Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals of interest for Mediterranean Wetlands

The UN General Assembly has been discussing the draft of “17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to be attained by 2030”, draft submitted on 19 July by a Working Group of 70 countries.

The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, is due to publish a report in November that will pull in comments from leaders during the Generally Assembly, plus other consultations that have taken place. The report will set the tone for intergovernmental discussions on the SDGs. Two officials will be appointed to create the programme for government debate next year. It is expected that the SDG will be adopted in September 2015 by a special session of the UN General Assembly.

Even though most of the proposed SDG are relevant in some way or another to the MedWet mission, there are three draft SDGs of special interest to us:

Proposed goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable use of water and sanitation for all

6.1 by 2030, achieve universal access to safe and affordable drinking water for all

6.2 by 2030, achieve adequate sanitation and hygiene for all, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls

6.3 by 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping of chemicals and hazardous materials, doubling wastewater treatment and increasing recycling and reuse by x% globally

6.4 by 2030, improve water-use efficiency by x% across all sectors and bring freshwater withdrawals in line with sustainable supply

6.5 by 2030 implement integrated water resources management at all levels, and through transboundary cooperation as appropriate

6.6 by 2030 decrease by x% mortality and y% losses caused by water-related disasters

6.a by 2030, expand international cooperation and support in water and sanitation related technologies, including water harvesting and desalination technologies and wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies

Proposed goal 14. Conserve and promote sustainable use oceans, seas and marine resources

14.1 by 2030, prevent and control, and reduce by x% globally, marine pollution of all kinds, particularly from land-based activities

14.2 by 2020, sustainably manage, restore and protect marine ecosystems from destruction, including by strengthening their resilience, and address ocean acidification and its impacts

14.3 by 2020, effectively regulate harvesting, end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and destructive fishing practices, to restore by 2030 fish stocks at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield

14.4 by 2020, conserve at least 10% of coastal and marine areas, including through establishing effectively managed marine protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, consistent with international law and based on best available scientific information

14.5 by 2020, eliminate fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, taking into account the importance of this sector to developing countries, notably least developed countries and SIDS

14.a increase scientific knowledge, and transfer of marine technology, and develop research infrastructure and capacities to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular SIDS and LDCs

14.b by 2030 increase the economic benefits to SIDS and LDCs from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture ,tourism and provide equitable access of small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets

14.c enforce international law on territorial waters to stop illegal fishing and exploitation of marine resources in territorial waters, particularly of developing countries

Proposed goal 15. Protect and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, halt desertification, land degradation and biodiversity loss

15.1 by 2020 ensure conservation and sustainable use of ecosystems, in particular wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with international agreements (emphasis added)

15.2 by 2030, ensure the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, and increase reforestation by x% globally

15.3 by 2030, achieve a land degradation neutral world, and restore degraded land including land affected by desertification and drought

15.4 by 2020 take urgent and significant action to halt the loss of biodiversity, and protect and prevent the extinction of known threatened species

15.5 by 2030, end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna, and end demand and supply of illegal wildlife products

15.6 by 2020 introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems

15.a by 2020, mobilize and significantly increase from all sources financial resources to implement the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020

15.b mobilize significantly resources from all sources and at all levels to finance sustainable forest management, and provide adequate incentives to developing countries to advance sustainable forest management, including for conservation and reforestation

15.c enhance support to developing countries efforts to combat poaching and illegal trafficking of endangered species, including by increasing the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities

Nevertheless, the draft SDGs has still a long way to go, with some countries saying that 17 goals are far too many and that they should be reduced to a maximum of ten.

The wetland community should be in the alert to make sure that key issues of concern to us (such as goal 15.1) are not lost in the propose, or even more so to try put wetlands issues in more prominent place.

More information:

For a full text of the proposed SDGs click here

More information on the UN website