United Nations

June 2022 - You are accessing an old version of our website. The Ocean Voluntary Commitments have been migrated here: https://sdgs.un.org/partnerships/action-networks/ocean-commitments

You will be redirected to the new Voluntary Commitments register in 10 seconds.

Improving ocean noise governance
by The Netherlands (Government)
The Netherlands are committed to intensify research on underwater sound. The Netherlands have submitted a proposal for an international (joint) cooperation programme that aims at providing information on ambient noise levels in the North Sea region. Where the direct results of the programme can be used to identify the need for concrete measures in the North Sea region, the methodology that will be developed can be used at a much wider scale in other regions. Cooperation between monitoring initiatives in different regions and ocean basis would ensure that methodology between these initiatives is consistent and will lead to better understanding of underwater noise for all UN countries.

Further research is needed on the propagation and effects of underwater sound on marine life, as well as behavioural and auditory studies, programmes to monitor the distribution of sound sources and the relevant marine species, and anthropogenic sound budgets. There is an urgent need to standardise methods for assessing the impacts of sound on marine species and to address the cumulative effects of different sources.
Studies show that noise does affect marine organisms, but so far there is a lack of knowledge on specific effects and possible cumulative effects, which makes understanding of dose-response relationships difficult. For the management of underwater noise, more knowledge is needed to enable effective management action.
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
OTHER POLLUTANTS (please specify)
  • Other (please specify): Underwater noise
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Scientific cooperation
January 2018
Intensify research on underwater sound
Financing (in USD)
500,000 USD
Staff / Technical expertise
The Netherlands lead the international consortium. The total contribution of the Dutch government to this programme includes programme management and scientific knowledge by Rijkswaterstaat and other institutes.
Basic information
Time-frame: 2018 January - 2020 December
The Netherlands IGO (OSPAR)
Ocean Basins
  • Global
  • North Atlantic
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Liz ter Kuile, Senior Advisor on Polar Affairs & Oceans, liz-ter.kuile@minbuza.nl, +31 70 348 4631
The Netherlands
Other SDGs
United Nations