The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted at the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development summit in September 2015, was defined by the UN Secretary-General as an “Agenda for people”. Its key component, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), derived from an intergovernmental process are considered by some as the most democratic and inclusive accomplishment in the history of the UN.
It is no surprise that a stand-alone SDG – SDG14 – is dedicated to the oceans and their conservation and sustainable use. The oceans cover two thirds of the planet, provide food for billions of people, play a key role in climate regulation, host a large portion of biological diversity and enable vital economic activities. The 2030 Agenda therefore puts a healthy ocean at the core of the global sustainable development agenda and sets targets for tackling some of the most pressing issues facing the ocean, including overexploitation of natural resources, climate change and pollution.