We stand by those who promote awareness, transparency
and responsibility for the high seas
The ocean covers nearly three quarters of our planet and more than three billion people worldwide depend on the seas for their livelihood. Yet the Millennium Development Goals, which were launched in 2000 and helped to reduce global poverty by half, failed to protect the seas.
Over a decade later when The TerraMar Project was founded in 2012, the ocean was far from top-of-mind at the United Nations. In fact, there were more opponents than proponents in the international community to seeing the seas included in the Sustainable Development Goals, the follow-on to the Millennium Development Goals. In order for the ocean to realize its place in the United Nations' sustainable development agenda, we knew we had our work cut out for us.
With a primary organizational objective to realize an ocean-specific Sustainable Development Goal, The TerraMar Project partnered with The Sustainable Oceans Alliance, an organization formed to mobilize the international community to the importance of the ocean and the seas in the lives of people around the world to ensure that Member States of the United Nations recognized and incorporated the ocean in the Sustainable Development Goals.
Working closely with our partners, we built a global coalition of NGO's, experts, and citizens calling for the sustainable management of our ocean. As the number of ocean passport holders grew, so did the global sentiment for the seas.
Behind the leadership of the Small Islands Developing States, and especially that of Palau, the ocean quietly experienced a sea change among the global community. A tidal wave of momentum was built, culminating in the ocean's inclusion as Goal 14 in the Sustainable Development Goals, cementing the seas in the United Nations' post-2015 agenda.
Sustainable Development Goals vs. Millennium Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals were the first global policy initiative to set out measurable targets and indicators by which the international community could track the success of its commitments. The result was a massive achievement: the reduction of extreme poverty by half worldwide. The Millennium Development Goals, however, failed to make progress on the environment, and ignored ocean issues entirely.
The Sustainable Development Goals replaced the Millennium Development Goals upon their expiration in 2015, with 17 new goals and 169 new targets. The result is a series of quantifiable targets and indicators by which actions towards global sustainability will be implemented and measured. Goal 14: Life Below Water, will direct international attention and resources towards saving the world's fish stocks, preserving the marine environment, and helping people in island and coastal states to secure food and jobs for generations.
Goal 14: life below water
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources
As the United Nations points out, the world’s oceans – their temperature, chemistry, currents and life – drive global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind.
Our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the oxygen in the air we breathe, are all ultimately provided and regulated by the sea. Throughout history, oceans and seas have been vital conduits for trade and transportation.
Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future.
Targets for Goal 14 include:
The Future of the Ocean is in your hands: