Oceans Economy Pillars

​UNCTAD's approach to the creation of an Oceans Economy is based on 5 pillars. The first three coincide with the traditional pillars of Sustainable Development: economic development, conservation and sustainable use and inclusive social development (especially in developing countries, LDCs and SIDS). To these, we have added: the scientific knowledge pillar, which has allowed new untapped economic opportunities, unreachable before, become feasible (e.g. marine biotechnology, marine based biofuels, tidal and off shore wind energy and seabed mining); and the governance pillar, which addresses the need to consider, follow and comply with the international framework set by the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS), subsequent implementing conventions and sectoral agreements and soft law under divers United Nations and other agencies, such as those agreed under the FAO, UNEP, IMO, UNESCO, UNWTO, and UNCTAD.

UNCTAD's Oceans Economy pillars

UNCTAD obtained a new mandate on oceans and seas at the UNCTAD 14 Conference. This mandate calls on UNCTAD "in cooperation with other relevant international organizations and other stakeholders, UNCTAD should support developing countries, in particular SIDS, in the advancement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 in the design and implementation of regional and/or national economic development strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources seeking to promote sustainable trade in ocean-based sectors including through analysis of fisheries subsidies that lead to overcapacity and overfishing and subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and the challenges they pose to developing countries, particularly in connection with the conservation of marine resources and food security" (Para 100 (t) of the Nairobi Maafikiano (Consensus).

This mandate will be implemented by UNCTAD's Oceans Economy pillars to pursue sustainable and inclusive development, in line with SDG 14, but also technological capacity, innovation and policy and regulatory coherence in areas within and beyond national jurisdiction.


Mr. David Vivas Eugui david.vivaseugui@unctad.org
Ms. Neema Toyb neema.toyb@unctad.org


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