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Pollution of both land and seas is a threat in many coastal regions. In addition, since river basins, marine ecosystems and the atmosphere are all part of hydrological systems, the effects of such pollution are often felt far from their source. In many coastal communities, pollution and eutrophication, which is the presence of excessive nutrients in water, frequently owing to runoff from the land, causing dense plant growth and the death of animal life, are driving detrimental changes. The five large marine ecosystems most at risk from coastal eutrophication, according to a global comparative assessment undertaken in 2016 as part of the Transboundary Water Assessment Programme, are the Bay of Bengal, the East China Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the North Brazil Shelf and the South China Sea. [Report of the Secretary-General, "Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals", E/2016/75]
Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the ocean has absorbed about one third of the carbon dioxide released by human activities, thereby mitigating the full impact of climate change. However, this comes at a steep ecological price, as dissolved carbon dioxide in seawater lowers the pH level of oceans, thereby increasing acidity and changing the biogeochemical carbonate balance. Concerns about ocean acidification, first expressed in the early 1980s, have now been confirmed, and the extent of its impact on marine ecosystems is being investigated. [Report of the Secretary-General, "Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals", E/2016/75]
The Report of the Secretary-General, "Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals",E/2017/66about this SDG says:
"The increasingly adverse impacts of climate change (including ocean acidification), overfishing and marine pollution are jeopardizing recent gains in protecting portions of the world’s oceans."Targets set by SDG 14 are:
1. By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution;
2. By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans;
3. Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels;
4. By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics;
5. By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information;
6. By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation;
7. By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism.
A) Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries;
B) Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets;
C) Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want.
The global indicator framework was developed by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) and agreed to, as a practical starting point at the 47th session of the UN Statistical Commission held in March 2016. The report of the Commission, which included the global indicator framework, was then taken note of by ECOSOC at its 70th session in June 2016. [SDG Indicators - Revised list of global Sustainable Development Goal indicators]
This was only an introduction to SDG 14, so it is up to you to help me spread it around!