Goal 14: Life Below Water

  • Goal 1: End Poverty
  • Goal 2: Zero hunger
  • Goal 3: Good Health And Well-Being
  • Goal 4: Quality Education
  • Goal 5: Gender Equality
  • Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities
  • Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Goal 13: Climat Action
  • Goal 14: Life Below Water
  • Goal 15: Life On Land
  • Goal 16: Peace, Justice ans Strong Institutions
  • Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Conserve and Sustainably Use the Oceans, Seas and Marine Resources.

The world’s oceans, through their temperatures, chemistry, currents and biodiversity, support important global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. Our management of this vital resource is essential for humanity’s survival, but also provides a unique opportunity to counterbalance the effects of climate change.

Oceans are essential in the absorption of around 30 percent of human carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, over 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. However, approximately 30 percent of the world’s fish stocks are overexploited, impacting the ability of aquatic ecosystems to recover and produce sustainable yields to meet human consumption needs. There has been a 26 percent rise in ocean acidification since the beginning of the industrial revolution.

Moreover, marine pollution is reaching alarming levels; the average square kilometer of ocean contains 13,000 pieces of plastic, with the vast majority originating from land-based sources. How we manage such critical issues will determine the future sustainability of global aquatic ecosystems.

This SDG aims to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems from pollution, while simultaneously addressing the impacts of ocean acidification. Achieving such objectives will require improving public knowledge on the sustainable use of ocean-based resources, while also supporting conservation efforts through the enactment of international law. Through such holistic strategies we will be better able to mitigate the challenges facing our oceans today.

Facts and figures

75%The ocean covers three quarters of the Earth’s surface and represents 99 percent of the living space on the planet by volume.
200,000The ocean contains nearly 200,000 identified species, but actual numbers may lie in the millions.
40%As much as 40 percent of the ocean is heavily affected by pollution, depleted fisheries, loss of coastal habitats and other human activities.
30%The ocean absorbs about 30 percent of carbon dioxide produced by humans, buffering the impacts of global warming.
3 billionMore than 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods.
US$3 trillionThe market value of marine and coastal resources and industries is estimated at US$3 trillion per year, about 5 percent of global GDP.

Source: UN

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