United Nations
Water Guardians
by PDHRE/Peoples Movement for Human Rights Learning (Non-governmental organization (NGO))
Historically, PDHRE has maintained that; to live a life of dignity is to learn, know, and live human rights as a way of life. As: Water Is Life, and access to it is a human right; the conservation and preservation of its vitality, sustainability, and potability is inherent in a life of dignity. A reflection of thriving,living free from want, and not just surviving. Goal 14 of the SDGs embodies that covenant enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights through its aim to preserve our ocean and its interconnected waterways.

PDHRE is joining the International Voluntary Commitments to SDG 14 by striving to create a culture of ocean literacy through learning hubs in coastal communities along the eastern seaboard of the U.S. A human rights framework will be integral to facilitating awareness of the interconnectedness of the vitality, sustainability, and potability of local waterways as a human right.

Implementation and Methodologies:
PDHRE and its partners will develop critical thinking curricula targeting long term goals of sustainability for pre-K-12 students. Community engagement in culturally sensitive educational/learning hubs designed for youth and family members will generate a proactive and measurable response of involvement. The result will be a sustaining organization of K-12 youth involved as "Water Guardians" of local waterways. Like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America, "Water Guardians" will usher future generations of individuals committed to the vitality, sustainability, and potability of local waterways, and thus the ocean's health. Local community centers, houses of worship, civic organizations, local parks and bodies of water and schools will be the sites of courses, workshops, 'clinics' and explorations.

Follow-up Mechanisms:
In partnership with The AfroAtlantic Theologies & Treaties Institute (ATI), Wappinger Falls, NY, a vision for a "test laboratory" within a contained community in Wappinger Falls already exists. An exploration of the efficacy of "hands-on learning" the nature and dynamics of local ecosystems, and best practices of sustainability, will be tailored to adapt to the learning styles of participants. It is anticipated that a model of successful intervention will be replicated to fit local downstate communities to include but not be limited to the five counties of New York City.

A variety of outreach mechanisms and presentations will become ongoing activities of PDHRE, ATI, and Faith in New York (FINY). Expanding the sphere of influence in the development of learning hubs, and their related impact on local communities, thus increasing ocean literacy of residents along the Atlantic coast of the United States. In so doing, the long term sustainability goal of mitigating negative anthropogenic stressors to coastal waters will contribute to their conservation, preservation and vitality beyond 2030.

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 (please specify): organic, wood
  • Coastal clean-ups
  • Plastics recovery/recycling/reuse
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Community or Locally Managed Marine Areas
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
  • Locally or community managed marine areas
Critical thinking curricula targeting long term goals of sustainability for Pre-K-12 students
Capacity building of 30 coastal city youth to become active and productive peer scholars in the field of marine ecosystems and related SDGs
5 conferences, 15 seminars, 20 workshops on SDG 14 and related SDGs. 2 Chapters of
In-kind contribution
Funding sources to be mobilized through various governmental and philanthropic entities as well as from potential independent donors
Staff / Technical expertise
PDHRE, The AfroAtlantic Theologies & Treaties Institute, and Faith in New York governing bodies and program teams of qualified educators
Other, please specify
Volunteer community
Basic information
Time-frame: 08/2017 - 12/2027
PDHRE/Peoples Movement for Human Rights Learning (NGO), The AfroAtlantic Theologies & Treaties Institute (NGO), Faith in New York (Civil society organization)
Ocean Basins
  • North Atlantic
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
East coast local communities of the U.S.
Contact information
Shulamith Koenig, Founder, pdhre@igc.org, (212) 749-3156
New York, NY, USA
Other SDGs
United Nations