Peace Boat and the Ecoship at the UN 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 SDGs, Peace Boat and Ecoship are delighted to be able to participate in the conference process and contribute to its success.
Peace Boat will hold a side event “From Awareness Raising to Action for the Oceans: the role of Youth and Civil Society” at the Ocean Conference on June 9, 2017. This side event will focus on the role of education and awareness raising for action for the oceans, and to implement the Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, it will focus on the crucial role of youth and civil society. A number of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are visited during Peace Boat’s three global and two regional voyages per year, and grassroots representatives from SIDS working in collaboration with Peace Boat will present their community’s concerns and messages relating to SDG14, including connections to climate change and resiliency, at this event. With 2017 named the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the role of sustainable tourism will also be explored in relations to SIDS, both as a tool for education and awareness raising about ocean degradation and climate change, and also in connection to Target 14.7.
The Ocean Conference is also collecting “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 60,000 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. With zero Nox and sulphur emissions and 40% reduction in CO2, the Ecoship seeks to address ocean acidification. The ship has closed water and closed waste systems to combat marine pollution. The 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.