The Decade of Ocean Science: Will the UN deliver on its pledge for new funding for SIDS?

UNESCO says the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development will help accelerate progress towards SDG 14, the Sustainable Development Goal for the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean, seas and marine environment, and one which is particularity important for Seychelles.

It is to be recalled that in September 2015 the United Nations General Assembly set the global development agenda for the next 15 year by putting in place Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs. Many countries including Seychelles are progressing with implementing the SDGs.

One of the priorities of the Decade of Ocean Science is also supposed to be to "strengthen and diversify financial sources, particularly for Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries".

I hope the UN can really mobilize and engage everyone else for real action and not for more workshops, plans, studies & reports. I am tired of so many meetings that are only talk -shops and endless foreign consultants who keep wanting to pick our brains.


On the subject of funding, I find it telling that a new report says that the environmentally-related SDGs including SDG 14 have the lowest funding allocations for SDG implementation at the UN. These SDGs collectively account for 7% or less of SDG expenditures by the UN.  

Since I work full time for an NGO  - Nature Seychelles -  I believe it is only fair that my interest is implementation through NGO modalities. The UN has a unique chance to mobilize NGOs like never before to implement action as part of the Decade. In my experience national NGOs are often called upon by UN agencies because they deliver change-making results but they usually only get crumbs from the donor table. Will the Decade of Ocean Science be different? Only time will tell. Unfortunately, time is not something we have much of with climate change pushing us to the brink.

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