United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

France, Germany and Switzerland

Cluster 6:
Focus area 16 “Conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas” and
Focus area 17 “Ecosystems and biodiversity”

These two focal areas are absolutely critical for the agenda as a whole and should be addressed at goal level. The degradation of biodiversity including ecosystems, such as forests and oceans accelerate climate change and undermine human development and poverty eradication.

Focus area 16 “Conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas”

➢ We fully support the global approach to conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas put forward in the co-chairs´ synthesis.

➢ In our view, SDGs should include targets on:
- ensuring that marine ecosystems are clean, healthy, productive and resilient, through the implementation of an ecosystem approach, the development of marine protected areas, the protection of coral reefs, the reduction of ocean acidification, the prevention of coastal erosion and elimination of all forms of pollution, in particular marine litter and waste from land;
- sustainable and responsible fisheries management, in order to minimize negative impacts of fishing activities and ensure all stocks are fished and maintained at their maximum sustainable yield by 2020 at the latest., and eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing This target should recall to gradually eliminating discards by 2019, by avoiding and reducing, as far as possible, unwanted catches.
We would also encourage targeting fair and equitable access to marine genetic resources and sharing of benefits.

Focus area 17 “Ecosystems and biodiversity”

The co-chairs´ list is a very good basis for our reflection

➢ We would like to stress the need to address biodiversity and ecosystems conservation, restauration and sustainable use, and to prevent their degradation, also throughout the agenda. We recall in that regards targets related to decoupling the level of resources use and the level of economic growth, targets related to SCP and resource-efficiency as well as targets on sustainable agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture and industry.
- From our views, the SDGs should affirm the necessity to achieve the Aichi targets by 2020, including by at least halving the loss of natural habitats and where feasible bring it close to zero and by establishing effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures;
- Another target could more precisely aim at at least halving the rate of loss of forests worldwide, and where feasible bring it close to zero by 2020 and definitely stop the loss the latest by 2030, i.a. through the strengthening of forest governance frameworks, sustainable forest management, including protection, restoration, afforestation and reforestation, the expansion of the global certified forest areas, and increase efforts to prevent forest degradation;
- The environmental degradation and acceleration of climate change imply to target the need to restore ecosystems and to strengthen resilience to natural disasters;
- A target should also be dedicated to maintaining genetic diversity of both farmed species and their wild relatives in a “in situ, on farm and ex situ” manner as appropriate and ensuring fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the utilization of genetic resources (in compliance with the provisions of the Nagoya Protocol and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources (ITPGRFA)
- We think that the benefits for society and economy from ecosystem services should still be better reflected. Amongst others, this could be done by highlighting that fact in target a) so that it reads “protecting threatened species, halting loss of biodiversity, and sustaining ecosystems that provide essential services to society and economic development » A target should also be dedicated to preventing the extinction of all known threatened species by 2020, stop poaching and wildlife trafficking especially of endangered species and stop illegal trade of timber;
- The SGDs should also aim at managing cropland area in a sustainable manner by 2020 also to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable land use and biodiversity management;
- Finally, we support the integration of biodiversity and ecosystem services’ values into development and poverty reduction strategies, taking into account the needs of women, indigenous and local communities and the poor and vulnerable and the importance of ensuring their participation and access to the sustainable use of natural resources and biodiversity. It is crucial to generate willingness to act in favour of biodiversity, to preserve biodiversity and ecosystems, to invest in our ecological capital, our common good, to share and promote knowledge. It is also more than crucial to ensure consistency across policies and actions at all scales.