Sustainable Development Goal 14

Life Below Water

Oceans, which cover three quarters of the Earth’s surface, drive our planet’s natural systems; they are the home of vast biodiversity, and are a vital link in the livelihoods of billions of people. But threats from climate change, pollution, overfishing, and coastal habitat loss are drastically impacting the delicate balance between ocean processes and populations.

UNU examines human–ocean relationships to help ensure mutual welfare. Our fisheries training programmes are building the capacity of scientists, resource managers, and policymakers to boost livelihoods in small island developing states, improve small-scale fish processing in vulnerable African communities, and foster sustainable, profitable yields for European Union fisheries in distant waters. Our work on oceans blends fisheries knowledge with traditional management practices to support marine and coastal habitats, and foster the sustainable use of marine resources.

Pétur Waldorff / UNU-GEST


Zita Sebesvari

Zita Sebesvari


“River deltas are fertile and highly populated landscapes, housing 360 million people worldwide. They are also climate change hotspots at risk for disasters like flooding, cyclones, and saline water intrusion. I am passionate about finding solutions that reduce risks to these vital landscapes, and to those who call them home.”

Evonne Yiu

Evonne Yiu


“Conservation and sustainable use of fisheries are key to maintaining healthy coastal marine ecosystems. Fishers are custodians of the sea, but I believe everyone has a part to play. My research focuses on multi-stakeholder cooperation to sustain the livelihoods of coastal communities and to preserve the health of our oceans.”

Manzoor Qadir


"Water crises and climate change are among the top five global risks in terms of impacts. While addressing water scarcity, my research focuses on sustainably tapping unconventional water resources for food production, climate change adaption, and sustainable development as pressure continues to build on limited water resources in water-scarce areas."


Blue Growth in SIDS Initiative

Small Island Developing States are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. But these states have strong potential to build economies based on ocean resources — the blue economy. This initiative aims to foster growth in the maritime sector by targeting capacity development and research activities for fisheries scientists and policymakers.

Predicting and Assessing Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services

This research project uses an integrated social-ecological systems approach to assess terrestrial and marine natural capital and ecosystem services, and their governance, in Japan.

UNU-IAS Operating Unit Ishikawa / Kanazawa

This unit of UNU-IAS, located in Kanazawa, Japan, develops policies for the integrated conservation and sustainable use of biological and cultural resources. The unit works closely with a wide range of community stakeholders and partners to localise the SDGs and to engage in international processes with the CBD Secretariat, FAO, and UNESCO.