NAM calls for conservation and sustainable use of Oceans and marine resources

Non-Aligned Movement is committed to protection of the environment. In this context, NAM has emphasised that oceans and coasts provide valuable resources and services to support humankind and that the sustainable use of marine ecosystems will enhance global food security and increase resilience to climate change for present and future generations.

The Movement has called for the need to develop comprehensive adaption measure to address climate related impacts on oceans and coasts, including through greater capacity building, enhanced scientific monitoring activities and to promote environmentally sound policies for integrated coastal and ocean management.

NAM has expressed its full support to the attainment of Goal 14 of the Sustainable Development Goal which calls for the conservation and the sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources and recognises marine pollution, ocean acidification, and overfishing as a threat to the health and productivity of the oceans.

NAM has welcomed the United Nations General Assembly resolution 71/312 of 06 July 2017 which endorsed the Declaration entitled “Our Ocean Our Future: Call for Action”. The Resolution calls for halting and reversing the decline in the health and productivity of oceans and their ecosystem.

The Resolution calls upon all stakeholders to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development by developing comprehensive strategies to raise awareness of the natural and cultural significance of the ocean, accelerating actions to prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, particularly from land-based activities, implementing effective adaptation and mitigation measures that contribute to increasing and supporting resilience to ocean and coastal acidification, sea level rise and increase in ocean temperatures and enhancing sustainable fisheries management.

NAM Member States also reaffirmed their commitment for sustainable use of the oceans during the High-Level United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development held from 5-9 June 2017. Regarding marine protection, Jamaica committed to increase MPA coverage from 13.5% to 15.5% by 2019 and adopt an improved Marine Protection Area (MPA) governance framework by 2020.

South Africa announced its intention to designate 22 new MPAs. Belize promised to increase the number of its no-take zones by 2020. Gabon, highlighted the designation of a 5,000 square-kilometer MPA, and establishment of a national council of the sea and an integrated marine strategy. Cuba noted that 18.9% of its waters are MPA.

Panama announced coverage of 14% of its waters as MPAs. Lebanon unveiled plans for 15 MPAs. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines highlighted a commitment to protect 20% of their waters by 2020 as part of the Caribbean Challenge Initiative which calls for collaborative action to protect and sustainably manage the marine and coastal environment in the Caribbean. Malaysia announced its intention to protect 10% of its coastal and marine areas by 2020.

NAM has also stressed the significance of the pertinent clauses in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which calls on states to take measures necessary to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from any source. With regards to the protection of oceans and marine environment, UNCLOS stresses the need to develop scientific research and also that of enhancing cooperation. These were also reiterated by NAM Member States during the High-Level United Nations Conference.

India called for effective partnerships to implement UNCLOS while Trinidad and Tobago underscored the importance of Marine Scientific Research (MSR) to improve UNCLOS implementation. Malaysia highlighted the need for addressing usage conflicts, promoting cross-sectoral coordination, and identifying new ocean-based employment opportunities while Nepal called for knowledge-sharing and technology transfer to landlocked developing countries to ensure implementation of both SDG 14 and UNCLOS.

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