GOAL 14: Life Below Water
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
The oceans cover more than 70 per cent of the surface of our planet and play a key role in supporting life on earth. They are the most diverse and important ecosystem, contributing to global and regional elemental cycling, and regulating the climate. The ocean provides natural resources including food, materials, substances, and energy.
Marine Protected Areas contribute to poverty reduction by increasing fish catches and income, creating new jobs, improving health, and empowering women. Increasing levels of debris in the world’s seas and oceans is having a major and growing economic impact.
Oceans, seas and other marine resources are essential to human well-being and social and economic development worldwide. Their conservation and sustainable use are central to achieving the 2030 Agenda, especially for small island developing States. Marine resources are particularly important for people living in coastal communities, who represented 37 per cent of the world's population in 2010. Oceans provide livelihoods, subsistence and benefits from fisheries, tourism and other sectors. They also help regulate the global ecosystem by absorbing heat and carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. However, oceans and coastal areas are extremely vulnerable to environmental degradation, overfishing, climate change and pollution.
UNEP is working to develop a coherent approach to measuring the ocean condition and the drivers, pressures, impacts and responses. This is through promoting the measurement of the ocean SDGs where UNEP is the custodian and through working to develop an approach for better ocean accounts.
UNEP published a Global Manual on SDG 14.1.1, 14.2.1 and 14.5.1. This manual also provides details related to how the SDGs align with the Regional Seas.
- International Nitrogen Management System (INMS)
- GEO Blue Planet
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
- Regional Seas
- World Conservation Monitoring Centre(UNEP-WCMC)
- International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN)
To learn more about UN Environment Programme's contributions to SDG 14:
- SDG Policy Brief on Oceans: Marine Pollution
- SDG Policy Brief on Global Biodiversity Loss