UNU-IAS Symposium Makes High-level Appeal for Sustainable Oceans


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  • 2017•04•28     Tokyo

    Johan Rockström addresses the audience (Photo: Curtis Christophersen, UNU)

    Johan Rockström addresses the audience (Photo: Curtis Christophersen, UNU)

    On 19 April, the international symposium on Public Engagement for the Global Goals with a Special Focus on Sustainable Oceans co-hosted by UNU-IAS demonstrated high-level support for improving the current conditions of oceans. Sustainable Development Goals Advocate, HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and well-known scientist Johan Rockström, among others, spoke out about taking actions towards achieving the SDGs, specifically Goal 14 (Life Below Water).

    The event opened with remarks from UNU Rector David M. Malone, who noted the inter-relationships between the 17 SDGs and highlighted the achievements of the Crown Princess in raising awareness of the SDGs.

    In her speech, HRH Crown Princess Victoria highlighted the importance and moral obligations of everyone to take actions to achieve the SDGs. In addition, she pointed out the effects of our daily choices on the future of the planet and appealed to use our collective power to achieve a sustainable future.

    In his keynote speech, Johan Rockström (Executive Director, Stockholm Resilience Center) emphasized the increasing human disconnection from nature. He used the analogy of a wedding cake as a new way of viewing the SDGs as comprised of three layers: biosphere, society, and economy. He stressed the importance of reconnecting to the base layer (biosphere), tying it to Goals 14 and 15.

    During panel discussion, Norichika Kanie (Senior Research Fellow, UNU-IAS) pointed out that Japan could accelerate the SDGs by furthering existing sustainable initiatives. Panelists also discussed the role of media in disseminating the goals and the need for a cross-sectorial taskforce to consider solutions to these complex issues.

    Discussion also zeroed in on Goal 14; and the panelists discussed the need for best practices on the part of manufacturers, especially for large corporations. In addition, they pointed out the importance of linking issues of oceans and the SDGs, extending partnerships to other sectors to resolve issues which cannot be solved by ocean communities solely, capacity building, and technology transfer to the Small Island Developing States.

    In conjunction with this event, the Global Environmental Outreach Centre (GEOC) organized a poster exhibition related to the SDGs Goal 14.

    This event was co-hosted by GEOC and the Embassy of Sweden, with support from the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC).

    The event programme and presentation materials can be found under the Related Files tab.

    To learn more about the important work being done worldwide to bring attention to the SDGs, please click here.

  • Programme

    (631.7 KB PDF)

    Johan Rockström

    (11.9 MB PDF)

    Panel Discussion

    (3.0 MB PDF)