United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Australia, The Netherlands and United Kingdom

Australia, the Netherlands and United Kingdom
Sustainable Development Goals Open Working Group, 10th Session, March-April 2014
Constituency Statement
Session 8: marine resources, oceans, seas, biodiversity and ecosystems
• The post-2015 development framework should integrate natural resource issues across goals and targets (notably food, energy, water), to deliver on its core objective of reducing poverty.
• In addition, the post-2015 development framework should include a goal that promotes good governance and the sustainable management of our environment and natural resources.
• Lasting poverty eradication and global prosperity can only be achieved if we sustainably manage the earth’s natural resources, biodiversity, ecosystems, oceans and seas.
- all people and countries are affected by damage to the environment, but the poorest and most vulnerable are often the hardest hit.
• Healthy ecosystems, biological diversity and natural resources provide employment, income, food, water and energy. They also help mitigate and build resilience to the effects of climate change and damage from natural disasters.
• Landscape management is key to support inclusive and sustainable growth and development.
• We can no longer treat the environment and the goods and services it provides as free goods. Reflecting the economic value of biodiversity in decisions made by governments and businesses is central to achieving more sustainable management of our natural resources.
• We propose the following targets for consideration:
- increase the proportion of legally certified renewable resource based-commodities in the market;
- ensure effective mechanisms are in place to safeguard ecosystems, species and genetic diversity;
- reduce deforestation by X% and increase appropriate reforestation and afforestation; and
- improve soil quality, and combat land degradation and desertification
• Oceans and seas are essential for sustaining life and livelihoods. They are an essential source of food, energy and employment; and they help regulate the earth’s climate and should be a focus of the post 2015 development agenda.
• Despite a range of multilateral commitments relating to the oceans, marine environments continue to decline. Yet, if managed sustainably, some estimates suggest economic benefits worth and extra $50 billion annually from fisheries is possible.
• We need therefore to improve governance and management of oceans by supporting effective planning at national, regional and global levels, and building capacity to enforce management plans.
• We propose the following targets and indicators for consideration. These are also important element of food security:
- increase the economic returns to LDCs and SIDS from the sustainable development of coastal and marine resources from within their jurisdictions;
- ensure X% of coastal and marine areas are effectively conserved;
- reduce the incidence and impact of pollution on marine ecosystems;
- restore all overexploited stocks to levels that fall within maximum sustainable economic yield;
- eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing;
- eliminate fishing subsidies that contribute to overfishing; and
- increase proportion of fisheries subject to management plans.
The post-2015 agenda should recognise the inter-linkages between environmental, social and economic objectives and acknowledge that a healthy environment enables long-term economic and social development. Sustainable management of the earth’s resources is essential for eradicating poverty, and generating lasting and sustainable growth, and protecting the environment for the benefit of future generations.