United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Italy, Spain and Turkey

UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
10th Session
3rd April 2014


Cluster 6

Focus area 16: Conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas
• We appreciate that the focus area 16 “Conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas” has been improved with the inclusion of references to fishing overcapacity, destructing fishing capacities, protection of marine resources in areas beyond national jurisdiction, and sustainable management of tourism.
• We particularly support subparagraph (a), (b) with the inclusion of the preservation/revitalization of coral reefs, (c), (e), (f), (g), and (h).

• In addition, we suggest that the following targets be included in the focus area:
 a) bis, collecting the scientific data available on marine litter in order to establish reference levels and concrete measures for its reduction by 2020;
 Striving for clean, healthy, productive and resilient marine ecosystems by 2020;
 c) bis, assuring an appropriately equitable share of fish resources, particularly for those dependant on fishing for food security and subsistence;

• Furthermore, in view of the fact that healthy oceans and seas are the guardians of the Earth climate, we suggest that a target be added which elaborates on the need to maintain the capacity of the oceans as healers of damages already done to the Earth atmosphere. The role of SIDS must be highlighted in that regard.

Focus area 17: Ecosystems and biodiversity

• The focus area 17 “Ecosystems and biodiversity” indicates a number of relevant areas that in general terms we support. The challenge we face is to ensure that the ecosystem approach, the protection of biodiversity and conservation and sustainable management of natural resources are duly integrated in all focus areas, according to what we consider a cross-cutting imperative objective: to preserve the natural capital that represents the irreplaceable resource base for economic and social development.

• A more explicit mention to the role of forests in achieving the three dimensions of the Sustainable Development is lacking. Since forests, mountains and arid and semi-arid regions are crucial components of the planet’s ecosystems, we recommend that the following targets be added to the list already provided:

 First: By 2020, strengthening forest governance frameworks, including encouraging an expansion of the global certified forest area, and collectively aiming at halting the global forest cover loss by 2030;
 Second: Promoting sustainable management and ensuring resilience of mountain ecosystems;
 Third: Restoring degraded forest ecosystems and increasing area of protected forests.
 Forth: Achieving a land-degradation-neutral world and mitigating the effects of desertification and drought.

• When further developing any action on biodiversity and ecosystems, it is important to consider that much has been done under the UNCBD and other relevant multilateral instruments, including the definition of specific targets and objectives. The question is how to made them explicit, functional and streamlined in all relevant areas.

• Finally we welcome the reference to data and methodology for evaluating progress, that we consider as a general and cross-cutting issue.