The Importance of Life Below Water

By K.H. Dulmini Imalsha Kariyawasam | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 30 2021
Look The Importance of Life Below Water

By K.H. Dulmini Imalsha Kariyawasam

Our oceans are said to be nearly four billion years old. As the source of all the life on the earth, oceans cover three fourth of our planet and we depend on them for life. An abundant ocean can feed a billion healthy meals everyday forever. Oceans as a great asset produce over half of the world’s oxygen and maintain climate regulation, transportation, economic benefits food and medicine. It creates this amazing balance within the world.  

While covering 70 per cent of the surface of our planet, oceans also play a preliminary important role in lending hands to life on earth. It also consists of the most diverse and important ecosystem, contributing to global and regional elemental cycling.

Moreover, Marine Protected Areas go in tandem with poverty reduction by expanding fish catches and income, producing new jobs, improving health and women empowerment. Increasing levels of debris in the world seas and oceans are also having an enormous and growing economic impact.  Yet it is in danger of a truly global problem.

The hub of the matter is that our oceans are in devastation. We are killing sea turtles who maintain the balance of marine life.  Annually eight million tons of plastic forever end up in our oceans.  A coke bottle you are drinking right now can take a life of a sea turtle or any marine animal in the world. 

People may wonder why we need a Sustainable Development Goal for our oceans on the road to a perfect world. Overfishing, poor fishing practices have many cataclysmic effects on oceans. On the other hand, plastic has become the silent killer of this great asset. Marine animals and coral reefs are also on the verge of ending and the majority of people do not even care. Gridlocks related to oceans are rising at an alarming speed. 

Of course, without any doubt, the importance of our oceans is included in political agendas, yet oceans are not anyone’s priority. In a recent survey, the importance of marine resources and oceans were considered as least important among people which is a huge conundrum. Even a second study which was done by experts found that people have given the least concentration towards Goal 14 (Life below Water) out of all the 17 goals. 

Our oceans have never been this threatened, and it is estimated that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. It is necessary to reduce pollution and protect marine and coastal ecosystems. If we need a sustainably developed world in the year 2030, undoubtedly, we must create a future generation who is sentimental about this matter. 

As a matter of concern, in 2015 The United Nations General Assembly has implemented 17 Global Goals or Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are designed to be a ‘blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all’. The main objective is to make SDGs a reality by the year 2030. 

Out of the 17 SDGs, Life below Water, the 14th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 14) is one of the major fields which impact the world in many ways. Almost all the oceans and their temperature come under this massive resource and SDG’s main aim is to prevent this asset from pollution and the effect of ocean acidification.

Other than that, SDG 14 gives its major concerns towards supporting the people who depend on it for employment, resources or leisure. Under this yardstick, there are key business themes addressed by Sustainable Development Goal 14. They are Marine Biodiversity, Ocean acidification, Environmental investments, spills, sustainable sourcing and water discharge to oceans.  Not only that, but it has also implemented key business actions and solutions related to Life below Water.

Recording and disclosing information on the chemical and material usage within products, packaging, and processing systems to facilitate closing the loop. 

Improving resource efficiency by altering the design, manufacture, or use of products and packaging to reduce the amount of waste that could potentially enter the environment.

Improving resource efficiency by generating value from waste etc. are some of them.

As a whole, Life below Water aims to create this amazing ocean a real paradise for the people which is free from pollution and destructions. However, the crux of the matter is, people have not understood the importance of our oceans and the world at large does not have a candid idea about the devastating aspects related to marine pollution due to their lack of awareness. Therefore, as an initial stage towards success, SDG 14 has recognised that it is a must to give publicity to raise awareness on the importance of oceans and all their resources. 

Three billion people out of the global population depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihood. Due to this, it gives a huge pollution threat to the world’s largest source of protein. So that, SDG 14 has also given its concentration towards unreported unregulated and destructive fishing practices as it will cause so many cataclysmic effects. 

G17 University Ambassador |

Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka

G17 University Ambassadors Consortium

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By K.H. Dulmini Imalsha Kariyawasam | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 30 2021

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