Over eight million tons of plastic per year. As part of its Pledge 2025, BBVA works to attain the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 by protecting marine life and financing ecology and biology research teams. The goal is the conservation of habitats and/or endangered species in Spain.
SDG 14 recognizes marine life’s right to conservation. Keeping the oceans alive is a joint task. The ocean is not only the largest source of protein in the world, it also helps to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The oceans cover three quarters of the Earth, contain 97 percent of the world’s water and represent 99 percent of the planet’s living space in volume. Nevertheless, this is not sufficient to raise awareness of its importance: 80 percent of marine pollution comes from the Earth. The biggest enemy is plastic, which kills 100,000 marine mammals per year.
At BBVA , plastic has become an endangered species. The bank, together with the company Sodexo, launched the initiative “plastic-free BBVA” to end its use, replacing plastic with biodegradable materials.
The work of the BBVA Foundation is also key in this matter. The BBVA Foundation is collaborating with Andrés Cózar, one of the 400 Spanish researchers evaluating the impact of global climate change on the planet’s seas and oceans and studying biodiversity in the deep ocean. The foundation helps scientific research teams so that in the coming years, they can analyze how plastic pollution evolves. Their historic archives go from 1950 until today, which makes it possible to estimate the evolution over the next 10 years.
We can’t forget that over three million people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their survival. Oceans provide natural resources such as medicine, food, biofuel and other staples. In fact, protected marine areas help reduce poverty, increase people’s income and improve their health.
Goal 14: What does it aim to achieve?
In the short-term
- Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
- Increase scientific knowledge and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology
- Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources
- Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
- Sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
- Effectively regulate fishing in order to restore fish stocks
- Conserve at least 10 percent of coastal and marine areas
- Prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing
- Prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution
- Increase the economic benefits to small island developing states and least developed countries through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Do you know how long it takes a bottle of wine, a can, a cigarette butt, a diaper or a plastic bag to biodegrade in the ocean? We would surely be more aware of the need to take care of our sources of life if we did. According to the Ochotumbao Foundation:
8 solutions to protect marine life
- Be aware that there is no planet without oceans
- Legal action to conserve marine natural resources
- International action for security, responsibility and compliance
- No to overexploitation
- No to illegal fishing and overfishing
- Remove plastic from our water
- Natural gas and oil exploitation outside of the water
- Creation of high sea regeneration areas
Now that we know, let’s take care of the environment because it’s also a way to take care of ourselves.