Analysis and Cases of 169 Targets under Sustainable Development Goals (118)


The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development covers 17 goals, the 13th of which is “Life Below Water”namely: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Under this major goal, there are 10 targets, the 14.2 of which is “By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans.”

●Current Situation

The World

UN warning: Catastrophes are inevitable, 275 million people worldwide face displacement!

In recent years, global climate change has led to rising sea levels. According to the projections from the United Nations, sea level rose around 7.5 inches (0.19 meters) globally in the 20th century, and may rise another three feet (0.91 meters) by the end of the 21st century.


According to the statistics of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, many villages in the Pacific island country of Fiji have been partially submerged, not only affecting the livelihood of local residents, but also causing them to face the plight of being uprooted from their homes. Half of the rural population of Fiji relies on fishing for a living. Warming sea water has damaged coastal ecosystems, making their sources of income even more unstable. Research from Monash University in Australia has found that the sea level in the Western Pacific has been rising, two to three times faster than the global average. In the future, more and more people may be forced to leave their homes, move to inland plateaus, or relocate overseas.


Kiribati is facing a serious threat due to rising sea levels caused by climate change. The road home has been flooded, and if it rains, the water level will be even higher.


Villagers from Tebikenikoora town take a group photo next to the volleyball field. Volleyball is one of the most popular sports in Kiribati. The volleyball field and the surrounding area were flooded. The government has promised to fund the construction of more sea walls.


The coconut trees on the Abaiang Atoll have all died due to salt water erosion at high tide. Due to sea level rise and seawater erosion, the town of Tebunginako has to relocate as a whole.


The once livable island of Aberarang is gradually disappearing: The island is becoming smaller and smaller, with less and less fresh water.


A report released recently by the United Nations can be regarded as human tragedy. It shows that there is currently “no reliable way” to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. By 2100, large areas of London, New York, Shanghai, Bangkok, and other major cities will be submerged, and the lives of millions of people around the world will be threatened! Scientists at Climate Central, a non-profit organization, estimate that up to 275 million people currently live in areas that would be flooded in the circumstances.


Last June, Pakistan experienced devastating floods that inundated one-third of the country’s land, displacing 8 million people and causing billions of losses to the country.


The floods took several months to subside, but millions of people are still homeless. Roads were destroyed and thousands of important buildings - including schools and hospitals - were left in ruins.



Building a new pattern of marine ecological protection and restoration

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), under the guidance of ecological civilization ideology, green and low-carbon development has become a new theme in the development of the marine economy. The development of the marine industry is transforming from the extensive development mode in the past to a mode featuring technological innovation and economical and intensive development. Historic, transitional, and overall changes have taken place in the protection of the marine ecological environment. The report to the 20th National Congress of the CPC points out a new direction for the construction of ecological civilization. We should adhere to strategic arrangements such as “promoting the construction of a beautiful China, adhering to the integrated protection and systematic governance of mountains, rivers, forests, farmland, lakes, grass, and sand, coordinating industrial restructuring, pollution control, ecological protection, and addressing climate change, coordinating the promotion of carbon reduction, pollution reduction, green expansion, and growth, and promoting ecological priority, economical and intensive development, and green and low-carbon development”, and adhere to the principle of giving priority to economy, conservation and natural restoration, incorporating marine development into the overall layout of ecological civilization construction, coordinating protection and development, and coordinating resource protection and ecological security. In accordance with the concept of “integrated protection and systematic governance of mountains, forests, farmland, lakes, grass, and sand”, we have continuously strengthened scientific layout, overall protection, systematic restoration, comprehensive management, and efficient utilization during the implementation of marine ecological protection and restoration, improving the ability of marine natural recovery, repair, and regeneration.


Currently, coastal areas are facing development disturbances, and marine ecosystems are facing threats from multiple factors such as pollution damage and alien species invasion. Ecological disasters such as red tides, green tides, and jellyfish outbreaks are frequent, and it still takes time to digest the inventory of ecological problems. Entering a new stage of development, the Disaster Reduction Center will accelerate its transformation into the field of marine ecological early warning and monitoring, closely focusing on the core responsibilities of the Ministry of Natural Resources for “two unifications”, and comprehensively promoting marine ecological early warning, monitoring and evaluation.

First, the Disaster Reduction Center will do a good job in the work organization and technical guidance of the country’s marine ecological early warning and monitoring. With the goal of “having a clear understanding of the distribution pattern of marine ecosystems”, “having a clear understanding of the current situation and evolution trend of typical ecosystems”, and “having a clear understanding of major ecological issues and risks”, it will promote the construction of marine ecological early warning and monitoring systems and the implementation of effective tasks, and provide strong support to systematically and scientifically carry out ecological status assessment, protection and restoration and then maintain the natural ecological security boundary.

The second is to strengthen the response to marine ecological disasters and global issues. On the basis of doing a good job in traditional red tide disaster response, the Disaster Reduction Center will fully support the prevention and control of Enteromorpha green tide, carry out monitoring and source investigation of Enteromorpha green tide, and vigorously promote the construction of a standard system for the prevention and control of Enteromorpha green tide disasters. It will strengthen the research and monitoring of local biological outbreak mechanisms, and establish a list of risk organisms in China; and it will further support the monitoring of global marine ecological issues, optimize the layout of marine hypoxia, acidification, and micro-plastics monitoring, regularly prepare national monitoring and evaluation reports, and actively participate in international exchanges and cooperation.

The third is to solidly promote the investigation and monitoring of typical marine ecosystems. By 2025, it will establish ecological baselines for 10 types of typical ecosystems, basically understand the ecological background of coastal zones, and cooperate with relevant monitoring agencies to focus on prominent ecological damage issues, develop ecological early warning indicators and methods, and produce and release early warning products.

Fourth, it will intensively monitor marine carbon sinks. The ocean is the largest active carbon pool on the planet. China is one of the few countries in the world that simultaneously possess three major marine carbon sink ecosystems, namely, sea grass beds, mangroves, and salt marshes. The potential for developing marine carbon sinks is enormous.



The World

To protect coastal ecosystems, Amazon and Conservation International establish International Blue Carbon Institute


On November 25, 2022, Amazon and Conservation International announced at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) that they would jointly establish the International Blue Carbon Institute to support the restoration and protection of coastal blue carbon ecosystems in Southeast Asia and other regions, in order to mitigate the impact of climate change and help protect coastal communities. Blue carbon refers to the carbon stored in coastal and marine ecosystems such as mangroves, seaweed, and tidal marshes. These ecosystems can fix and store large amounts of carbon in marine plants and bottom sediments, and are an important component of global climate change governance programs. The International Blue Carbon Institute will settle in Singapore to support Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands in realizing their enormous blue carbon potential. Southeast Asia has more than one-third of the world’s mangrove forests, but the largest mangrove loss incidents also occur in the region. Regionally, the impact of sea level rise and strong storms on coastal communities is increasing from Asia to the Pacific islands. Blue carbon ecosystems not only provide fresh water and support biodiversity and other natural effects, but also enhance the ability of communities to withstand climate impacts.


Canada launches first marine bioregion


The creation of Canada’s first marine bioregion was announced to help protect the ecologically and culturally significant area of Gwaxdlala/Nalaxdlala on the coast of British Columbia – which, at 133,000 km², is Canada’s largest MPA to date. It brings Canada on track to protect 25% of its ocean by 2025. Canada also pledged a financial contribution of $30 million to the Great Blue Wall. This funding for the Western Indian Ocean-led, African-driven roadmap to achieve a nature-positive world by 2030 will focus primarily on the Regenerative Seascapes for People, Climate and Nature project.



Huidong County Natural Resources Bureau strengthens the prevention and control of marine disasters and strictly guards the coastal defense line


CPC General Secretary Xi has stressed that it is necessary to adhere to the principle of putting the people first and life foremost, always put the safety of people’s lives and property first, constantly improve the system and mechanism for preventing and resolving major risks, accelerate the construction of defense lines against natural disasters, and comprehensively improve the ability to resist major natural disasters. Huidong County is in the southeast coastal area of China, adjacent to Daya Bay and Red Bay in the South China Sea. Affected by tropical cyclones, it is extremely prone to ocean disasters such as catastrophic waves, tsunamis, storm surges, and so on. Strengthening the early warning of marine disasters and mitigating the risks of marine disasters are directly related to the life safety of coastal people, and the development of marine aquaculture and coastal tourism. Since 2021, the Huidong County Natural Resources Bureau has done a good job in marine disaster prevention and control, strengthened marine early warning and prediction, built a marine monitoring platform, publicized disaster prevention and relief knowledge, and effectively improved the people’s sense of gain, happiness, and security.


Shenzhen launches special plan to prevent marine disasters and help build global marine center city


Shenzhen is adjacent to the South China Sea and is frequently affected by marine disasters such as storm surges, catastrophic waves, and coastal erosion. Against the backdrop of global warming, sea level rise, and rapid development of the marine economy, Shenzhen has laid a certain foundation for marine disaster prevention and mitigation, but it still faces many challenges in building a resilient city and adapting to the needs of marine development.

Therefore, in accordance with the major task deployment of disaster prevention and mitigation by various superior departments, and with the consent of the municipal government, the municipal planning and natural resources bureau has prepared and issued the Special Plan for Marine Natural Disaster Prevention and Mitigation in Shenzhen (2021-2025), which aims to further enhance the comprehensive ability of Shenzhen to withstand major marine disasters and maintain the safety of people’s lives and property. The plan promotes the development of the marine disaster prevention and mitigation system from four aspects: marine observation, marine early warning and prediction, disaster reduction engineering, and marine disaster emergency response system. Shenzhen will aim at the world-leading level to create a comprehensive three-dimensional marine observation system, position itself as a new benchmark for modernization to steadily improve the informatization level of early warning and reporting, strengthen the construction of marine disaster prevention capacity around urban safety and security, and adhere to comprehensive demonstration to improve the development of the marine disaster prevention and mitigation system.

The plan has formulated a five-year action plan, including 11 key tasks, with a view to leading the construction of marine disaster prevention and mitigation capacity in the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Greater Bay Area, establishing a demonstration benchmark for China’s marine disaster prevention and mitigation, and creating a platform for global marine disaster prevention and mitigation cooperation. By 2025, the distribution density of marine disaster observation in Shenzhen will reach the world-leading level, the city’s disaster early warning will reach the domestic leading level, the ability of disaster prevention projects to prevent risks will reach the international first-class level, the ability of marine disaster risk prevention and control will be significantly improved, and the decision-making and public services for marine disaster prevention and mitigation will be further improved, bringing the comprehensive service and management of marine disaster prevention and mitigation in Shenzhen to the international advanced level, and laying a solid foundation for Shenzhen to build a global maritime center city and a pilot demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics.



Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Initiated by the United Nations

On January 1, 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including 169 targets, of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit — officially came into force. Countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.