Goal 14: Life Below Water
The world’s oceans – their temperature, chemistry, currents and life – drive global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. How we manage this vital resource is essential for humanity as a whole, and to counter balance the effects of climate change.
Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. However, today we are seeing 30 percent of the world’s fish stocks overexploited, reaching below the level at which they can produce sustainable yields.
Oceans also absorb about 30 percent of the carbon dioxide produced by humans, and we are seeing a 26 percent rise in ocean acidification since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Marine pollution, an overwhelming majority of which comes from land-based sources, is reaching alarming levels, with an average of 13,000 pieces of plastic litter to be found on every square kilometre of ocean.
The SDGs aim to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems from pollution, as well as address the impacts of ocean acidification. Enhancing conservation and the sustainable use of ocean-based resources through international law will also help mitigate some of the challenges facing our oceans.
With around 240 kilometres of coastline, Lebanon’s coastal zone is a key element of its natural capital, beauty and tourist attraction. Regardless, a lack of protection measures are negatively affecting these ecosystems and the species living in them.
Did you know…
…that in 2010, 65% of total sewage in Lebanon ended up in coastal waters?
…that up until the early 2000s there were at least 1,269 illegal properties along the coastline which negatively affects coastal and marine ecosystems?