Peace Boat working towards the United Nations Ocean Conference
The high-level United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development (The Ocean Conference) will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 5 to 9 June 2017. The conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Fiji and Sweden, aims to address the declining health of the world’s oceans and will include plenary meetings, partnership dialogues and a special event commemorating World Oceans Day. As a committed campaigner for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Peace Boat and the Ecoship Project are delighted to be able to participate in the conference process and contribute to its success.
Peace Boat and SDG14
With three global voyages every year spanning the world’s oceans and seas, Peace Boat is acutely aware of the importance of our oceans and supporting the implementation of SDG14. Peace Boat’s voyages visit coastal communities on the front line of marine degradation and rising sea levels. Educational programmes are organized both onboard and in ports of call in collaboration with local Civil Society Organisations and institutions, to raise awareness of the importance of ocean health and related issues including climate change. These range from active beach clean-ups to research on marine life, and cultural programmes with communities whose cultures and economies are deeply interconnected with the oceans. Since 2016 Peace Boat has also been working in collaboration with the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).
Peace Boat’s Contribution to the Ocean Conference
Side-event at the Prep-meeting: February 14, 2017: 6:15 – 7:30 pm Conference Room B, UN Conference Building
Peace Boat will hold a side event “Sailing for Change: Peace Boat and the SDGs” at the preparatory meeting on February 14, 2017. This will bring together stakeholders from the tourism and shipping industries, together with civil society representatives, to consider the role of partnerships toward more sustainable shipping and tourism practices to implement the SDGs, in particular, SDG14. This will focus on the cruise industry and efforts to reduce marine pollution, increase benefits for Small Island States through sustainable management of tourism, and transfer marine technology in relation to shipping and transportation.
Awareness raising event in Stockholm June 2, 2017
Peace Boat’s 94th Global Voyage will call to Stockholm on June 2, days before the Ocean Conference begins in New York. At this time Peace Boat will use its ship as a vehicle for public awareness raising. With Sweden as the main conference organizer, this event will highlight key issues in collaboration with local stakeholders and civil society, appealing to conventional and social media both in Sweden and internationally.
Voluntary Commitment: The Ecoship Project
The Ocean Conference will collect “voluntary commitments” from participants and stakeholders. Peace Boat makes the solid commitment to the concrete action of the Ecoship Project. Sailing in 2020 as a flagship for the SDGs, the 55,000 ton, 2000 passenger capacity nature-inspired vessel combines radical energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energy at a level never achieved before in maritime transport. Ecoship will not only offer a solution to climate change and contribute towards the implementation of SDG14, will take thousands of people around the world every year to places that are directly affected by rising sea levels and the degradation of marine ecosystems.
After the Ocean Conference
An “Oceans and Climate Youth Ambassador Programme” will be announced at the Ocean Conference in June, in collaboration with Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The programme will bring youth leaders from states on the front line of climate change and marine degradation to travel onboard Peace Boat’s ship, engaging in capacity building and bringing their message to citizens and government representatives. The youth will embark in Europe connecting with civil society organizations and government agencies in ports visited, including Spain, France, the UK, and Iceland. Participants will give testimony of their experiences and the impact of climate change and marine degradation on their communities, highlight the outcomes of The Ocean Conference and make a call for action. Their voyage will end in New York in October 2017 where they will report on their efforts to both the UN community and the public.