Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

UNCT-GH-SDG14-boats-JulianeReissig-2017(Photo: UN Ghana 2017 / Juliane Reissig)

Why it matters in Ghana

Oceans provide key natural resources including food, medicines, biofuels and other products. They help with the breakdown and removal of waste and pollution, and their coastal ecosystems act as buffers to reduce damage from storms. Maintaining healthy oceans is part of responding effectively to the climate changes we already see and to reducing further damage to our global climate. The beach or seaside can be a great place for tourism and recreation if not ruined by inadequate urban sanitation or the downstream effects of galamsey.

In Ghana, the sea contributes to poverty reduction as it provides jobs and income to fisher folks, and supplements the protein needs of families. 

The marine environment is also home to a stunning variety of beautiful creatures which should be preserved.

How we can help

  • Dumping untreated solid wastes, including plastic materials, into the sea can choke fish, affect the quality of life in oceans, and jeopardise the future of fishing communities.
  • We should make ocean-friendly choices when buying products or eating food derived from oceans, and consume only what we need.   
  • Improve sanitation at the beaches by refraining from littering during visits and supporting clean-up exercises. Stop social acceptance of open defecation.
  • For open ocean and deep sea areas, sustainability can be achieved only through increased international cooperation to protect vulnerable habitats. Establishing comprehensive, effective and equitably managed systems of government-protected areas should be pursued to conserve biodiversity and ensure a sustainable future for the fishing industry.
  • Enforcement of laws and sanctions regulating marine resources, including sea and fish, can deter others from engaging in illegal fishing practices.
  • Say No to pair-trawling and light fishing and use recommended nets for fishing to allow time for fingerlings to mature.
  • Using chemicals to catch fish kills fish stocks including those you may not target and make your fish catch unsafe for human consumption.
  • Government should protect fishing livelihoods against the impacts of offshore oil and gas exploration.
  • Promote the conservation of marine life and resources by telling others about their importance to human life.

Global Targets of Goal 14

14.1: By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution 

14.2: By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans 

14.3: Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels 

14.4: By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics 

14.5: By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information 

14.6: By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation 

14.7: By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism

14.a: Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries 

14.b: Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets 

14.c: Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want

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