Healthy marine and coastal ecosystems provide many valuable services - from food security, resources for economic growth and recreation alongside tourism and coastline protection. They are also recognized as crucial reservoirs of biodiversity at a time when the loss of species on both land and in the sea is an increasing cause for concern.
Among the most productive ecosystems on the planet, oceans and coasts ensure the well-being for a growing global population, which is likely to rise to over nine billion by 2050. They regulate global climate and offer essential adaptation capacity. The future role of ecosystems for human well-being depends increasingly on developing the capacity of countries to manage human uses and impacts in order to ensure their health and self-repairing capacity is not undermined.
The Ecosystem Approach lays out a series of principles to guide management towards long-term sustainability of marine and coastal ecosystems.