15 May, 2020
8 Min Read
Keeping Asia-Pacific afloat
By, Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana is Executive Secretary of ESCAP
Thriving marine environment
For generations, the Asia-Pacific region has thrived on our seas.
The seas provide food, livelihoods and a sense of identity, especially for coastal communities in the Pacific island states.
Escalating strains on the marine environment are threatening to drown progress and our way of life.
Threats to Marine Environment
While the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily reduced pollution, this should not be a moment of reprieve. Rather, recovery efforts need to build a new reality, embedded in sustainability.
Lack of data
Insights from ‘Changing Sails: Accelerating Regional Actions for Sustainable Oceans in Asia and the Pacific’, the theme study of this year’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), reveal that without data, we are swimming in the dark.
Data are available for only two out of ten targets for the Sustainable Development Goal 14, ‘Life Below Water’.
Due to limitations in methodology and national statistical systems, information gaps have persisted at uneven levels across countries.
Through the Ocean Accounts Partnership, ESCAP is working with countries to harmonise ocean data and provide a space for regular dialogue.Translating international agreements and standards into national action.
Our oceans keep our economy and our lives above the waves. In the post-COVID-19 era, we must use the years ahead to steer our collective fleets toward sustainable oceans.
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