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science, policy and practice
One of the Sustainable Development Goals' (SDGs) many targets is to take better care of life below water. This includes for instance a reduction in marine pollution of all kinds by 2025 and ending overfishing and destructive fishing practices already by 2020.
This requires urgent action and there is no shortage of calls for such.
For that reason, the UN Global Compact, an initiative designed to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, have launched the Action Platform for Sustainable Ocean Business. It was unveiled during World Oceans Day on 8 June, at the UN Headquarters in New York.
The platform will bring together 40-50 key actors from ocean related businesses that have committed to support the implementation of the SDGs, particularly targets related to the world’s oceans.
In addition to businesses, the platform will include partners from governments, relevant UN bodies, NGOs and research institutions.
The Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) has been nominated as a key scientific partner to the new platform. This is largely because of its work with the Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS), an initiative that brought together CEOs from several of the world’s largest seafood companies to engage in a dialogue about ocean sustainability. The initiative has been led by SRC deputy science director Henrik Österblom.
The SRC is proud and excited to be part of the new UN platform
Henrik Österblom, SRC deputy science director
Österblom believes UN’s desire to include the SRC as a scientific partner to the Action Platform for Sustainable Ocean Business is the direct result of the centre’s extensive engagement with key actors in the seafood industry and beyond. In addition to the SeaBOS initiative, the SRC recently published research showing that a single corporation registered 47% of all marine sequences included in gene patents.
“Identifying and engaging with key actors has far-reaching implications for transformative change towards ocean sustainability and the achievement of the SDGs as a whole,” he explains.
“If the largest players in an industry can deliver on clear goals grounded in good science, this can send an important signal to other companies operating within the same sector, regardless of their size, and provide an inspiration to other industries.”
This means they can make significant, actionable and unique contributions to achieving particular SDGs and corresponding targets.
“For that reason, the SRC is proud and excited to be part of the new UN platform and we are determined to continue to create novel, systematic and efficient ways of collaborating with the private sector to support the achievement of the SDGs,” Österblom says.
Watch video introduction to the SeaBOS initiative:
The UN Global Compact Action Platform for Sustainable Ocean Business will focus on growth, innovation and sustainability, exploring how to best protect the health of the ocean. It aims to mobilize the private sector to take tangible action, make investments and form partnerships to leverage the ocean as a resource to deliver the Global Goals.
Henrik Österblom's research focuses on globalization and marine social-ecological systems, in particular how fisheries and marine ecosystems are managed. He is also deputy science director at the Stockholm Resilience Centre
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