In Sustainable Development Goals

Learn more about SDG 14

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.

Data and Statistics / Facts and Figures:

  • Oceans cover three quarters of the Earth’s surface, contain 97 per cent of the Earth’s water, and represent 99 per cent of the living space on the planet by volume
  • Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods
  • Globally, the market value of marine and coastal resources and industries is estimated at $3 trillion per year or about 5 per cent of global GDP
  • Oceans absorb about 30 per cent of carbon dioxide produced by humans, buffering the impacts of global warming
  • Oceans serve as the world’s largest source of protein, with more than 3 billion people depending on the oceans as their primary source of protein
  • Marine fisheries directly or indirectly employ over 200 million people

Targets linked to the environment:

  • Target 14.1: By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
  • Target 14.2: 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
  • Target 14.3: Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
  • Target 14.4: By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
  • Target 14.5: 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
  • Target 14.6: By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation
  • Target 14.7: By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
  • Target 14.a: 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
  • Target 14.b: Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
  • Target 14.c: Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want