Marine and Coastal Biodiversity

Why is it Important?

The ocean provides innumerable benefits and services to society and to the entire planet as a whole. People have lived near the ocean and benefitted from its resources for thousands of years. Today, about 40 per cent of the world’s population lives within 100 kilometres of the coast. Fisheries provide more than 15 per cent of the of the world’s dietary intake of animal protein. The ocean plays a major role in regulating the global climate system and produces more than 50 per cent of the oxygen that we breathe. It supports global trade and commerce and an enormous range of livelihoods. It is a critical source of social and cultural well-being, providing various medicinal products, hosting a range of recreational activities and has been a source of cultural and spiritual value for many civilizations throughout history. Coastal ecosystems provide services, including tourism and protection from storms, that have been valued at nearly US$ 26 billion annually.