This myriad of ecosystems services,
the benefits people
obtain from ecosystems
(MEA, 2005), provided by the
ocean and their role in sustainable development is the
focus of this publication. By examining which of the
Sustainable Development Goals, specifically beyond
Goal 14, are supported by healthy marine and coastal
ecosystems, this report will help bridge the communities
of conservation and development and raise the awareness
among the public, political decision-makers, the private
sector and donor community of the essential nature of
conserving and restoring marine and coastal ecosystems.
While ‘ecosystems services’ might be considered a new term,
the concepts underpinning it, of the earth and ocean as a life-
giver, is much older and deeply enshrined in our religions,
ancient myths and traditional management approaches. This
report, therefore, includes a chapter focusing on the many
different ways the ocean, and its importance in all aspects
of life, has been integrated into the cultural mindset for
millennia. While not often found in scientific reports, we felt
it was also important to document how society intuitively
understands the importance of the ocean.
This report explores the data needs for achieving the
SDGs, examines ways of linking information about
marine and coastal ecosystem services to decision-
making and recommends policy actions that support
the integration of ecosystem services into development
planning and ocean policies.
A number of individuals and organizations from both the
conservation and development communities have been
invited to provide their views on the role of healthy marine
and coastal ecosystems for sustainable development.
Their contributions can be found throughout the
By highlighting the interconnectedness of the ocean
throughout many the SGDs, this report seeks to create
a greater recognition of the importance of the oceans
for sustainable development, and the very existence and
well-being of mankind.
Garth Cripps, Blue Ventures, 2015