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Advancing SDG 14: Sustainable fish and seafood value chains, trade and climate

ish and seafood are among the most traded food commodities and overexploited natural resources. Aquaculture has been the fastest-growing food production system in the world for the last 5 decades, contributing 50% of the fish consumed globally. Upstream and downstream activities along the fish and seafood value chain provided significant employment and economic benefits to countries and local coastal communities. Climate change impacts, environmental degradation, stock overexploitation demographic growth. In a world rapidly approaching 9 billion people, where agriculture already uses 40% of the Earth’s land surface, increased utilization of ocean and seas as human food provider seems inevitable.

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, SDG14 “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. It has ten targets relating to marine pollution, protecting marine and coastal ecosystems, minimizing ocean acidification, sustainable management of fisheries and ending harmful fisheries subsidies, conserving coastal and marine areas, increasing economic benefits to SIDS and Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

achieving the trade related targets of SDG 14 requires the catalysis of policies, investment and innovations to restore the productive capacity of the oceans and increase economic benefits to developing countries, in particular SIDS and LDCs. Innovations that integrate best practices for harvesting, value addition in processing and distribution, can benefit greatly from opportunities offered around the concepts of Oceans economy/blue economy, eco-labelling and certification, value chain analysis and seafood clusters.

Despite the positive trends in global economic growth, youth employment has worsened in recent years. There are presently 71 million young people unemployed, and many millions more are in precarious or informal work. (UNDESA, 2018) 156 million youth in low- and middle-income countries are living in poverty even though they are employed (ILO, 2018)

According to the recent UNDESA Report At the level of global policy, finance and measurement are major issues that need to be addressed as part of worldwide youth development efforts. At the national level, policy and programmatic responses to the Sustainable Development Goals have been slow and should be accelerated. Rather than rating the success of programmes on narrow measures of educational or employment attainment, it is crucial that institutional, programme and policy evaluations be more firmly grounded in young people’s own accounts of what they value for their human development and for the sustainable development of their communities and this shared planet.

the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development offer increased opportunities to advance youth development objectives in the context of social, economic and environmental sustainable development efforts. When coupled with existing efforts to advance youth policy development and implementation, both through targeted youth policies and the mainstreaming of youth issues, the new development landscape offers innumerable opportunities for young people to thrive. However, for these efforts to be successful, much more is needed in terms of political commitment, financing, measurement, data collection, and targeted interventions in support of youth. In the areas of education and employment, large gaps remain in the input needed to realize the Goals and targets set out in Agenda 2030 and complementary frameworks.

By Katsiaryna Serada

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