SDG 14: Life below water
1. EU Programmes likely to be relevant for libraries
EU Cohesion Policy - Environment and resource efficiency
The EU Structural and Investment Funds help to protect and preserve natural assets such as water, nature and biodiversity, clean air or raw materials. It includes investing in the needed infrastructures for wastewater treatment and waste management (such as recycling), but also measures to monitor the state of the environment or developing green infrastructure. In doing so the environment represents a source of economic growth and new job opportunities.
Regarding water management, the largest share of the available budget goes to wastewater treatment infrastructure in Member States that still need to fulfil basic needs in this area. Further investments contributes to the availability and security of drinking water services, and to water management and conservation including water reuse.
European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)
2. Library Policies and Best Practices
Rivers, lakes and the sea are a source of transportation and power over which our cities were born and libraries can document well this richness. Access to information related to life below water may educate people in having a sustainable relation with their water environment.
The Municipal Library in Lyon organises a regional book prize for environment and makes available collections related to the interpretation of the environment.
3. Opportunities for library funding
This Chapter refers to the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) 2021-2027, and in particular to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund+ (ESF).
In order to make the most out of these Funds, first refer to the ESIF managing authorities, which are different in every Member State and are responsible for national operational programmes and policies. The list of national authorities, country after country, and region after region, is available at the following link, https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/atlas/managing-authorities/.
In the Table(s) below, for each ESIF objective: Column 1 designates the ERDF or ESF+ specific objective. Column 2 and 3 set, respectively, the related outputs and results indicated by ESIF official documents. It can be easily inferred that European Commission criteria for evaluation are quite general and do not get into the detail of the programmes. It is up to Member States to set additional criteria for evaluation.
Finally, Column 4 lists examples of library projects set up to pursue ESIF objectives or to attain specific Sustainable Development Goals. ESIF-funded and SDG-oriented library projects are matched with specific ESIF 2021-2027 objectives and sub-objectives; what is shown in the table, however, is a simulation: under which presumed ESIF specific objective could SDG-oriented library projects have been funded, if they were to be presented within the ESIF 2021-2027 framework?
More detailed information on the Library Projects listed in Column 5 can be found in the Sustainable Development Goals and Libraries - First European Report.
4. Main Eurostat Indicators
Key trends in “Life below water” in Europe show the following evidence (Eurostat Report, pp. 273 and ss):
- Excellent bathing water quality is increasingly being achieved in European coastal waters;
- Pollution continues to threaten the marine environment;
- Ocean acidification poses a risk to the marine environment and global climate regulation;
- The extent of marine protected areas has been growing in the EU;
- The conservation status of marine habitats and species remains unfavourable;
- Fisheries in the North-East Atlantic and adjacent seas (FAO 27 area) have become more sustainable ;
- Fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Seas face greater threats to sustainability and have had an insufficient number of assessments.
Goal 14’s attainment is monitored through the following main indicators: Source: EU SDG Indicator set 2020:
5. Library Indicators
Library Indicators enabling the evaluation of library performances and how they can match SDG indicators.
A report on Library indicators and SDGs has been released by the ELSA working Group: "Towards the implementation of SDG Indicators in European Libraries"
"Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources"
EU Member States share four main marine regions: the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and the North-East Atlantic Ocean. While the specific threats may vary between sea basins, it is clear that habitat alteration, over-exploitation of marine resources and pollution are among the most important general pressures affecting the environmental status of EU marine waters. At the same time, the livelihood and well-being of Europeans are heavily dependent on the productivity and health of marine ecosystems. To combat biodiversity loss and ensure sustainable ecosystems, the EU has implemented measures to protect, conserve and restore marine areas.
The Common Fisheries Policy sets the rules on management of the European fishing fleets and conservation of fishing stocks, thus minimising negative impacts and preventing the degradation of the marine environment. Legal impetus for the protection and clean-up of the coasts is addressed through the EU coastal and marine policy. The 7th Environment Action Programme covers, among other, marine waters in order to achieve or maintain good environmental status.
Targets and Indicators: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg14
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