Through the lens of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), over the 17 days leading up to the Australia’s national election we will be highlighting the challenge for an inclusive and sustainable Australia, what can be done to address the challenge and what BCSD Australia, as part of a global WBCSD network is doing to create impact.
On Day 14, we are looking at SDG14: Life below water
While Australia’s efforts relating to life below water is well covered by protected areas, exceeding the 10% protection target of Aichi Target 11, our ability to understand our progress toward the targets under this Sustainable Development Goal is complicated by a lack of credible, verifiable and regularly monitored data and subsequent analysis. This results in inconsistent management, particularly in some significant areas.
Even though there are achievements through area protection and fisheries management to meet #SDG14, with the trend improving over time, pollution is increasing and reef systems show significant and ongoing deterioration, with no sign of policy improvements to change the situation on the horizon.
Our society and our economy impact and depend on nature, particularly life below water, which would benefit from the following actions:
Maintain efforts towards sustainable management of fisheries as there has been substantial improvement with greater than 80% of stocks now assessed as sustainable or not subject to overfishing (SDSN Australia).
Introduce generation-scale funding commitment and long-term vision to escape the flawed three-year cycle of contested government funding.
Co-design a government/business/community blueprint to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts. This can be done by strengthening their resilience and taking action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans, especially the trends for coral reefs, and in particular the Great Barrier Reef.
What is BCSD Australia doing to create impact to address these challenges?
We are working with a number of partner organisations on projects that will help to address this challenge here in Australia and around the world, including: