Ocean & Coasts

A healthy ocean and coastal ecosystems are vitally important for humans and the environment. The ocean regulates the climate, absorbs much of the carbon dioxide emitted from human activity, and provides fish, the main source of protein for over three billion people. The ecosystem goods and services the ocean provides are estimated to be worth USD 12 trillion. The biological diversity of ocean and coastal regions also provides important services including food security, feed for livestock, raw materials for medicines, building materials from coral rock and sand, and natural defenses against coastal erosion and flooding. Millions of people rely on marine and coastal biodiversity for their food security, income, and socio-cultural and economic development. Human activities put pressure on coastal and marine ecosystems, including through climate change, overfishing, and pollution. Ninety percent of the world's fisheries are either fully or over-exploited. Eight million tons of plastics enter the sea each year and contaminate a quarter of all seafood. Eighty percent of wastewater is discharged without treatment, damaging human health and biodiversity.

Events and Articles

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Showing 1 - 10 of 106 results

5th Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on the BBNJ

Despite more progress at this two-week session than over the last decade, delegates were unable to reach consensus on a new high seas treaty addressing marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction and, instead, suspended the session, to be resumed in early 2023.
Event 15 August 2022 - 26 August 2022

2022 UN Ocean Conference

Having amassed billions of dollars in voluntary commitments and pledges to save the Earth’s most vital resource, the curtains came down on the second UN Ocean Conference. This renewed commitment could not have come a moment too soon.
Event 27 June 2022 - 1 July 2022

4th Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on the BBNJ

At the most productive meeting so far, “unprecedented progress” was made in discussions on marine genetic resources, including benefit sharing, area-based management tools, including marine protected areas, environmental impact assessments, and capacity building and the transfer of marine technology.
Event 7 March 2022 - 18 March 2022

UNEA Flagship Side Events

During the resumed Fifth Session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA), side events focused on “Strengthening actions for nature to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals” and the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
Event 28 February 2022 - 4 March 2022

Barcelona Convention COP 22

As well as the landmark decision on controlling sulphur oxide emissions—which will have major health and environmental benefits for Mediterranean communities—COP 22 adopted several significant plans.
Conference of the Parties (COP) 7 December 2021 - 10 December 2021

Ministerial Conference on Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution

Many countries called for an ambitious, legally binding agreement on plastics, emphasizing the urgency of coordinated global action to address the entire lifecycle of plastics, from production to disposal.
Event 1 September 2021 - 2 September 2021

60th Meeting of the GEF Council

The 60th meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council adopted a Work Program worth USD 281.1 million that includes eight stand-alone full-sized projects on international waters, four on biodiversity, three on climate change mitigation, and two on chemicals and waste.
Event 14 June 2021 - 18 June 2021

UN General Assembly High-Level Event on the Ocean

“There is no scenario where humans can prosper without the ocean.” The day's speakers called to accelerate progress on legally binding instruments to protect oceans from illegal fishing and marine plastic pollution.
Event 1 June 2021