The United Nations has issued a global “call for action” to halt the effects of pollution on the marine ecosystem and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Between June 5 and 9, 2017, the UN Ocean Conference was held in New York to support and find ways to implement Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

The event coincided with World Oceans Day (June 8) and its main objective was to raise awareness about the importance of caring for oceans for posterity, as these bodies of water cover three quarters of the Earth’s surface. The focus was on protecting the marine environment, halting pollution, looking at the impact of acidification, and seeking solutions that all states would commit to.

Those present sought to build on existing national, regional, and international success stories and to promote innovative initiatives to help achieve SDG 14. To evaluate the opportunities and challenges that SDG 14 entails, they also sought to encourage dialogue between the public and private sectors, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, civil society, academic establishments, and the scientific community.

“Oceans provide food, energy, water, jobs and economic benefits for people in every country—even those that are landlocked (link in Spanish). They are a crucial buffer against climate change and a massive resource for sustainable development. … We created these problems. With decisive, coordinated global action, we can solve them,” said UN secretary general António Guterres at the opening of the conference.