sweden paved the way for action oriented, science based innovative solutions aimed at reversing the decline in the health of our ocean for people, planet and prosperity.
At the 2017 conference, approximately 1,400 voluntary commitments (VC) for concrete action to advance implementation of SDG 14 were made by Member States, the UN system, and an array of stakeholders including civil society, the private sector and academia. To date, over 1,600 VCs are registered online and the registry of voluntary commitments remain open. These commitments were one of the major outcomes of the conference and marked a global breakthrough on the path to sustainable management and conservation of our oceans, seas and marine resources. To follow-up on the implementation of these voluntary commitments as well as to catalyze and generate new ones, the UN launched nine thematic multi stakeholder Communities of Ocean Action (COA) of which are closely aligned with the targets of SDG14 .
Recently, an online survey on the implementation of VCs published on the Ocean Conference Registry was carried out to get an update on the achievements and challenges as well as to receive suggestions on its implementation. The assessment of the impact of these commitments based on the survey and other available information, concluded that the VCs have collectively furthered the attainment of SDG 14. Nevertheless, various challenges to their implementation have been reported such as, the lack of resources, funding, technical expertise, partner cooperation as well as political environment. Furthermore, the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic that broke out last year has further exacerbated challenges in the implementation of the VCs.
This webinar will take a look at the status of implementation of the VCs as well as the impacts of the COVID-19.