Overline: UN Sustainable Development Goals
Headline: Marine Regions Crucial to Ocean Conservation

The next decade will be crucial for the future of our oceans. What role can marine regions play in efforts to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals? Which approaches have proven successful and what can be done to enhance their coordination? Experts developed solutions to these questions and more at the Marine Regions Forum held in Berlin, Germany last autumn. On 4–5 February, IASS project lead Sebastian Unger will present the most important recommendations at a preparatory meeting for the United Nations’ 2020 Ocean Conference.

Cooperation across ocean regions is vital to marine conservation.
Cooperation across ocean regions is vital to marine conservation. iStock/ XavierMarchant

Together with think-tanks IDDRI (Paris) and TMG (Berlin), the IASS organised the Marine Regions Forum in cooperation with the German government and the European Commission. Drawing on discussions held at the conference and the contributions of participants, the three institutes have formulated eight key messages to support the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the planning of effective measures to protect the oceans. The recommendations build on the understanding that marine regions are crucial to the implementation of effective conservation measures and efforts to advance the adoption of global agreements.
Transparent and dedicated dialogues involving stakeholders from different sectors, including politics, civil society and science, can help to steer much-needed change processes. These must be supported by accelerated implementation and transparent monitoring and review efforts. Improved cooperation on ocean governance at the regional level will play a key role in this process.

Regional governance on the agenda at the UN Ocean Conference

2020 is a crucial year for the protection of the oceans as we approach the deadline for the fulfilment of four of the ten sub-targets of SDG 14 – “Life Below Water”. It is unlikely that these sub-targets will be met. This issue will also be addressed at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon (2–6 June 2020).

Participants at the preparatory meeting in New York will define the themes for the conference dialogues, initiate consultations on the conference outcome document, and identify fields of action for future action to achieve SDG 14. In June the UN Ocean Conference will then bring together all of the UN states and relevant sectors to take stock of the implementation process, register new voluntary commitments for marine conservation by states and other actors, and agree on strategies and actions for future ocean action.

Further information:

Video MRF 2019 Conference Impressions