Threats to Oceans Accelerating, UN Meeting Participants Warn

Wu Hongbo, under-secretary-general for Economic and Social Affairs and secretary-general of the recent conference, said the meeting raised global consciousness of the importance of the oceans and the challenges facing them, including plastic and other pollution, overfishing, and ocean acidification.

Several speakers at the UN Economic and Social Council's High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development last week warned that the well-being of the world's oceans is increasingly at risk. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development's inclusion of an oceans goal was an indication of the reality their health is in jeopardy, said Peter Thomson of Fiji, the president of the United Nations General Assembly. He said a June conference "showed that we are all in this together."

Wu Hongbo, under-secretary-general for Economic and Social Affairs and secretary-general of the conference, said its call for action document was rooted in 22 forward-looking actions, adding that the meeting raised global consciousness of the importance of the oceans and the challenges facing them, including plastic and other pollution, overfishing, and ocean acidification. "It should be seen as the start of our mission to save the ocean," he said.

"We will succeed or fail together when it comes to meeting the [Sustainable Development Goals]," said John Danilovich, secretary-general of the International Chamber of Commerce, during the forum's second panel discussion on the implementation of Goal 9 on infrastructure, industrialization, and innovation. He told participants he had consistently advocated for the Sustainable Development Goals to be regarded as "business development goals" because they contain a clear economic imperative that could increase productivity and employment and lead to stronger economic growth.

Getting enough food for the world's increasing population will be a huge challenge as the world reaches the outer limits of productivity through processes such as gene manipulation and as fertile, arable land becomes increasingly scarce, stressed Magnus Arildsson, head of the Internet of Things Product Management at Ericsson in Sweden.

Download Center

  • Your Guide to Environmental Metrics that Drive Performance

    Translating sustainability into action starts with implementing the right metrics to assess your environmental risk and performance. Learn how to design metrics that improve your decision-making process and drive enterprise performance.

  • Unpacking ESG: 6 Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask

    Environmental and Sustainability experts from Arcadis and Cority answer 6 of the most pressing questions EHS professionals have about getting started with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting.

  • 5 Keys to Best-in-Class Chemical Management

    Running a safe chemical program is challenging and complex: from knowing what's on-site to proper handling and disposal - all while navigating regulatory changes. Learn the best ways to mitigate chemical risk, get the most value out of your data, and gain buy-in for a chemical management solution.

  • Streamline Your Air Emissions Management

    See how consolidating all your emissions management functions into one centralized system can help you streamline your operations, more easily maintain compliance, and achieve greater time and cost savings.

  • A Crash Course in Creating the Right Environmental Scoring System

    Learn how to develop the right environmental scoring system so you can easily benchmark performance across all your facilities and gain a holistic view of your environmental programs.

  • Industry Safe