Analysis and Cases of 169 Targets under Sustainable Development Goals (126)


The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development covers 17 goals, the 14th of which is“Life Below Water”, namely: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Under this major goal, there are 10 targets, the 14.c of which is “Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The future we want.”

●Current Situation

The World

Stepping up action to better protect the oceans


At present, nearly 80% of the world’s sewage is directly discharged into the ocean without treatment, and more than 8 million tons of plastic waste enters the ocean every year. If no urgent action is taken, the weight of such garbage will exceed the gross weight of fish in the oceans by 2050.

“The ocean is in a ‘state of emergency’ and we must reverse the situation. Healthy and productive oceans are critical to our common future. Humans have made some progress in ocean protection, but there is more work to be done together,” UN Secretary-General Guterres said.

At the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference held in Lisbon, Portugal, the politicians, business leaders, scientists, and civil society representatives from some countries discussed how to solve the challenges the ocean is facing.

The declaration emphasized that in the face of the current severe situation, all parties must be more determined and take more resolute and timely actions to improve the marine and coastal ecosystems and enhance the sustainable development of the oceans. The declaration called on all parties to take further measures in areas such as strengthening data collection and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while innovating financing channels to achieve a sustainable ocean economy. Based on science and innovation, we shall step up action to better protect the ocean.



Optimizing the conservation and utilization pattern for the oceans and their resources



The oceans’ resources are an important support for the sustainable development of society and economy. The conservation and sustainable use of their resources is an endogenous demand for developing marine economy, promoting green development and improving the quality of marine ecosystems.

From 2019 to 2020, the exploration and utilization of China’s marine resources advanced steadily, marine fishery resources achieved sustainable development, the marine biomedicine industry grew rapidly, natural gas hydrate entered the stage of “experimental trial mining”, and new progress was made in marine renewable energy technology.

China has continuously strengthened the management of fishery resources, and taken multiple measures to promote the conservation and sustainable use of marine fishery resources; encouraged the research and development and pilot projects of marine renewable energy development technologies, strengthened the research, development and manufacturing capabilities of core technology and equipment, and promoted the industrialization of marine renewable energy development; standardized the management of sea sand mining and strengthened the supporting role of sea sand supply for major construction projects.

China has vigorously restored coastal shelterbelts and wetlands, and the ecological environment of some sea areas has been improved. The degradation trend of typical habitats such as mangroves, coral reefs, seagrass beds, and salt marshes has been initially curbed, and the ecological environment of coastal waters has generally stabilized and improved.



The World

Vietnam releases strategy for sustainable use of marine resources



According to Resolution No. 48/NQ-CP dated April 3, 2023, Vietnam will effectively use marine resources to serve socio-economic development, significantly reduce marine pollution, protect marine biodiversity, and reduce the impact of natural disasters.

By 2030, marine resources will serve the tourism service industry, oil and gas and other natural resource exploration, aquaculture, renewable energy and other marine economic fields to improve living standards. All the collection and treatment of hazardous waste and domestic garbage in coastal cities will meet the standards, and all economic and industrial zones and coastal urban areas will be planned and constructed in a sustainable, ecological, intelligent and climate-adaptive manner. By 2050, marine resources will be effectively utilized, society and nature will live in harmony, and Vietnam will become a maritime power.


Italy divides different regions to balance protection and development of oceans and their resources


Italy is rich in marine resources and has a coastline of 7,600 kilometers, ranking the 15th in the world. About 60% of the country’s population lives in coastal areas. Marine-related industries have provided 900,000 jobs for Italy and created an industrial added value of 134.5 billion euros, accounting for 8.5% of the country’s total economy. At the same time, excessive human activities have also adversely affected marine ecology. The plastic pollution report released by the World Wild Fund for Nature in 2019 pointed out that nearly 230,000 tons of plastic waste entered the Mediterranean Sea every year, of which 15% came from Italy, ranking the second among all countries.

Protecting marine ecology and rationally using marine resources to achieve sustainable development have become important goals of the Italian government. In addition, the Italian government and academic circles have also cooperated with UNESCO to establish a national committee for the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) initiated by the organization, and have provided the solutions on the issues mentioned in the project. 

The establishment of marine protected areas is one of the important ways for Italy to achieve sustainable marine development. Up to now, the Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition (formerly the Ministry of Environment, Territory and Ocean) has established 29 marine protected areas and two underwater parks, covering 2,280 square kilometers of sea area and about 700 kilometers of coastline, accounting for 9.7% of all Italian territorial waters.



Promoting conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources through the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

In 2022, one of the major events in the international ocean field was the 40th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. In 1982, when the convention, which took nearly10 years of negotiations, was opened for signature in Jamaica, China was one of the countries that signed it early. China ratified the convention in 1996, becoming one of the countries that ratified the convention early. China has actively implemented the convention, and given a positive evaluation on the convention for its role in aspects such as establishing the basic framework of the modern international maritime legal system, maintaining global and regional ocean order, and effectively promoting the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources.



China has always held high the banner of a community with a shared future for mankind, calling on the international community to cooperate in addressing ocean challenges and effectively implement the institutional framework of the convention on the protection and sustainable use of oceans and their resources. China hasstated that to improve the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and their resources, it is necessary to firmly maintain the international system with the United Nations at its core, firmly maintain the international order based on international law, and balance conservation and sustainable use. We should continue to strengthen the prevention and control of marine environmental pollution, protect and restore marine ecosystems, and deepen international cooperation at all levels. We should summarize beneficial experience, continue to promote the synergy between the convention and other international mechanisms and frameworks, build consensus on ocean governance, adhere to and make good use of existing global ocean governance mechanisms, and promote the formation of synergy among relevant platforms. We should deepen practical cooperation and promote work in various fields covered by SDG 14. We should continuously improve global ocean governance, jointly build marine ecological civilization, and jointly safeguard our common home of the blue planet.


Shenzhen’s marine development plan aims at international shipping center and strategic emerging marine industry highland by 2025

The ocean is a strategic area for high-quality development. Under the background of the national strategy of “marine power”, in recent years, Shenzhen’s responsibility and mission of developing towards the sea have been continuously strengthened. In May 2017, the “13th Five-Year Plan for National Marine Economic Development” clearly stated to “promote the construction of Shenzhen, Shanghai and other cities into global marine center cities”. Building a “global ocean center city” is not only an important measure to implement the national ocean power strategy and the “Belt and Road” initiative, but also a historical mission entrusted to Shenzhen by the state in the new era. It is also a major historical new opportunity for Shenzhen to enhance the city’s positioning and achieve leapfrog development.



With the consent of the Shenzhen Municipal Government, the Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Planning and Natural Resources issued the “Shenzhen Marine Development Plan (2023-2035)”, proposing Shenzhen’s plan for the “Global Marine Center City Construction”. Based on the local prerequisites of Shenzhen, the plan comprehensively and detailedly interprets Shenzhen’s new mission, new responsibilities, and new actions in building a global ocean center city, and provides a phased target picture for the development of Shenzhen’s ocean industry. From the near future to 2025, based on specific actions, a pragmatic and operable marine management mechanism and recent key project plans have been put forward. By that time, an international shipping center and a highland of emerging marine strategic industries will have been initially established, and remarkable results will have been achieved in the construction of a global marine center city. From the mid-term to 2035, Shenzhen will build a global ocean center city with competitiveness, innovation, and influence, and a city model of the socialist ocean power strategy. By 2050, the city’s comprehensive marine strength and global influence will reach the world-class level, and it will become a model of marine city development that leads the global value chain and jointly shapes a maritime community with a shared future.



Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiated by the United Nations

On January 1, 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including 169 targets, of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit — officially came into force. Countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.