Preparing for the Oceans Conference: ICPDR invited to share technical expertise from SDG6 contributions

The preparatory meeting was open to a broad range of stakeholders including non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community, the private sector, philanthropic organizations and other actors.
Given the strong connection between SDG14 and SDG6, the ICPDR was invited to contribute to the discussion. 

ICPDR Executive Secretary Ivan Zavadsky was among the panelists on the Technical Panel of the side event on Achieving SDG 14 on Oceans: Strategies and Approaches for Accelerating and Scaling up SDG14 Implementation and shared the Danube/Black Sea experience: Reversing large scale hypoxic areas caused by basin-wide nutrient pollution, an ICPDR success story.

Zavadsky explained in his talk that today’s management approaches in terms of water resource management follow the “source- to-sea” (S2S) approach. The S2S Action Platform, facilitated by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) with membership of almost all key water and ocean players, provides a conceptual framework for source-to-sea governance and management and supports:

  • Assessing the global “source-to-sea” governance framework and the dominating management approaches in the source-to-sea continuum
  • Coordination and cooperation basins with large marine ecosystems (LMEs)
  • Linking SDG 14 and SDG 6 Targets
    - Water quality improvement by pollution reduction
    - Reduction marine pollution from LBS including nutrients
  • Helping generate financing

The implementation of such an approach also takes shape in knowledge management projects such as IW:Learn of the Global Environment Facility's (GEF) International Waters Learning Exchange and Resource Network which the ICPDR is also involved. The IW:LEARN project was established to strengthen transboundary water management around the globe by collecting and sharing best practices promotes learning among project managers, country officials, implementing agencies, and other partners.

During two day sessions and impulse presentations, participants exchanged views on elements that the declaration should include, such as: addressing marine pollution and ocean acidification; creating sustainable fisheries; establishing marine protected areas; and transitioning to a blue economy. The result of this preparatory meeting is a call for action, which is to be the intergovernmentally-agreed outcome of the Conference, concise and action-oriented, as well as easy to understand by the public.

SDG 6 covers the entire water cycle, including the management of water, wastewater and ecosystem resources. With water at the very core of sustainable development, SDG 6 has a very strong linkage to all of the other SDGs. And as incoming ICPDR President Peter Gammeltoft (European Union) said in his inaugural address, “none of the SDGs will be met in isolation”.
This also applies to the work of the ICPDR, where technical and scientific knowledge is vital for managing water resources. It is the enhanced cooperation for capacity building and technology transfer between ICPDR countries that makes the ICPDR a role model for good water resources governance. The ICPDR as one of few freshwater River Basin Organisations (RBOs) in the world sees its role as direct contributor to the global SDG commitment, a global agenda for the survival of the planet.

The Oceans Conference
On 5-9 June 2017, the Oceans Conference, the high-level United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 known as the Oceans Conference will be convened at United Nations Headquarters in New York, coinciding with World Oceans Day, to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14. The Governments of Fiji and Sweden have the co-hosting responsibilities of the Conference. The Conference aims to be the game changer that will reverse the decline in the health of our ocean for people, planet and prosperity. It will be solutions-focused with engagement from all.

Source: UNDP, UN Division for Sustainable Development, Editorial: ICPDR
Links: SDG 6, SDG 14