The New Zealand SailGP Team is displaying the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) 14 – Life Below Water icon on its wing at the Mubadala United States Grand Prix this weekend.
The icon symbolises the team’s commitment to championing action for a healthy ocean and will remain on the team’s boat until the UN Ocean Conference held in Lisbon in June.
Flying the SDG 14 icon on its wing is an honour for the New Zealand SailGP Team. On the cusp of taking home the inaugural SailGP Impact League trophy, the team is hoping to win sport’s first podium for the planet.
A second leaderboard which runs alongside the Season Championship, the Impact League tracks the positive actions teams take to reduce their overall footprint and help accelerate inclusivity in sailing.
New Zealand SailGP Team co-CEO Blair Tuke said: “We are incredibly proud to display the SDG 14 icon on our boat. Protecting and restoring the ocean is one of the biggest challenges of our time, with many of the issues our ocean faces out of sight.
“Through sport, we have a great opportunity to connect people to the issues our planet faces. As a team and a league, we can step up and use our platform for good, making our voices heard and call for action.”
With the UN Ocean Conference taking place in June this year, the team is aware of the critical attention that must be brought to the issues the ocean is facing, and the scale of action needed to be taken by policymakers when they meet.
The conference will bring together governments and international bodies focused on ocean policy to scale up action to protect and restore ocean ecosystems and species, tackling some of the big challenges such as overfishing, pollution and changing ocean temperatures.
New Zealand SailGP Team co-CEO Peter Burling said: “The ocean is our greatest ally in the fight for a healthy planet. It’s a gigantic carbon sink, producing oxygen for two out of every three breaths we take. But it’s heating up, becoming more acidic and at a tipping point. The connection between ocean and climate is clear, to have a healthy planet we must have a healthy ocean.”
Sport for Climate Action Lead at UN Climate Change, Lindita Xhaferi-Salihu said: “The New Zealand SailGP Team have brought their commitment to the Sports for Climate Action Framework to life, using their platform to highlight the issues the ocean is facing and drawing attention to the scale of action required. The ocean plays a critical role in addressing the climate emergency, protecting and restoring the ocean and the life within it is critical in our response to a changing climate.”
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 global goals UN member states have agreed to work towards achieving by 2030. They set out a vision for a better world - ending poverty, hunger, disease, creating equality and protecting the planet.
With the ocean under severe threat, SDG14 – life below water aims to conserve and sustainably use the ocean, seas and marine resources for sustainable development, addressing pollution and overfishing, protecting ecosystems and marine life and investing in scientific research.