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

SDG 14 - Oceans

The World Ocean may truly be considered as a cradle of life on Earth. Humanity learned over many years how to use marine resources. The anthropogenic negligent manner of consumption and pollution of aquatic systems and careless attitude may lead to irreversible and fatal consequences.

The conservation and sustainable development of oceans and seas is inextricably linked to the public health sector. Several reasons determine this relationship. Firstly, the oceans are the main contributors to enable environmental sustainability. The air we breathe and carbon dioxide we exhale is produced and absorbed by marine systems; oceans control climate and weather stability; drinking water and food are, in turn, provided by the sea. Secondly, nowadays, the world economic growth and prosperity is dependent and determined by a healthy marine ecosystem - only 200 million of the world population is employed in marine fisheries. The pharmaceutical industries also benefit from a wide variety of species found in aquatic ecosystems. The improvement of the pandemic situation today, may also be guided by ocean habitat bacterias, that are widely used in COVID-19 rapid testing. On the other hand, water contamination, which is the primary source of various infectious diseases in different countries and causes threat to human health, requires an urgent response. Other significant factors that are strongly associated with the ocean are human mental and physical wellbeing. It has been claimed that coastal life is boosting and supporting healthier lifestyles. 

All above-listed factors prove that sustainable aquatic systems undoubtedly define human welfare and public health. It is of utmost importance to start implementing preventative measures, restrictive regulations and developing precise strategies to tackle the globally emerging threat of water pollution, ocean acidification, as well as the extinction of marine organisms and ecosystems  to ensure healthy lives and wellbeing globally.


Anna Kvaratskheliya
Anna Kvaratskheliya
University of Basel