The Ocean and Us

energy sources, that are related by-products in pursuing the achievement of SDGs but may impede on the health and sustainability of marine ecosystems, and therefore might in fact counteract those efforts. In addition to oil and natural gas exploration, oceanic waves, currents and off-shore wind are potentially a huge source of energy containing 300 times more energy than humans currently consume (SDG7 ensure access to affordable, reliable sustainable and modern energy for all ) (World Ocean Review, 2010). While these energy sources do not rely on the ecological health of the oceans, the development of these energy sources in pursuit of SDG7 may, however, put the ecological health of the ocean in jeopardy and thus could threaten the achievement of other SDGs if such impacts are not carefully addressed. Healthy marine and coastal ecosystems significantly support the achievement of a range of SDGs, in many different ways and often at a very fundamental level. However, the role they play is both insufficiently understood as well as under-recognized in the current policies and efforts we make towards sustainable development. Informed and effective decision making requires the right data to be generated, communicated, and linked to policy needs and applications. Without significant advancements of the science of the nexus of marine and coastal ecosystem services and sustainable development, and an increased uptake and application of the science, we will not be able to capture the full support we’re receiving from the ocean.

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