How Scuba Divers Can Act for the Sustainable Development Goals

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As the Global Week to act for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) comes to an end, Project AWARE’s launches a new interactive infographic to illustrate and map how conservation goals for a clean and healthy ocean, including underwater citizen science action, support the implementation of the SDGs.

Project AWARE Infographics

In 2016, the 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development officially came into force.  With these interconnected Goals, the 193 Member States of the United Nations 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. The 17 SDGs call for urgent action across all countries, both developing and developed, for a sustainable future for people and the planet. 

Project AWARE Infographics

 “Project AWARE’s new interactive infographic – Achieving a Sustainable Future highlights our commitment as an international non-profit and global movement to supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” says Ian Campbell, Project AWARE Associate Director Policy and Campaigns. “Our global community can meaningfully contribute to global conservation targets and accelerating action for the implementation of the UN Global Goals through participation in underwater citizen actions for a clean and healthy ocean”.

Project AWARE Infographics

The SDGs build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals and call for action by all countries to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They serve as a compass for aligning countries’ plans with their global commitments. The 17 SDGs outline priority areas to achieve sustainability under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – 169 targets devised within the 17 goals defining exactly what member countries are expected to achieve and by when. Project AWARE®’s conservation strategy for a return to a Clean and Healthy Ocean, including underwater citizen science programs like Dive Against Debris®, is in alignment with the SDGs in a number of these target areas.

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 Infographics

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. 

“Being a scientifically grounded citizen science survey of seafloor marine debris, Dive Against Debris® provides a sound metric through which nations can track their progress towards achieving a number of different targets across the SDGs including but not limited to SDG14 – Life Below Water.” comments Hannah Pragnell-Raasch, Project AWARE Policy Specialist. 

Project AWARE is prioritizing 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®.  Having a standardized survey protocol and streamlined data reporting through the Dive Against Debris app, nations can implement regular marine debris surveys to monitor their marine environment.

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.



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Project AWARE Foundation is a growing movement of scuba divers protecting the ocean planet – one dive at a time. Over the past two decades of underwater conservation we’ve learned that divers are true leaders in ocean protection. We’re ocean heroes numbering in the millions across the globe. We believe together our actions will make a huge impact and will help to rescue the ocean. Learn more at:

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