SDG 14 focuses on the world’s oceans, the providers and regulators of the global systems of rainwater, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food and the oxygen in the air we breathe. As such, this SDG is intricately connected with other SDGS – for example, anything we do to reduce impact on the climate is marine conservation: reduced climate change translates into reduced sea level rise, temperature increases and ocean acidification. A healthier ocean will also have a positive impact on coastal land and the people, plants and wildlife who live there. Educating people about how to live well where they are can translate into sustainable use of local resources.
Read on for some specific examples of A Rocha’s work with Life below water.
A Rocha teams are studying and protecting a fascinating variety of wetland and marine eco-systems: a Portuguese estuary, Ghanaian mangrove forests, Canadian salmon rivers and seagrass beds, Kenyan coral reefs, British beaches and kelp forests, and New Zealand rocky shores, to name just a few. Efforts to restore and protect aquatic ecosystems might seem small compared to the scale of the threats, but they are significant: not just for the habitat that each one restores, but also for the ways they engage people in understanding and caring for these precious and increasingly threatened ecosystems.
From field-work on microplastics to getting communities involved in picking up rubbish, A Rocha is studying ocean and water pollution and how to address it.
Our work is organised around research, conservation, education, theological reflection and advocacy, particularly focused on the support and development of marine protected areas (MPAs) and the areas surrounding them, giving these protected areas the best chance possible for success.
Oceans cover 71% of our planet. Marine life continues to be affected by threats such as overfishing, pollution and increasing water temperatures, to name but a few. A Rocha teams undertake long-term research and monitoring programmes to understand, restore and protect important habitats and species.