World Ocean Day: sustainable development goals for the ocean business

The World Ocean Council (WOC) is beginning work with industry to develop meaningful, practical targets that can link the realities of responsible ocean business operations to the broad, aspirational Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 4th WOC Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS), Rotterdam, 30 Nov-2 Dec 2016 - with its theme of “Ocean 2030: Sustainable Development Goals and the Ocean Business Community” - will focus on the shared future for both a healthy ocean and healthy ocean businesses.

Adopted by the U.N. in 2015, the SDGs provide 17 ambitious goals to guide global development from 2016 to 2030. One of the goals - the “Ocean SDG” - aims to “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”.

The World Ocean Council (WOC) was the only ocean business organisation consistently engaged in the SDG process and produced a report for WOC Members analysing the SDG’s business implications and opportunities. Ocean industries received an insider briefing on the SDGs at the 2015 WOC Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS).

The WOC is beginning a process to foster and facilitate industry determining what the SDGs mean for the ocean business community, especially the Ocean SDG and its broad, cross-cutting aims, e.g. reduce pollution, avoid ecosystem impacts, increase marine protected areas.

How can ocean industries provide leadership and collaboration to ensure the SDGs for the ocean are practical, implementable and measurable, support responsible economic activity, and advance development that can be sustained? How can governments, industry and other ocean stakeholders best collaborate on ocean sustainable development?

The WOC SDG report reviews the SDGs applicable to the ocean business community, identifies key aspects of the relevant SDGs and notes which ocean industry sectors will be most affected by them. The report evaluates and outlines the opportunities and potential courses of action for ocean industries regarding:

·Ensuring access to sea-space and marine resources

·Participating in multi-stakeholder dialogues

·Ensuring a sound business environment

·Supporting long-term business viability

·Improving risk management

·Addressing risks of engagement and non-engagement

At the 4th WOC Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS), Rotterdam, 30 Nov-2 Dec 2016, the ocean business community will gather to continue its leadership, collaboration and commitment to sustaining the interconnected environment, people and economy of the ocean – but now with the added focus and framework of the SDGs.

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