‘Ocean Promise’: UNDP’s Blue Economy Vision

  • 29 Jun 2022

At the ongoing (27 June-1 July 2022) UN Ocean Conference at Lisbon, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced an ‘Ocean Promise’- its vision for Blue Economy.

About the Promise

  • UNDP’s Ocean Promise underscores that every penny invested in achieving the Paris Agreement is a penny invested in ocean health — the foundation of the sustainable blue economy.
  • The Promise outlines actions in key sectors to accelerate economic growth, create jobs and livelihoods, improve food security, reduce poverty and inequity, and promote gender equality.
  • The Ocean Promise emphasizes the restoration of the nearly $1 trillion in annual socioeconomic losses due to ocean mismanagement.
  • The promise is also about helping countries to tap into new and emerging ocean sectors for increased ocean-related socio-economic opportunities.

Possible Outcome

  • UNDP’s this initiative will enable 100 coastal countries including all Small Island Developing States to realize the maximum potential of their blue economies through sustainable, low-emission and climate-resilient ocean action by 2030.


  • The major announcement comes at a time when Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the ocean economy over the last ten years has averaged only US $1.3 billion per year and the scale of public and private investment for ocean restoration and protection remains woefully inadequate.

How UNDP plans to meet SDG 14 Goal -“Life Below Water"

  • The UNDP plans to continue work across issues and scales, from local to global, in close partnership with governments, UN agency partners, intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, communities and the private sector, towards accelerating progress on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14.
  • SDG 14 remains the most underfunded goal yet holds immense potential to be a game changer in addressing the triple planetary crisis (three main interlinked issues that humanity currently faces: climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss). In a business-as-usual fossil fuel use scenario, many ocean species and ecosystems, and the food security and livelihoods of billions of people face existential threats. With only 8 years to go until 2030, the time to act is now: UNDP's Ocean Promise aims to catalyze significant progress on SDG 14 implementation.

Why are Oceans critical?

  • The oceans are vital buffer against the impacts of climate change – saving our ocean means protecting our future.
  • While they cover 70 per cent of the planet, the oceans form the largest biosphere and home to up to 80 per cent of all life in the world.
  • They generate 50 per cent of the oxygen we need, absorb 25 per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions and capture 90 per cent of the additional heat generated from those emissions.
  • There is a great deal we still do not know about the ocean but there are many reasons why we need to manage it sustainably - as set out in the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 14: “Life Below Water".