The Ocean and Us

A better understanding of marine ecosystem services enables of informed policy choices for sustainable development. It is therefore critically important that assessments are undertaken in ways that support their integration into SDG policy-making. Their co-construction through a partnership between stakeholders, policy-makers, the public and technical experts is likely to support SDG delivery. 
 Development policy making capturing the benefits provided by a healthy ocean can build on existing global initiatives and experiences, as well as conventional national policy frameworks and planning processes. This will require a shift in paradigm: to one that recognises conservation as a contribution towards sustainable development, rather than an obstacle to it. The understanding of natural ecosystems as an asset brings with it the opportunity of protecting and investing into it. There is a growing recognition among world and local leaders that ecosystems are indeed our shared factory. Marine and coastal ecosystems are being counted on to produce many of the essential goods and services that help us achieve the SDGs. Only with reliable, objective and widely available data can we harness this powerful, sustainable and global natural factory to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals we have set for the people of this planet.

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