Niamh Brady

<p class=”MsoNormal”>Sustainable Development Goal 14, “Life Below Water,” focuses on conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas, and marine resources. Children can be affected by this goal at both local and global levels in various ways:</p>
<p class=”MsoNormal”>1. Impact on local communities:</p>
<p class=”MsoNormal”>a. Livelihoods: In coastal areas, many communities depend on fisheries and marine resources for their livelihoods. If these resources are depleted or degraded, it can lead to reduced income and employment opportunities for families, potentially affecting children’s well-being.</p>
<p class=”MsoNormal”>b. Food security: Oceans provide a significant source of protein and nutrition for many communities. Overfishing and pollution can disrupt marine ecosystems, leading to decreased fish populations and reduced availability of nutritious food for children and their families.</p>
<p class=”MsoNormal”>c. Hazardous conditions: Climate change and sea-level rise can result in more frequent and severe storms, flooding, and erosion. These events can endanger the lives and safety of children living in coastal areas, where they may face displacement, loss of housing, and exposure to other hazards.</p>
<p class=”MsoNormal”>Environmental consequences:</p>
<p class=”MsoNormal”>a. Biodiversity loss: The deterioration of marine ecosystems can lead to a decline in biodiversity, affecting marine species and habitats. Children growing up in a world with reduced biodiversity may miss out on the educational, recreational, and cultural benefits associated with vibrant marine ecosystems.</p>
<p class=”MsoNormal”>b. Pollution and health risks: Plastic pollution, oil spills, and other forms of marine pollution pose risks to human health. Children, especially those living near polluted coastlines or relying on contaminated water sources, may face health issues like respiratory problems, skin diseases, and developmental challenges.</p>
<p class=”MsoNormal”>Global implications:</p>
<p class=”MsoNormal”>a. Climate change: Oceans play a crucial role in regulating the Earth’s climate by absorbing carbon dioxide and heat. However, the increasing levels of carbon emissions contribute to ocean acidification and rising sea temperatures, negatively impacting marine ecosystems. Children face long-term consequences, including more frequent extreme weather events, sea-level rise, and altered marine habitats.</p>
<p class=”MsoNormal”>b. Sustainable future: Preserving the health and productivity of our oceans is essential for future generations. By addressing Goal 14, we can provide children with a sustainable environment, ensuring they have access to resources and ecosystems necessary for their well-being.</p>
<p class=”MsoNormal”>It is crucial to prioritise sustainable practices, raise awareness, and empower communities, including children, to contribute to the conservation and protection of life under water at both local and global levels. Students can be encouraged to take action to support this particular SDG by participating in various intiatives such as:</p>
micro:bit do your :bit challenge



Green Schools Green Flag Programme

Global Citizenship – Marine Environment

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