Oceans and seas cover over two-thirds of the earth's surface, provide food and minerals, generate oxygen, absorb greenhouse gases and keep climate change in check, determine weather patterns and temperatures, and serve as highways for sea-borne international trade. Oceans and seas can play a major role in contributing to achieving sustainable development, economic growth, and livelihoods.
UNCTAD is supporting developing countries to identify the opportunities and challenges that the oceans economy can bring. It also supports national trade and other competent authorities to design and create an enabling policy and regulatory environment that promotes the development and emergence of sustainable oceans economic sectors through the definition and implementation of national and regional oceans economy and trade strategies.
UNCTAD obtained a new mandate on oceans and seas at the UNCTAD 14 Conference (Paragraph 100(t) of the Nairobi Maafikiano). UNCTAD's Oceans Economy pillars help to implement this mandate to pursue sustainable and inclusive development, in line with SDG14, and technological capacity, innovation, and policy and regulatory coherence in areas within and beyond national jurisdiction.