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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