UN Ocean Conference



About the The Ocean Conference

The United Nations General Assembly, with the governments of Portugal and Kenya, will host a high-level United Nations Ocean Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG 14) in Lisbon, June 27 - July 1, 2022. SDG 14 seeks to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources,” and provides a series of targets to achieve this goal.


WCS at The Ocean Conference

With the world’s attention focused on the ocean, the United Nations Ocean Conference provides a unique opportunity to showcase WCS’s expertise and leadership in marine conservation, and more importantly, to shape the direction of ocean conservation for the future. The delgation from WCS will focus on 5 key issues during the conference in Lisbon. 

  1. 30x30 - WCS is urging governments to commit through the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to protect or conserve at least 30% of the global ocean by 2030 (“30x30”), through marine protected areas that effectively mitigate impacts from identified threats and effective OECMs that demonstrate biodiversity outcomes. 
  2. Aquatic and Bue Foods - WCS is pleased to support the Aquatic and Blue Foods Alliance, launching at the UN Oceans Conference, to help raise the profile of aquatic and blue foods in strategic planning and goal-setting for food systems at national and global levels, and to mobilize financial support for capacity-building and technical support.
  3. Blue Species - Marine megafauna are keystone species and critical to ocean ecosystems. Area-based protections under ‘30x30’ are one group of interventions needed to conserve these highly mobile species.
  4. Blue Carbon and Blue Health - To design appropriate interventions across land-sea interfaces, WCS takes a multi-sector, systems approach that accounts for both social and ecological systems, collaborating with partners from environmental, agricultural, public health, water, sanitation, and hygiene sectors. Additionally, “Blue carbon” ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrass meadows, and tidal marshes are important carbon stocks that must be left intact and restored  to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. WCS urges governments to commit to the holistic management of coastal ecosystem networks to secure coastal nature-based solutions to climate change, and achieve 30x30 in biodiversity-rich coastal habitats.
  5. SDG 14 and Sustainable Ocean Development - Several SDG 14 Targets had deadlines for 2020, and new global targets for biodiversity, including marine biodiversity and ocean ecosystems, are being negotiated by most of the world’s governments under the CBD. To maintain the momentum generated by this UN Ocean Conference, the SDGs need updated targets for marine ecosystems and a more regular process of tracking progress, including improvements to global indicators and systems for tracking voluntary commitments.



WATCH: Q&A with Dr. Simon Cripps, Executive Director of Marine Conservation at WCS



Coral Triangle Initiative - Regional Conservation Trust Fund 





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