The ocean goal SDG 14 is dedicated ‘to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development’ and is supported by 7 targets and 3 means of implementation.
Most of the targets must be attained by 2020 and re-state earlier global commitments such as Aichi Target 11 to conserve at least 10% of marine and coastal areas under the Convention for Biological Diversity, and the commitment to maintain or restore fish stocks to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield made in 2002 under the Johannesburg Plan.
SDG 14 Targets
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
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
Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
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
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
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
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
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
Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
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.
Interlinkages with other SDGs
SDG 14 is an integral part of the 2030 Agenda, linking to all 16 other SDGs. For example the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources can directly contribute to poverty alleviation, and environmentally sustainable economic growth and social well-being (‘blue growth’), particularly in Small Island Developing States (SIDs) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) by supporting opportunities for decent work and sustained incomes and economic benefits from fisheries, aquaculture and tourism sectors. Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture backed by healthy oceans and coasts are also a necessary prerequisite to achieve food security and improved nutrition, and to establish sustainable food production systems in islands and coastal regions.
To address these critical linkages, ocean governance need to develop new approaches that foster integration across sectors and scales. The implementation of the 2030 Agenda will therefore depend on transformed ocean governance but can itself also become a driver towards more holistic ocean management.
Header Image: (c) GRID Arendal/ Yannick Beadoin 2013