Purpose Of SDGs
Life Below Water
The world’s oceans—temperature, chemical elements, currents, and life in them—are driving the global system that makes the Earth habitable for humans. The way we manage this vital resource is critical to human life as a whole, and to offset the effects of climate change.
More than 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. But today we see that 30 percent of the world’s fish stocks are overexploited, well below the level at which they can produce sustainable yields.
The oceans also absorb about 30 percent of the carbon dioxide that humans produce, and we’re seeing a 26 percent increase in ocean acidification since the start of the industrial revolution. Marine pollution, which comes mainly from land, has reached alarming levels, with an average of 13,000 pieces of plastic waste found in every square kilometer of ocean.
The SDGs create a sustainable framework to regulate and protect marine and coastal ecosystems from land-based pollution, as well as to raise awareness about the effects of ocean acidification. Strengthening the protection and sustainable use of marine resources through international law will also help address the challenges facing our oceans.
Protecting our oceans is one of the 17 Global Goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. And an integrated approach is critical to progress across all of the goals.