Project AWARE column / Issue 09


Words by Domino Albert, Associate Director of Global Communications

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) build on the success of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000. The SDGs came into force in 2016 and call for urgent action across all countries, both developing and developed, for a sustainable future for people and the planet.

The SDGs outline priority areas to achieve sustainability under an universal agenda – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With 169 targets devised within the 17 SDGs, these Global Goals define exactly what United Nations member countries are expected to achieve and by when. They serve as a compass for aligning countries’ plans with their global commitments and call for action by all countries to promote prosperity while protecting the planet.

With these interconnected Goals, the 193 Member States of the UN are mobilizing efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities, tackle environmental issues and address many other key sustainability objectives including protecting Life Below Water (SDG14). But for the Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved, we all need to take action. Achieving a sustainable future is everyone’s responsibility.

The sheer volume of bad news about the environment and scary headlines can be overwhelming and too often lead to inaction: “We only have 20 years to save the ocean”, “By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in our ocean”, “World’s oceans at a tipping point warns landmark UN climate change report”. Are we able to reverse the untenable declines in the health of the ocean, for us and our blue planet?

At Project AWARE, we believe in the power of people and partnerships to affect positive change. Each of us, every day, has the ability to make the world a better place.

Read the column as it appears in Oceanographic #09, below (full screen mode for best results) or continue reading beneath. 

Project AWARE contributes urgent and tangible actions to improve ocean health and accelerate efforts to support the implementation of the SDGs. Our new interactive infographic – Achieving a Sustainable Future – illustrates and maps how conservation goals for a clean and healthy ocean, including underwater citizen science action, support the implementation of the Global Goals.

As marine debris not only impacts the underwater world but also our health, the economy, natural resources and food security, the data collected through Dive Against Debris®, Project AWARE’s flagship citizen science program, provides essential quantitative and qualitative information that countries can use to show progress towards achieving the SDGs.

Project AWARE’s new infographic clearly maps the 17 SDGs and identifies which targets are relevant to Project AWARE’s Clean and Healthy Ocean Strategy to increase collaboration with country leaders and support their nations’ tracking and implementation of the 17 SDGs.

Project AWARE is prioritising engagement with governments from some of the top 5 plastic leakage countries as defined in the research completed by Jambeck et al., 2015 as well as Thailand where sound data has already been reported through Dive Against Debris®.

The New Infographic also illustrates and highlights how we can all be part of the solution and together achieve a sustainable future for people and our blue planet.

Dive into Project AWARE’s new Achieving a Sustainable Future Infographic and if you’re a scuba diver, make #EveryDiveASurveyDive to positively support your country or countries you’re visiting in achieving the 169 targets set by the United Nations for a more sustainable future

For the SDGs to be achieved, everyone needs to take action, fins on and fins off. Join the global movement. Every dive, every adventure, every action count.

All Project AWARE’s columns for Oceanographic can be read free-of-charge here. For more information about the charity and the fantastic work they do for the ocean, visit

For more information about what else is in Issue 09 of Oceanographic, visit our shop or scroll down to the Explore panel below. 


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