2015•08•17 China Daily
Excerpt from an article published on Friday, 7 August in China Daily Asia:
Evonne Yiu, a research associate at the Tokyo-based Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability at the United Nations University, says that the health and sustainability of oceans, seas and coastal areas are critical for maintaining global food security and as a source of human nutrition.
More than 3 billion people in the region depend on marine and coastal resources for their livelihoods and animal protein intake.
With a stronger ocean resource base, fisheries and the seafood industry should continue to prosper and contribute to the primary goal of ending poverty and hunger by 2030.
“It is not surprising that a stand-alone goal focusing on ocean issues has now been developed, thanks to the advocating efforts of various civil society groups,” Yiu says, “as the ocean requires focused attention due to its complex nature and significant contribution to sustainable development.”
Yiu says the interests of low-income groups and small-scale fishermen are also taken into consideration by the SDGs. The goals plan to increase economic benefits to small island states and least developed countries by 2030 through the sustainable use of marine resources and management of fisheries.
Marine resources form an essential component of the earth’s ecosystem, hosting huge reservoirs of biodiversity, Yiu explains. “The conservation of ocean and sea resources not only contributes to poverty eradication, but also addresses the impacts of climate change and protects biodiversity and the marine environment,” she says.
Yiu of the United Nations University says the way of life of coastal communities and how coastal areas are managed — from ecological to social and economic perspectives — affect their sustainable development.
“Our approach to sustainable development of primary industries is to look at both land and seas holistically as socio-ecological productive landscapes and seascapes of integrated terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and engage all stakeholders at all levels for effective management and conservation of our common resources,” Yiu says.