Reaching out to Ocean Lovers: SDGs feature at 2018 International Ocean Film Tour

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Int. Ocean Film Tour/Simon Spädtke 

Aiming to raise awareness for SDG14 and ocean protection among young people, UNRIC Germany in partnership with the UN SDG Action Campaign recently cooperated with the International Ocean Film Tour (IOFT). With 65,000 annual visitors and events in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the US, IOFT counts among the biggest film tours on water sports and oceans health. Through its film program IOFT celebrates the diversity of ocean life, and promotes the protection and sustainable use of oceans, seas, and marine resources.

However, oceans face multiple threats ranging from climate change, ocean acidification, overfishing to marine pollution. Recent research by NGOs, such as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, warns that as early as 2050 more plastic waste could be in the sea than fish. They call for immediate action to counter the increasingly adverse impacts on the world´s oceans and to promote ocean sustainability and marine conservation.

As part of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, these targets are firmly implemented in the UN 2030 Agenda.  Reacting to the immediate need for action, the UN Ocean Conference in June 2017 for the first time brought together different stakeholders from governments, the UN system, NGOs, academia, the scientific community, and the private sector to help achieve SDG14. It resulted in a number of ambitious outcomes, including the adoption of the “Our Ocean, Our Future: Call for Action” declaration.

Based on the shared vision of clean and productive oceans, IOFT, the SDG Action Campaign and UNRIC Germany teamed up to raise awareness about the importance of the 2030 Agenda and its transformative power. Ocean lovers found information on the SDGs both on- and offscreen through short films and advertisement in the IOFT magazine.

Building on IOFT’s visitor numbers and its media reach of 70 million, this partnership can help to get a crucial message across: If we want to enjoy and live off our oceans in the future, we will need to better protect them!