Plastic pollution and dying coral reefs may dominate the news, but beneath the surface, ocean conservation is making headway. Examples from Indonesia, Norway, Africa and more reveal signs of progress.
Sustainable Development Goal 14
Conserve and sustainably use the ocean, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
The effects of overfishing, ocean acidification, warmer waters and coastal eutrophication spell calamity for billions of people who depend on the ocean for their livelihoods and food. To conserve dwindling resources, the world must adopt a more sustainable approach to our use of the seas.
WRI’s Ocean Program supports a new narrative in sustainable marine economic development: a strategy that prevents over-extraction and pollution, protects biodiversity and the climate (SDG 14.2, SDG 14.5), ensures employment for coastal communities and supports global food security. Our research, working with partners, is demonstrating how a healthy ocean can deliver these positive outcomes (SDG 14.3).
Our program aims to fill the gaps in monitoring progress toward sustainability and build bridges between research and policymaking (SDG 14.A). We partner with ocean networks and decision-makers to combat overfishing (SDG 14.4), plastic pollution (SDG 14.1), and ocean warming and acidification (SDG 14.3, SDG 14.6). WRI’s Governance Center works to improve legal frameworks for the regulation of plastic pollution which is ubiquitous in the ocean.
WRI is the host and managing partner for the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, which is working to further implementation of SDG 14 and advance a new contract between humanity and the ocean that protects this priceless global asset while optimizing its value to humankind. WRI also leads the secretariat of the Friends of Ocean Action, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum. Friends of Ocean Action is helping decision-makers harness public-private cooperation and innovation to advance SDG 14 and related goals.
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WRI President and CEO Andrew Steer reflects on the Our Ocean conference's location in Indonesia this week—its unique relationship to the ocean, and how that ocean connects us all.
At worst, plastic bans can create unintended environmental problems. At best, they ignore the systemic issues creating waste in the first place.
The ocean contributes $1.5 trillion to the global economy every year. But there's another reason to protect marine ecosystems—they’re crucial for curbing climate change.