Ocean Action Hub

[ SDG Target 14.1 ] By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution.

Definition

Land-based sources (such as agricultural run-off, discharge of nutrients and pesticides and untreated sewage including plastics) account for approximately 80% of marine pollution, globally. Marine habitats worldwide are contaminated with man-made debris. Oil spills remain a concern, though actual spills have decreased steadily for several decades. SDG 14.1 calls for the prevention and significant reduction of marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution, by 2025.

Excessive nutrients from sewage outfalls and agricultural runoff have contributed to the increasing incidence of low oxygen (hypoxic) areas known as dead zones, where most marine life cannot survive, resulting in the collapse of some ecosystems. There are now close to 500 dead zones with a total global surface area of over 245,000 km², roughly equivalent to that of the United Kingdom. The excess nitrogen can also stimulate the proliferation of seaweeds and microorganisms and cause algal blooms. Such blooms can be harmful (HABs), causing massive fish kills, contaminating seafood with toxins and altering ecosystems.

Litter can accumulate in huge floating garbage patches or wash up on the coasts. Light, resistant plastics float in the Ocean, releasing contaminants as they break down into micro-particles that animals mistake for food. Fish and birds can choke on these particles, get sick as they accumulate toxins in their stomachs, or become entangled in larger debris.

As the world saw in 2010, the Gulf of Mexico deep-water oil spill had a devastating effect on the entire marine ecosystem, as well as the populations that depend on the marine areas for their livelihoods. Smaller oil spills happen every day, due to drilling incidents or leaking motors, negatively impacting birds, marine mammals, algae, fish and shellfish.

SOURCE: UNESCO website

Latest

23 Jan 2020 - UNDP has launched a new call to action, the Ocean Innovation Challenge (OIC) to accelerate progress on SDG14, seeking innovations that are transferable, replicable and scalable. The Challenge grants range from $50,000 to $250,000.

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20 Jan 2020 - The Chinese government has announced a new plan to crack down on plastic pollution across the country by 2025, including a ban on single-use plastic straws and bags.

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17 Jan 2019 - Environmentalists say Kenya's recent ban on plastic bags is working wonders, but the problem with one-way disposable plastic bottles remains out of control.

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13 Jan 2019 - BBC - More than half a million tonnes of fishing gear is estimated to be lost or abandoned every year in the world's seas and oceans.

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13 Jan 2020 - Shoppers in Jakarta will soon be unable to carry their groceries in single-use plastic bags as the Jakarta administration has issued a long awaited gubernatorial regulation b

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9 Jan 2019 - UNDP Accelerator Lab set the goal of encouraging colleagues to reduce single-use plastic use at work, assuming that behavior change will be transposed to their lives outside w

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3 Jan 2020 - Do you want to know the amount of microplastic you eat - every day, every week, every year?

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30 Dec 2019 - Plastics constitute a growing threat to our environment - and in turn, human well-being - affecting the world’s freshwater systems and marine resources in particular, as well

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23 Dec 2019 - A new, binding international agreement is recommended to address the shortcomings of the global plastic waste trade and eliminate discharge of plastics into the (marine) envi

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17 Dec 2019 - The ‘Meal for Plastic’ initiative has been rolled out in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the state government’s Aahar Scheme.

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11 Dec 2019 - Indonesia has become a dumping ground for plastic from Australia, Europe and North America.

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6 Dec 2019 - UNDP, relevant national stakeholders and representatives from five schools in Honiara took part in the final validation workshop within the “Schools Re-thinking Plastic Initia

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