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Ocean Equity

The ocean has a role in assuring the needs and rights of all people – especially as we plan today for 9 billion people in 2050.

A sustainable ocean economy puts people at its centre, works for everyone, enables human rights, facilitates the equitable distribution of ocean wealth and ensures equality of opportunity for all. It promotes accountable and transparent business practices, addresses labour rights abuses, child labour, forced labour, trafficking in persons and contraband, as well as tax evasion, and it supports the fight against corruption. It also recognises the specific climate vulnerabilities and financing and capacity constraints of developing countries, in particular Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries. With the global population expected to grow by a further 2 billion people by 2050, effective planning undertaken today can assure the needs and rights of all.


A sustainable ocean economy cannot be achieved while many millions of people remain in poverty and inequality is systemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has widened existing inequalities and placed millions of people in extreme poverty.

There must be a fair and just transition out of the pandemic and to a sustainable ocean economy that leaves no one behind, enables equitable access to resources, supports fair distribution of benefits and protects the most vulnerable from further risks of harm.

2030 Outcome

People have equitable access to ocean resources, benefits are fairly distributed and the most vulnerable are protected from the risk of harm.

Priority Actions

Require transparent, responsible business practices that engage and benefit coastal communities, including small-scale fishers, and protect the rights of all workers in ocean industries.


Create the conditions to facilitate the full engagement of women in ocean activities to help unlock their economic and social potential and empower them to safeguard natural resources while enhancing opportunities to access decent work.


Recognise and respect the interests of coastal communities and rights of Indigenous Peoples and implement policies that require consideration of the particular importance of marine resources for these groups.


Create inclusive governance by incorporating indigenous and local knowledge and interests, particularly those of women and youth, in planning and decision-making processes.


Promote integrity across ocean governance and ocean industries, enforce transparency and accountability in public service and public finance and take robust action against corruption.


Enhance domestic revenue administration through modernised, progressive tax systems, improved tax policy and more efficient tax collection.


Promote international cooperation to combat child labour and forced labour and eliminate trafficking in persons and contraband along supply chains in the ocean economy.

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