Tara Ocean Foundation and Sustainable Development Goals
Understanding the Ocean to better share and protect it. Since its inception, the Tara Ocean Foundation’s goal has been to advance scientific research and enable society as a whole – the general public, political decision-makers and industrialists – to direct their actions towards sustainable management of our planet’s blue lung.
Since officially adopted in 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), defined as guidelines by the UN until 2030, constitute a global framework for all our actions.
Find out more about the 7 SDGs (of the total of 17) which motivate the Tara Ocean Foundation’s actions.
SDG 14 – Aquatic Life
This is the central SDG for our actions. Long awaited, the achievement of an SDG entirely dedicated to the Ocean was a major victory for the Foundation as well as the entire ocean community dedicated to its conservation. It aims to “conserve and sustainably manage our oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”. Tara’s missions and research carried out by our partners are instrumental in educational and awareness-raising actions aimed at schools and the general public. Advocacy work with institutions and stakeholders, and cooperative projects with developing countries all contribute to the achievement of 6 of the 8 goals of this SDG.
SDG 4 Quality Education
The Tara Ocean Foundation is also actively involved in promoting quality education for sustainable development (ESD) by offering original teaching tools free of charge. Our ambition is to increase knowledge, and encourage eco-citizen behavior and the development of critical thinking among young people. The resources offered are multiple and multifaceted: year-round educational operations, video-conferences with researchers, journalistic investigations, authentic scientific data kits, documentaries and classroom experiments. The Foundation works in close partnership with France’s Education nationale to achieve the expectations of the ministry’s 2030 agenda.
SDG 5 – Gender equality
Equality between the sexes is one of the major issues which the Foundation promotes in several ways: first, by holding conferences during stopovers about the place of women in science; also, via our ongoing communications, by showcasing the paths of women scientists and activists committed to ocean conservation, with a view to creating “role models” which inspire younger generations. In addition, we give special attention to including female sailors and researchers in the crew.
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
Cities and local authorities play a key role in implementing sustainable development.2019, upon returning from the Tara Microplastics Mission, in collaboration with the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône and the association “Initiatives for the Future of the Great Rivers”, the Tara Ocean Foundation offered French municipalities and local authorities the opportunity to get involved in the fight against plastic pollution. Through its “Plastic-Free River Charter”, the Foundation and partners propose to provide equipment and support local authorities in taking effective action against plastic pollution.
SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production
After 4 missions that included the study of plastic pollution in the ocean, its origins and consequences on biodiversity, the conclusion is clear: 80% of plastic pollution at sea is produced on land. The projected increase in plastic production in the coming decades poses an ever-greater threat to the Ocean. The Tara Ocean Foundation has taken on the essential challenge of rethinking the different uses of plastic, initiating the ecological transition towards other materials, and setting a vision for the future with “zero plastic in nature”. To do this, we rely on the concept of the circular economy: reduce and eliminate problematic, single-use or unnecessary plastics, increase re-use and improve collection and recycling performance, develop eco-design and the substitution of problematic materials.
SDG 13 – Measures relating to the fight against climate change
Although it is a key element of the planetary climate machine, the Ocean has long been absent from discussions on climate change, which were historically more focused on terrestrial ecosystems. For more than 10 years, the Foundation has been working to advance scientific research that makes it possible to better understand and predict the impacts of climate change on the Ocean and its still little-known microscopic ecosystems. Both victim and solution, the Ocean is crucial to the fight against climate change and must therefore play a full role in international climate negotiations. The Foundation is also involved in international, multi-stakeholder partnerships at key times for the Ocean in the face of climate change.
SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals
For the Foundation, it is essential to share the new knowledge available about the Ocean as widely as possible. We have always maintained that political decisions must be based on robust scientific expertise. Through cooperation and development projects supported by the French Fund for the Global Environment (FFEM), we are working to train researchers from developing countries. We develop scientific collaborations and target the transfer of technologies as well as sharing knowledge with local and regional decision-makers so that they develop scientific expertise specific to local contexts. This appropriation of the issues is a sine qua non condition so that they can become actors in international negotiations leading to solid, systemic and fair agreements.