Women and SDG 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Both SDG 14 and SDG 15 (SDG 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss) aim to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of marine and terrestrial resources. For the achievement of SDG-14, prevention and reduction of marine pollution of all kinds is as important as sustainable management and protection of marine and coastal ecosystems. SDG-15 focuses on combatting deforestation and desertification and on halting biodiversity loss. Both goals also include the promotion of fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources as well as appropriate access to such resources.
As mentioned before, women all around the world do not only face the loss of natural resources with fewer assets and alternatives for livelihoods. They are also usually among the first and most affected by natural disasters of all kind, and the ones usually charged with making up shortfalls in daily necessities like food and fuel. Comprising both much of the agricultural and fishing labour force in developing countries, women play a critical role as stewards of the planet’s ecosystems.

To quote UN Women on this topic: „Their (women’s) knowledge about traditional practices that are inherently sustainable, however, is often excluded from decisions about sustainable ecosystems. This is a loss in terms of prospects for sustainable ecosystem use, which also depends on gender equality in all other dimensions - access to land, livelihoods and natural resources, and a say in how they are shared. Women, and indigenous women in particular, need to be included in decision-making on ecosystem use at all levels, as essential players in preserving our planet.“

Felicitas Heyne


Psychologist and Co-Founder of Audiopedia Foundation