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Sustainable development goals: life below water


The United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cover many different areas of life. To understand the goals and what they achieve, we will look at one goal in particular,  Goal 14 — Life below water.

Goal 14. Life below water

Image attribution: damedias on Adobe Stock


Having a goal of preserving life below water sounds great, but how do we achieve it? How do we know if we are meeting the goal?

There are targets that break the goal down into smaller parts. Parts that individuals, countries, and businesses can work on. These targets include dates, so there is a deadline for completing them. They are strategic; they help to create positive change and achieve the goal of preserving “Life below water.”


RMIT is working on projects that will help to meet the SDG 14 targets set by the UN. These projects are only a few of many projects happening across the world. The power of an SDG is that it is global and targeted.

The Litter Trackers

RMIT has been working with other organisations to create an education programme about litter in Melbourne. Litter left on the ground is washed into stormwater drains and from there into Port Phillip Bay. Rubbish and litter has a negative effect on the environment, the creatures living in the bay, birds and more. By tracking litter, the program can educate people about the importance of disposing of waste properly.

Find out more about The Litter Trackers: Reducing Littering by Education.


A man collecting water samples amongst reeds in a creek
Image attributon: from RMIT's Acquatic Pollution Prevention project


Aquatic Pollution Prevention Partnership

RMIT is not just working on educating people about litter in Port Phillip Bay, it is also preventing it from reaching the water.

In this partnership with Melbourne Water, RMIT is working on solutions to prevent litter and other waste from reaching Port Phillip Bay and other Victorian waterways.

Learn more about the Aquatic Pollution prevention Partnership

These examples show that sustainability projects often address more than one SDG. For example, a project that educates, reduced litter and works to improve water quality, can have impacts on Goal 6 — Clean water and sanitation and Goal 4 — Quality education. The best goals are the ones that you can, and do, complete. Even better than completing a single goal is when that goal has a positive impact on many things.