Seas of Change: UN SDSN 4-Seas Euro-Asian Initiative for Sustainable Blue Growth

As a response to the climate crisis and its effect on marine ecosystems and coastal populations, United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN) proposes a Euro-Asian Initiative to accelerate science-driven Blue Growth and implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030) in the folowing 4-seas: the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, the Caspian and the Aral Sea. Our approach focuses primarily on Goal 14 "Life below water", Goal 6 "Clean water and sanitation", Goal 13 "Climate action" and Goal 15 "Life on land", but ultimately on all other SDGs as well.
The proposed 4-seas Euro-Asian Initiative will build on research and demonstration projects, developed by the proposing team and its collaborators world-wide (for an indicative list of current projects, click here). It will follow a "source-to-sea" approach starting from river basins and continuing to coastal and marine ecosystems, as well as the societies whose livelihoods depend on these ecosystems. The initiative aims to establish Euro-Asian Transformation Pathways towards Sustainable Blue Growth, that will be supported by technically and socially innovative solutions. The aim is to engage all relevant stakeholders in co-designing a systems innovation pathway for the transition to socially, culturally, economically, environmentally and geopolitically sustainable development in the Euro-Asia Region embracing the 4-seas.
The UN SDSN, with Professor Jeffrey Sachs as Global Director, will lead the initiative in collaboration with local SDSN networks operating in the wider area. The SDSN Mediterranean and the Black Sea regional networks will work together with the national SDSN networks in Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Turkey and Russia under the auspices of the Global SDSN network. Professor Phoebe Koundouri, Professor Andreas PapandreouProfessor Nicos Theodossiou and Professor Yannis Ioannidis will co-lead the initiative.
The objectives of the 4-Seas Initiative include:
  1. RESEARCH:  Development of Sustainable Blue Growth Transformation Pathways in urban and rural areas that depend on the 4-seas and creation of networks of protected marine and coastal ecosystems of cultural and natural interest.
  2. EDUCATION: Creation of educational programs with an emphasis on understanding and implementing the SDGs, while enriching them with Euro-Asian intellectual tradition.
  3. DATA MANAGEMENT: Development and support of open access databases with the data, models, results and policy recommendations relevant to the Sustainability Transition of the 4-seas.
  4. INNOVATION:Incubate and accelerate technological and social innovation for the sustainability transition in the region, combining the protection of the natural and cultural environment.
  5. POLICY: Policy recommendations for the support of sustainable blue growth in the region.
Find more about the Initiative at: 
The presentation of the UN SDSN 4-Seas Initiative can be found here
The Initiative was launched in the 3rd Sustainability Summit held in Athens, on September 16th - 17th
If you wish to be part of this Initiative, please contact Prof. Phoebe Koundouri (