Oceans & Seas
Happy World Oceans Day!

New e-publication on "How oceans- and seas-related measures contribute to the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: Local and regional experiences" published by UNDESA in collaboration with other UN agencies.

(For information and download click here).

Importance of oceans

At Rio+20, Member States stressed the importance of “the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and seas and of their resources for sustainable development, including through their contributions to poverty eradication, sustained economic growth, food security and creation of sustainable livelihoods and decent work, while at the same time protecting biodiversity and the marine environment and addressing the impacts of climate change”.

Oceans, seas and coastal areas form an integrated and essential component of the Earth’s ecosystem and are critical to sustainable development. They cover more than two-thirds of the earth’s surface and contain 97% of the planet’s water. Oceans contribute to poverty eradication by creating sustainable livelihoods and decent work. Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal resources for their livelihoods. In addition, oceans are crucial for global food security and human health. They are also the primary regulator of the global climate, an important sink for greenhouse gases and they provide us with water and the oxygen we breathe. Finally, oceans host huge reservoirs of biodiversity.

Yet, there are increasing, complex challenges in preserving and maintaining healthy, resilient and productive oceans for the prosperity of present and future generations. Ensuring healthy and productive oceans is therefore crucial for achieving sustainable development.

Upcoming meetings and events

  • Meeting of States Parties to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea - 24th Meeting (United Nations Headquarters, New York, 9 to 13 June 2014)- For further information click here
  • Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction (United Nations Headquarters, New York, 16 to 19 June 2014)- For further information click here
  • Twelfth session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals [Proposed goal 14: Attain conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas] (United Nations Headquarters, New York, 16 to 20 June 2014) - For further information click here
  • Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States [Part of Multi-stakeholder partnership dialogues: Oceans, seas and biodiversity] (Apia, Samoa, 01-04 September 2014)- For further information click here
  • 2nd International Ocean Research Conference: One Planet One Ocean organized by Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and the Oceanography Society (Barcelona, Spain, 17-21 November 2014)- For further information click here
  • Copyright United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs