Marine and Coastal Biodiversity

What Needs to be Done?

The core actions at the heart of the Convention are the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. This means protecting and conserving those species and habitats that are especially threatened and vulnerable to major pressures and using resources in a sustainable manner so that humans can continue to benefit from biodiversity and ecosystems well into the future.

While these actions sound simple, carrying them out is a complex and difficult task. Nearly everything we do both depends on and affects biodiversity. Therefore, taking actions to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity requires sweeping actions at all levels by a wide range of stakeholders (including governments, businesses, scientists and average citizens).

The resources of the world’s oceans were long thought to be inexhaustible by human activities. However, this way of thinking has clearly been proven wrong. Human activities have an enormous impact on the oceans and marine resources. By conserving and sustainably using marine biodiversity we can ensure that the oceans and their resources will continue to provide the services that humans and the planet as a whole need to survive.

Governments have an especially important role to play in this regard, as they set forth policies and legal frameworks to implement conservation and sustainable use; they are the primary actors in developing and implementing policies for international collaboration with regards to biodiversity issues.

As of 2022, 196 governments have ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity, making them “Parties” to the Convention. These governments work, both within their countries and in collaboration with other countries and competent regional and global organizations, to implement the Convention.

In the context of the programme of work on marine and coastal biodiversity, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity works to facilitate efforts by Parties and relevant organizations to implement the Convention and conserve and sustainably use marine and coastal biodiversity. These activities are outlined under Programme of Work and the individual pages under Implementation Support.