Government of Canada launches its 2030 agenda National strategy, Goal 14 is to conserve our oceans
Posted on July 13, 2021
Historically, large water bodies and coastal areas have been the sites of urbanization. As a result, the discharge of sewage and waste is one of the most dangerous ways in which cities pollute water bodies. According to statistics, two-thirds of waste from cities is pumped untreated into reservoirs, rivers, and seawater.
The U.N Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) states that, ‘Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.’ SDG 14 acknowledges that the world’s oceans are a key environmental resource for our own long-term sustainability. Oceans are a public resource that contain over 200,000 known organisms and are the most common source of protein; over 3 billion people depend on the oceans for survival, while fisheries employ over 200 million people directly or indirectly.
The preservation of our ocean must remain a top priority. The wellbeing of humans and the environment depends on marine biodiversity. To minimize overfishing, marine pollution, and ocean acidification, marine protected areas must be effectively controlled and well-resourced, and regulations must be in place.
Role of the government
Canada has the world’s longest coastline, and runs along the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans, becoming one of the world’s largest ocean bodies. To make a living, import goods, and export Canadian items, Canadians depend on their coasts and waterways. Canada has made strides in safeguarding the protection and resilience of its fisheries, and it continues to promote conservation and responsible use of marine resources.
Apart from this the government can play a role in:
- Integrated water resource management and systems to collect, handle, and reuse urban stormwater runoff are being implemented
- Improving integrated coastal zone management and restoration policies, as well as cooperating through jurisdictions within a river basin or coastal region
- Enforcing emission controls for commercial, urban, and agricultural pollution
- Introducing and enhancing value of ecosystem services as assets (e.g. mangroves)
- Promoting community engagement and the number of natural protected coastal areas on a local level
- Ethical public procurement encourages sustainable fishing activities
In order to achieve this goal, the Canadian government has a list of objectives it seeks to achieve by 2030, this includes:
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Canada’s determination to provide concrete measures to combat the pollution of oceans which affects our environment is a testimony of its desire to meet the U.N’s agenda will ensure a better quality of life for everyone living in Canada including immigrants.