2017

GLOBAL GOALS REPORT

Student A
GESS I&S Class 8A
6/8/2017
Global Goals Report Student A, I&S Class 8A

Table of Contents
1. INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................. 2
2. BACKGROUND ON ISSUES .............................................................................................................. 3
2.1 Issues ..................................................................................................................................... 3
2.2 Statistics ................................................................................................................................ 4
3. GLOBAL GOAL 14 ........................................................................................................................... 6
3.1 What is the goal trying to achieve? ....................................................................................... 6
3.2 What sub-targets make up the Global Goal? ........................................................................ 6
3.3 Related Millennium Development Goal ................................................................................ 7
4. TAKING ACTION ............................................................................................................................. 8
4.1 What action can I take? ........................................................................................................ 8
4.2 Sustainability Action Week ................................................................................................... 8
4.3 Measuring success ................................................................................................................ 8
4.4 Reflecting on my experiences ............................................................................................... 8
5. CONCLUSION ................................................................................................................................. 9
REFERENCES ......................................................................................................................................... 11

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Global Goals Report Student A, I&S Class 8A

1. INTRODUCTION
The Global Goals are a series of goals introduced after the Millennium Development Goals in 2015.
They were devised in various meetings consisting of almost all world leaders, who promised to
follow these Global Goals. Their purpose is to help steer all nations towards maintainable
development and help create a greener and more sustainable world for all people and organisms to
live in. There are 17 in total:

1. No poverty
2. Zero hunger
3. Quality education
4. Good health and well-being
5. Gender equality
6. Clean water and sanitation
7. Affordable and clean energy
8. Decent work and economic growth
9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
10. Reduced inequalities
11. Sustainable cities and communities
12. Responsible consumption and production
13. Climate action
14. Life on land
15. Life below water
16. Peace, justice, and strong institutions
17. Partnership for the goals

These goals, with a completion deadline of 2030, will strive to guide and help shape the world that
can sustain itself continuously, so as to help global development, in the poorest and richest nations
alike. In this report, I will be talking specifically about Global Goal #14, Life Below Water, and why
this goal is necessary in building such as world.

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2. BACKGROUND ON ISSUES
Most causes of water-related problems don’t appear in the water, in fact most come from land: as
much as 80%. Moreover, we humans are the principal cause of water pollution, and a great deal of
human activities can end up contaminating the oceans.

Most of the problems as a result are mainly because people don’t know that what they’re doing is
affecting the environment. Plastic is thrown into the ocean because people don’t know the harm it
can cause the ocean and marine life, or they simply don’t care, which is an even bigger problem than
plastic that is thrown away unconsciously.

2.1 Issues
The main issue concerning Life Below Water is, as I mentioned before, water pollution. This means
that toxic substances start accumulating in a water body until they present a health risk for the
environment. In small quantities, these substances can be diluted among the larger volume of water.
However, if a larger amount is deposited, like a tanker spill in the ocean, it takes much longer for the
ocean to break down the oil, and by the time it manages to do so, the oil could have killed hundreds
of plants and animals and contaminated the rest of the ocean.

Sewage
With so many people on the planet, getting rid of the waste that is produced can be a challenge. In
most developed regions of the world, everyone has toilets that dispose of this sewage, but the waste
still has to go somewhere. Unfortunately, some places have decided to pump the raw untreated
waste into the ocean. In high enough concentrations, any bacteria and viruses, and any toxic
substances in the waste can be lethal for any organisms that get in the way.

Toxic waste
A similar process is used for disposing toxic waste, unfortunately. Instead of being disposed of
properly, these chemicals are simply dumped in the oceans, where they not only kill anything living
and contaminate the water, they are also ingested by birds and fish and carried to other parts of the
world, where the problem continues in a cycle. Some examples of this process, known as
transboundary pollution, come from heavy metals such as mercury and lead – which were
sometimes used to make batteries and fuel – and tributyltin (TBT), which was oftentimes used in
paint to protect boats from the ocean. TBT, as it turns out, did more harm than good, as it
contaminated the oceans, and was later labelled as a highly toxic chemical and banned.

Oil pollution
We often associate oil waste in the oceans as results of massive tanker spills, although most of the
oil comes from transporting oil across the world and disposing of it inappropriately. What makes oil
spills so devastating is the sheer amount of oil dumped into the ocean at once, which can affect
anything for miles around and can take a very long time to break down. The biggest oil spill in history
happened in the Persian Gulf in 1991, when Iraqi forces released 1.5 million tons of oil while they
were retreating from Kuwait. The result was a black coat covering the sea, reaching a maximum size
of almost 11,000 km2.

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Plastic
This is one chemical that washes up at almost any beach in the world, for three reasons: it is one of
the most common materials for production, and has a variety of uses; plastic is buoyant and light, so
it can travel vast distances across water bodies; and finally, most plastics are not biodegradable, so
they can take hundreds of years to disintegrate. This can be hazardous for marine life, especially for
seabirds, who mistake bottle caps and other plastic waste for food and unknowingly feed it to their
young, who die soon afterwards.

Effects
There are also further effects that are caused by all these problems that threaten Life Below Water.
Oil spills, for example, can happen if mistakes are made during production and/or ships sail out not
prepared to survive the conditions of the sea. As a result, oil spills happen, which have disastrous
ecological and economic impacts on the world. This oil can become part of the water cycle,
evaporating with sea water, and falling as acid rain; which can have further consequences on the
environment. It also affects anyone – people and other organisms – that live(s) and depend on the
sea to survive, and ruins tourism for the host country receiving the oil. Also, the people who
manoeuvred the ship are usually never forced to clean the spill, while the coastal community and
other aid workers are left to help the environment recover. However, since without demand there is
no supply, anyone purchasing fuel for their vehicle is also contributing to this problem, as well as
increasing global warming, which is another reason to drive less and use more eco-friendly methods,
like walking and biking (or if necessary, public transport).

Another consequence of disposing of waste in the ocean is the marine life that we consume as food.
Any animal caught in the sewage, or any other type of waste, becomes contaminated with toxic
chemicals in the waste. These fish then get caught by fishing boats along the coast, and brought back
to the market. Now, anyone who eats this fish is eating substances from their own waste to
radioactive by-products and pieces of plastic that can give you a deadly series of results, from lethal
illnesses to fatal conditions and even death.

2.2 Statistics

• Oceans cover three quarters of the Earth’s surface, contain 97 per cent of the
Earth’s water, and represent 99 per cent of the living space on the planet by
volume

• Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their
livelihoods

• Globally, the market value of marine and coastal resources and industries is
estimated at $3 trillion per year or about 5 per cent of global GDP

• Oceans contain nearly 200,000 identified species, but actual numbers may lie in
the millions

• Oceans absorb about 30 per cent of carbon dioxide produced by humans,
buffering the impacts of global warming

• Oceans serve as the world’s largest source of protein, with more than 3 billion
people depending on the oceans as their primary source of protein

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• Marine fisheries directly or indirectly employ over 200 million people

• Subsidies for fishing are contributing to the rapid depletion of many fish species
and are preventing efforts to save and restore global fisheries and related jobs,
causing ocean fisheries to generate US$ 50 billion less per year than they could

• As much as 40 per cent of the world oceans are heavily affected by human
activities, including pollution, depleted fisheries, and loss of coastal habitats

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3. GLOBAL GOAL 14
“The world’s oceans – their temperature, chemistry, currents, and life – drive global
systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind.
Our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even
the oxygen in the air we breathe, are all ultimately provided and regulated by the sea.
Throughout history, oceans and seas have been vital conduits for trade and
transportation.”

“Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable
future.”

-United Nations Goal 14

3.1 What is the goal trying to achieve?
“Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”

Goal 14 is all about trying to sustain the oceans and their resources in a responsible way to help the
world develop. It stresses that we have to conserve and protect the oceans, or we risk losing marine
biodiversity, a great deal of our economy, and 71% of the planet.

3.2 What sub-targets make up the Global Goal?

• By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in
particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient
pollution

• 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

• Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through
enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels

• By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported
and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-
based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time
feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as
determined by their biological characteristics

• By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent
with national and international law and based on the best available scientific
information

• By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to
overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal,
unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such
subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential
treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part
of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation

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• By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and
least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources,
including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism

• Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine
technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic
Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in
order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine
biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island
developing States and least developed countries

• Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets

• Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by
implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal
framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their
resources.

3.3 Related Millennium Development Goal

The Millennium Goal related to Life Below Water is Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability. This
goal encompassed the need to ensure a sustainable development for all nations and stop the
exceeding depletion of natural resources. It has three further targets:
Target 9. Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programs and reverse the loss
of environmental resources

Target 10. Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic
sanitation

Target 11. Have achieved by 2020 a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers

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4. TAKING ACTION
Taking action is an important step towards reducing the carbon footprint covering the world with oil
and greenhouse-gases. Though it’s a small step, if everyone takes initiative, a great deal can be
achieved in the way of saving the oceans. What everyone needs to bear in mind is that the oceans
don’t get cleaned up in one day, and must be done on a regular basis if they are ever to be truly
cleaned.

4.1 What action can I take?
To support this Global Goal, I collaborated with a classmate (Callum Richardson) to clean up the
beach near East Coast. The work was tiring and lasted for almost two hours, but we collected five
garbage bags worth of rubbish left on the beach. This not only rids the beach of any harmful waste,
it also inspires people to collaborate and clean up the beaches and oceans.

You can help take action as well, for the stated reasons above, and help save not just the seas, along
with everyone and everything that depends on it, but the planet as well. You can organize your own
beach clean-up with family and friends, or help, volunteer and donate to organizations such as the
United Nations and ONE, which are both campaigning to help clean the oceans and stop global
warming.

4.2 Sustainability Action Week
During this week, we presented twice: once in the Junior School Campus, and in the Main Campus.
Both times we teamed up with people from our grade that were working on the same goal as us to
present to a large audience about our specific goal and its respective details.

4.3 Measuring success
In terms of success, I think that presenting with people from other classes was a good idea, because
it not only helps split the work and eliminate any overlapped information, it helps present more
research from different areas of the goal among the people collaborating on the goal. Reflecting on
my own individual performance, I think I managed to present quite well. I explained what Life Below
Water was about, and expressed the urgency to help certain organizations or organize their own
actions to help save the oceans.

4.4 Reflecting on my experiences
Overall, I think that learning about the Global Goals was one of the most interesting and important
subjects we have looked into in Individuals and Societies. To learn more about the issues that are
plaguing the world today gave me a better perspective, and motivated me to take action to stop
issues such as saving marine life. I think that investigating Life Below Water was a great topic to
present about and warn people of the consequences if these Global Goals are left unconsidered.

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5. CONCLUSION

While most people don’t know about the Global Goals, some do, and they continue their bad habits
and slowly depleting the world of its resources and biodiversity, among many other difficult-to-
tackle, but no less important problems. A great part of the population knows that plastic
contaminates and destroys the oceans, but they still leave their waste wherever it pleases them. The
rest of the populace have no idea what impacts irresponsible waste disposal can have on the
environment and the development of all countries. Within this category also lie the people that
dispose of waste unconsciously: that throw waste into a bin thinking all of it will always be recycled,
although most know this is not the case. Therefore, it is the duty of those who do know to educate
the unknowing and irresponsible people what will happen to Planet Earth if we continue down this
path, that throwing a bottle or a bag into the sea because they cannot be bothered to find a
specifically designed place to dispose of it will do more harm than good, and in accumulation, will
push and eventually break the boundaries that the environment has. It has already been proven that
we depend on the oceans, seas, and lakes of the world to provide us not only with financial benefit,
but also biodiversity and sustainability, and a great resource, that if we exploit correctly, could last
for millions of years to come.

There are no simple ways to solve this issue in one go, as Chris Woodford, science writer and author
of all articles of Explainthatstuff.com, explains: “There is no easy way to solve water pollution; if
there were, it wouldn't be so much of a problem”. If water pollution was an easy task, there would be
no-one trying to prevent it, and it would become a long-forgotten thing of the past, another part of
history that we would be glad to forget. As it is, that is nowhere near the case, and unless we strive
towards a greener and more sustainable future, it will be one of the many problems that overcomes
us, maybe even 2030.

Ways to save Life Below Water
While finding the answer to this problem isn’t straightforward or simple, there are a few ways we
can help slow down water pollution to such a point that we can stop it, maybe even permanently.

Education
The first way, as I might have hinted at before, is to educate people, not just about Life Below Water,
but about the other 16 goals as well, since without them, there will be no guidance for anyone
willing to help sustain a better future for generations to come. There are some who have taken
initiative on this to respond to the irresponsible behaviour of people, especially on beaches.
Fishermen that can no longer catch any sort of living thing have protested for higher penalties as a
punishment for polluting rivers and seas. All over the world, people fed up with seeing trash all over
the coasts and oceans are doing their own action, no matter how small, to help the marine
ecosystem.

Law
Polluting water bodies has even more consequences than are listed, believe it or not, and one of
them is transboundary pollution. This means that if one country decides that they don’t care about
the oceans and dump all their waste into the sea, all of it, swept by the ocean currents, can end up in
completely different parts of the world, which can cause unwanted trouble, disaster and financial
loss for several nations and even whole continents. One way to enforce the way that waste is
disposed of is to pass stricter laws and higher penalties for polluters across international boundaries.
If oil is spilled or plastic is thrown in the ocean, and anyone caught disposing of anything

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irresponsibly into the ocean or being the cause of such an action in the area are forced to pay, and if
this rule is enforced strictly all over the world, this can dissuade anyone from dumping trash into the
oceans or causing any other damage to any Life Below Water.

Economy
This is similarly related to the economic part of the law-enforcing way of helping the oceans. It
means forcing anyone polluting and/or using or providing products that are harmful for marine life,
(and other organisms, of course) to spend more in terms of expenses. For example, pass laws
dictating for oil transporting companies to cover insurance costs after an oil spill, or as is now being
done in Ireland, make customers pay (extra) for their plastic bags/bottles so as to discourage them
from buying any plastic products. Another way of persuading factories and industries is to make
themselves the first to suffer: for example, if a factory disposes of its waste in a river, position their
water inlet pipes to be further downriver than their waste disposal pipes, so that they get a “taste of
their own medicine”.

In connection with this Global Goal, GG3 (Quality education) is one of the most important ones,
since as I mentioned before, if people don’t know what impacts they’re having on the environment,
they’ll continue their bad habits. Another related goal is Responsible consumption and production,
since without it, sustainability would be impossible, and toxic substances would pollute the oceans
as soon as we cleaned them up, while marine ecosystems would keep dying left and right. Lastly, it
connects with Sustainable Cities and Communities (GG12), since without the oceans, the world
would be on the brink of a global catastrophe; and Goal 17: Partnership for the Goals. It symbolizes
that cleaning up the oceans and completing any of the other 16 goals is not a task that needs to be
done alone; it needs as much support as it can get.

So, do your part, and help the oceans in your own way, whether it is refusing to use plastic products,
educating people about the harm irresponsibly-disposed waste can do, organizing your own beach
clean-up, and asking other people to join in, and helping and volunteering for organizations
dedicated to the marine ecosystems of the world and Global Goal 14.

Let’s all save the Earth. Because if we damage it beyond repair, we lose 71% of the planet, and the
rest of the world along with it.

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REFERENCES
"Oceans - United Nations Sustainable Development." United Nations. United Nations, n.d.
Web. 08 June 2017.

"Goal 14 .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform." United Nations. United
Nations, n.d. Web. 08 June 2017.

"The Global Goals." The Global Goals. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 June 2017.

Woodford, Chris. "Water pollution: An introduction to causes, effects, solutions." Explain
that Stuff. N.p., 04 June 2017. Web. 08 June 2017.

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