GOAL 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

  • 14.1 By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
  • 14.2 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
  • 14.3 Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels 14.4 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
  • 14.5 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
  • 14.6 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 negotiation16
  • 14.7 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
  • 14.a 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
  • 14.b Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
  • 14.c Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 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”

SDG Progress and Industry Notes


The 2017 Report of the Secretary-General on Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, notes that “[t]he increasingly adverse impacts of climate change (including ocean acidification), overfishing and marine pollution are jeopardizing recent gains in protecting portions of the world’s oceans. “

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HLPF Thematic Review of SDG 14: “SDG 14 is dedicated to humanity’s interactions with the oceans. It covers a range of issues in the area of conservation and sustainable use, with seven targets and three means of implementation to respond to the urgent need for transformative change toward more sustainable practices. Oceans cover around 71% of the Earth’s surface and perform a vital regulatory function in the global weather and climate systems. Even the livelihoods and lifestyles of people living far inland often depend directly on rainfall and temperature patterns moderated by distant oceans. SDG 14 recognises the environmental, economic and social benefits that healthy oceans provide, and that resources and services2 are being eroded by a range of anthropogenic pressures that are potentially manageable and within the SDG14’s scope to improve. As individual activities that damage oceans are often felt far beyond national borders, responsibility for the oceans’ health rests with all of us.” 

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Industry Notes

A number of apparel-affiliated organizations are working to advance SDG 14, particulary with respect to nutrient and plastics pollution. As a follow-up on the 2017 Ocean Conference, the UN has launched nine thematic multi-stakeholder Communities of Ocean Action to spur further Ocean Action, and to maintain momentum until the next Ocean Conference, anticipated to be held in 2020:

  1. Coral reefs
  2. Implementation of international law as reflected in United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
  3. Mangroves
  4. Marine and coastal ecosystems management
  5. Marine pollution
  6. Ocean acidification
  7. Scientific knowledge, research capacity development and transfer of marine technology
  8. Sustainable blue economy
  9. Sustainable fisheries

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