Global Civil Society & the UN Sustainable Development Goals

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

Life Below Water


Goal 14 is about conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas and marine resources. Healthy oceans and seas are essential to human existence and life on Earth.

The Ocean is intrinsic to our life on earth. Covering three-quarters of the Earth’s surface, contain 97 percent of the Earth’s water, and represent 99 percent of the living space on the planet by volume.

They provide key natural resources including food, medicines, biofuels and other products; help with the breakdown and removal of waste and pollution; and their coastal ecosystems act as buffers to reduce damage from storms. They also act as the planet’s greatest carbon sink.

Worryingly, marine pollution is reaching extreme levels, with over 17 million metric tons clogging the ocean in 2021, a figure set to double or triple by 2040. Plastic is the most harmful type of ocean pollution.

Currently, the ocean’s average pH is 8.1 which is about 30 per cent more acidic than in pre- industrial times. Ocean acidification threatens the survival of marine life, disrupts the food web, and undermines vital services provided by the ocean and our own food security.

Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future. This includes increasing funding for ocean science, intensifying conservation efforts, and urgently turning the tide on climate change to safeguard the planet’s largest ecosystem. Current efforts to protect are not yet meeting the urgent need to safeguard this vast, yet fragile, resource.

Name Acronym Founded City HQ Country/Territory HQ Type I Type II

World Benchmarking Alliance

WBA Amsterdam Netherlands C y

World Business Council for Sustainable Development

WBCSD 1995 Geneva Switzerland C

World Carfree Network

1997 F

World Cetacean Alliance

WCA Brighton UK C y

World Climate Foundation

WCF Copenhagen Denmark J

World Conference on Marine Biodiversity

WCMB S c

World Congress Alternatives and Environment

1979 Vienna Austria S cv

World Conservation Trust

IWMC 1994 Lausanne Switzerland E

World Council for Automobile Mobility and Tourism

Paris France K

World Council of Fisheries Societies

WCFS 2000 Bethesda MD USA G

World Council of Whalers

WCW 1997 D

World Environment Center

WEC 1974 Silver Spring MD USA E

World Environmental Education Congress Network

2003 Turin Italy F

World Evangelical Alliance Sustainability Center

WEA Sustainability Center 2018 Bonn Germany G

World Farmers' Organisation

WFO 2011 Rome Italy C

World Federation for Animals

WFA C y

World Federation for Coral Reef Conservation

WFCRC 2008 G

World Federation of Doctors who Respect Human Life

WFDWRHL 1974 Ostend Belgium C

World Federation of Engineering Organizations

WFEO 1968 Paris France A y

World Federation of Scientific Workers

WFSW 1946 Mont-Saint-Aignan France C

World Federation of United Nations Associations

WFUNA 1946 New York NY USA E

World Fish Migration Foundation

Groningen Netherlands G f

World Fisheries Trust

WFT 1996 Victoria BC Canada G

World for World Organization

WFWO 2001 Rome Italy G

World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fishworkers

WFF 1997 Kampala Uganda F

World Forum of Fisher Peoples

WFFP 1997 F

World Future Council Foundation

WFC 2007 Hamburg Germany F f

World Glacier Monitoring Service

WGMS 1967 Zurich Switzerland F

World Green Building Council

WorldGBC 1999 Toronto ON Canada E

World Green Design Organization

WGDO 2012 Beijing China J

World Green Economy Organization

WGEO Dubai United Arab Emirates J g

World Green Infrastructure Network

WGIN 2008 Toronto ON Canada F

World Green Tea Association

Shizuoka Japan N

World Health Innovation Summit

WHIS Carlisle UK J

World Health Organization

WHO 1946 Geneva Switzerland B g

World Heritage Centre

WHC 1992 Paris France E g

World Heritage Committee

1976 Paris France E g

World Heritage Watch

WHW 2014 Berlin Germany G y

World Information Transfer

WIT 1986 New York NY USA F

World Institute for a Sustainable Humanity

A WISH 1995 Bellingham WA USA G j

World Jewish Restitution Organization

WJRO 1992 Jerusalem Israel D y

World Land Trust

WLT 1989 Halesworth UK G

World Maritime University

WMU 1983 Malmö Sweden E y

World Meteorological Organization

WMO 1947 Geneva Switzerland B g

World Mountain People Association

WMPA 2001 Paris France C

World Network for Linguistic Diversity

Maaya Geneva Switzerland E y

World Network of Biosphere Reserves

WNBR 1971 Paris France F

World Network of Indigenous Peoples and Local Community Land and Sea Managers

WIN 2012 New York NY USA E

World Ocean Council

WOC 2008 Honolulu HI USA C y

World Ocean Network

WON 1999 Boulogne-sur-Mer France C

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