Category Archives: [SDG14]

Healthy oceans, healthy people, healthy economies: Integrating fisheries management and protected areas for environmental, economic, and social benefits

Ocean and coastal resources are increasingly recognized as critical to sustaining life and livelihoods across the globe. Seafood provide 4.3 billion people with 15-20% of their protein intake, and fisheries, aquaculture, recreation, tourism, and other coastal industries provide income that supports an estimated 660 to 820 million people (HLPE 2014). Many nations are seeing the ‘Blue Economy’ – or economic benefits derived from the ocean – as a viable pathway to economic development and poverty alleviation. Incorporating explicit environmental goals into this strategy, such as ending overfishing and restoring ecosystem health, enables economic progress by aligning short- and long-term outcomes, and reflects how an improved environment can also improve the economy. The current draft of the UN Sustainable
Development Goals considers Oceans and Coasts an economically and environmentally important area that can help to improve ecosystem health and socio-economic well-being of coastal communities, particularly in developing countries (Goal #14).

Over the past 15 years, new marine management schemes have emerged, supported by science and integrating physical, biological, and human dimensions of ecosystems (Pew Oceans Commission 2003, FAO 2003). This promising framework is known as a marine ecosystem approach to management and is increasingly considered to be
essential for sustainable marine development (e.g. Ruckelshaus et al. 2008, Curtin and Prellezo 2010). Here we will review the science behind an emerging marine ecosystem management approach – the implementation of paired secure-access fisheries and conservation areas – that integrates economic, social, and environmental health, the three pillars of sustainable development.

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Strengthening the international regulation of offshore oil and gas activities

Recent decades have seen a marked increase in the development of offshore oil and gas activities. Due to increasing energy demand and technological innovations, drilling activities extended and moved into deep and ultra-deep water areas (Dragani and Kotonev, 2013). As of today, almost a third of the oil and a quarter of the natural gas consumed in the world come from underwater areas. This rush to offshore oil and gas exploration and exploitation is not about to end: forecasts show a continuing growth of production in traditional offshore regions (e.g. Western Africa, Gulf of Mexico) (PCF Energy, 2011) and significant development in new areas (Pike, 2013), such as Eastern Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Drilling more and deeper means increased threats to the environment, depletion of natural resources, and potential negative consequences for the human activities dependent upon these ecosystems. Recent accidents on offshore platforms have demonstrated that the environmental risks of offshore drilling activities concern all regions of the world and all types of companies. These transboundary nature of the impacts from these accidents have reinvigorated discussions regarding the suitability of the current international regulatory framework for offshore oil and gas activities (Rochette et al., 2014). In this regard, it is clear that there are regulatory gaps, both in terms of safety of offshore drilling activities and liability and compensation in case of accidents.

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Vulnerability of Nearshore Ecosystems from Rapid Intensive Coastal Development

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment pointed out that coastal systems are among the most productive systems in the world and are experiencing acute pressures from growing population and exploitation. It found that the greatest threat is development-related loss of habitats and services, while degradation from other exploitation also poses severe problems.

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基于熵值法的环渤海区域可持续发展评价 (Entropy Evaluation of Sustainable Development for Bohai Sea Region)

This brief is submitted in the Chinese language. The full brief could be accessed through the below link. Your comments could be in either English or Chinese.

摘 要
构建环渤海区域可持续发展指标体系,采用社会经济各相关部门的数据和资料,运用熵值法对环渤海区域 2001- 2010 年的可持续发展水平及其社会、经济、环境子系统的可持续发展状况进行定量分析。结果表明:基于熵值法确定的区域可持 续发展各评价指标的权重较符合实际;研究时段内环渤海区域可持续发展水平呈现逐步增长的趋势,年增长率为 31.08%;该区域 的可持续发展水平的上升主要源于经济子系统的变化,究其根本是依靠要素投入带来的经济规模的变化,这种发展是不可持续 的。研究结果可为环渤海经济圈的可持续发展研究奠定基础,也对类似区域有一定的借鉴意义。

基于 DPSIR 模型的唐山市海洋资源可持续利用评价 (Assessing sustainable use of marine resources using DPSIR model a case of Tangshan)

This brief is submitted in the Chinese language. The full brief could be accessed through the below link. Your comments could be in either English or Chinese.

摘 要
海洋开发不合理,海洋资源枯竭严重影响着海洋资源的可持续利用,本文以 DPSIR 模型为基础构建了唐山市海洋资源 可持续利用的评价指标体系,运用客观赋权法和主观赋权法综合评定了驱动力、压力、状态、影响和响应的权重,并从驱动力、压 力、状态、影响和响应五个方面研究了唐山市海洋资源可持续利用的发展状况及问题,发现响应层对其影响最大。2007-2011 年唐山 市的海洋资源可持续利用综合值不断下降,只有 2011 年有所回升,且综合值大于 2007-2010 年的值。

沿海循环经济型生态城市建设的实践与探索 –以日照国家可持发展先进示范区为例 (Lessons learned from building coastal eco-city with circular economy: the case of Rizhao State- level Sustainable Development Demo Zone)

This brief is submitted in the Chinese language. The full brief could be accessed through the below link. Your comments could be in either English or Chinese.

摘 要
本文在分析循环经济、生态城市、循环经济型生态城市内涵的基础上,阐述了日照循环经济型生态城市建设的背景。依 托国家可持续发展先进示范区,总结了示范区围绕循环经济型生态城市这一主题,在可持续发展方面开展的重点工作及其形成的值得 借鉴的可持续发展机制和模式。这种实践与探索对同类地区的可持续发展具有一定的示范和带动作用,为我国推动循环经济型生态城 市的建设提供实践指导和决策参考。

Marine litter: microplastics

The problem of marine litter was recognized by the UN General Assembly, which in its Resolution A/60/L.22 -Oceans and the Law of the Sea – of 29 November 2005 in articles 65-70 calls for national, regional and global actions to address the problem of marine litter. In response to the GA call, UNEP (GPA and the Regional Seas Programme), through its Global Marine Litter Initiative took an active lead in addressing the challenge, among others, by assisting 11 Regional Seas around the world in organizing and implementing regional activities on marine litter….

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Ocean acidification

Scientists, organizations at the national, regional and global level, especially the United Conference for sustainable development in 2012, so called RIO+20, stressed ocean acidification as a threat for the marine environment. The final outcome document of Rio+20 ‘the future we want’ highlighted the critical role the oceans play in all three pillars of sustainable development, and “commit[ed] to protect, and restore, the health, productivity and resilience of oceans and marine ecosystems, and to maintain their biodiversity, enabling their conservation and sustainable use for present and future generations.” It contains 20 paragraphs in a dedicated section on oceans and seas, and an additional three paragraphs on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and last but not least one paragraph urging the emerging issue of Ocean acidification.

After months of work from individuals and organizations all around the world an ocean acidification specific outcome (Number 166) is: “We call for support to initiatives that address ocean acidification and the impacts of climate change on marine and coastal ecosystems and resources. In this regard, we reiterate the need to work collectively to prevent further ocean acidification, as well as to enhance the resilience of marine ecosystems and of the communities whose livelihoods depend on them, and to support marine scientific research, monitoring and observation of ocean acidification and particularly vulnerable ecosystems, including through enhanced international cooperation in this regard.” …

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The ocean is losing its breath

Decreased oxygen concentrations in the ocean, as a result of climate change and other anthropogenic stressors, e.g. nutrient input due to inefficient fertilizer use, was discussed in the latest IPCC report (2014). However, so far this emerging threat for the ocean is not fully acknowledged by policymakers and stakeholders at the global level. Systematic deoxygenation of the ocean will have widespread consequences. O2 plays a direct role in the biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and many other biogeochemically important elements (P, Fe, Mn, etc.). O2 is also fundamental for all aerobic life, including organisms living in the dark ocean interior. Deoxygenation (reduced oxygen concentration) mostly affects the marine environment at the local level, nevertheless economic and socio-economic impacts will impair the human society at the regional and global level….

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Advancing governance of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction

Marine areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) — the high seas and the deep seabed located beyond the limits of States’ continental shelves covering almost two-thirds of the global ocean — represent around half of the Planet’s surface. In ABNJ, biodiversity is at significant risk. Threats to biodiversity include the intensification and expansion of human activities into previously inaccessible locations as well as the growing impacts of climate change and ocean acidification (Census of Marine Life, 2011). This requires an urgent action from the international community at several levels…

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