Life below water

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Oceans, along with coastal and marine resources, play an essential role in human well-being and social and economic development worldwide. They are particularly crucial for people living in coastal communities, who represented 37 per cent of the global population in 2010. Oceans provide livelihoods and tourism benefits, as well as subsistence and income. They also help regulate the global ecosystem by absorbing heat and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and protecting coastal areas from flooding and erosion. In fact, coastal and marine resources contribute an estimated USD 28 trillion to the global economy each year through ecosystem services. However, those resources are extremely vulnerable to environmental degradation, overfishing, climate change and pollution. The sustainable use and preservation of marine and coastal ecosystems and their biological diversity is essential to achieving the 2030 Agenda, in particular for small island developing States.

Selecting a goal

As a general rule, one to three or four goals will normally be appropriate for each solution. Select the SDG that applies to a primary effect of your solution, not a secondary effect.

The SDGs are not always easy to understand. The SDG Compass is an excellent guide for businesses.

Information about targets and progress can be found on the official SDG website. Learn more about SDG14 here.

What can you do?

Learn more about how your company can advance each of the SDGs here.

What is sustainable development?

The phrase “sustainable development” was made popular in the 1987 report, Our Common Future, of the United Nations Commission on Environment and Development.

The Commission – chaired by Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland – provided a definition of sustainable development that was used for the next 25 years:

“Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Over time, the definition has evolved to better link the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic development, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability.

The SDGs provide a global framework for cooperation to address these three dimensions within an ethical framework.

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