Global Policy

SDG 14

IUCN's SDG brochure image - SDG14

Over three billion people depend on coastal and marine biodiversity for food and income. However, coastal, marine and polar ecosystems are under threat from over-exploitation of resources, habitat destruction, pollution and climate change. This has negative impacts on species, ecosystems and ecological processes, reducing fish stocks and increasing extreme weather events and plastic contamination. 

IUCN works to ensure that the biodiversity and productivity of coastal, marine and polar ecosystems are restored and maintained, and that their resources are used sustainably and equitably.


  • identifies effective responses to issues affecting coastal, marine and polar environments, such as ocean warming, acidification, plastic pollution, and invasive species;
  • assesses risk to marine species (The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™) and ecosystems (Red List of Ecosystems) to guide conservation policy and action, use of marine resources, and investment priorities;
  • provides guidelines and training on the effective management of marine protected areas;
  • advises governments on sustainable trade in marine species to help end poaching and trafficking;
  • identifies marine sites of global significance for the persistence of biodiversity (Key Biodiversity Areas) to guide the establishment of marine protected areas and other safeguards – protected area coverage of marine Key Biodiversity Areas is an official indicator for SDG Target 14.5;
  • develops best practice for the private sector – mainly fishing, tourism and extractives – to reduce their impacts on the seas;
  • advises the United Nations and other bodies on conservation and sustainable use in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
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