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The dynamic relationship between humans and marine and

coastal ecosystem services demands constant monitoring

and assessment in order to measure progress towards

the SDGs and the ecological conditions required for their

achievement. It is therefore important that baseline

measures of marine and coastal ecosystem services include

ecological and human measures that can be reassessed on

a regular basis.

From Data and Discovery to Leadership and


To achieve the SDGs, we must continue to work to

integrate marine and coastal ecosystem services into

decision-making and marine management on a local, but

regionally integrated, platform. A deeper understanding

of human-ecosystem interactions is a first step to

developing connections between marine and coastal

ecosystem services and to policy-making. As highlighted

earlier, stakeholders must be identified, and policy and

technical experts must work together to adopt a shared

terminology and develop assessments that fit specific

policy needs. To fully harness the power of marine and

coastal ecosystem services to meet the SDGs, it is crucial

to continue to develop international strategies that can

be implemented at a local (sub-national) level in order to

collect baseline data and to implement monitoring of a

key set of ecological and human indicators.

Ecosystems for People

This will require:

• A leadership role by an international organization

• An international strategy that gives countries a supportive

framework for conducting the necessary scientific

research and taking policy action

• National policies that translate an international framework

into local action, and respond to the specific context of local

development goals andmarine and coastal ecosystems

• Coordinated data collection and local level training to

ensure capacity for future data collection and monitoring,

supported by a steady stream of funding to enable

monitoring of progress and effective, targeted and



There is a growing recognition among world and local

leaders that ecosystems are indeed our shared factory.

Marine and coastal ecosystems in particular are being

counted on to produce many of the essential goods and

services that will fuel the new blue economy and help us

achieve the SDGs.

Moving forward, there is a need for reliable, objective

and widely available data. Only then can we harness this

powerful, sustainable and global natural factory to achieve

the Sustainable Development Goals we have set for the

people of this planet.