Oceans and seas constitute a vital ecosystem, and millions of people depend on them for their livelihood and nutrition. The conservation and sustainable use of oceans affects economic, social and environmental policies both nationally and globally. However, acidification caused by CO2 emissions, pollution from plastics, fertilizers and waste, overfishing, and many other unsustainable practices are threatening marine habitats and coastal areas. As new opportunities for economic growth and development arise through the exploitation of oceans, the international community faces new environmental, political and legal challenges.
The 2017 Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations will focus on SDG 14 of the new Sustainable Development Goals: the conservation and sustainable use of oceans. A World of Blue: Preserving the oceans, safeguarding the planet, ensuring human well-being in the context of the 2030 Agenda will bring together parliamentarians, experts and UN officials and will make recommendations to restore the oceans to health.
Jointly organized with the President of the General Assembly, the UN-IPU Parliamentary Hearing will take place in New York from 13-14 February. It will provide a parliamentary component to the preparatory process for a major UN conference on oceans in June.