United Nations

June 2022 - You are accessing an old version of our website. The Ocean Voluntary Commitments have been migrated here: https://sdgs.un.org/partnerships/action-networks/ocean-commitments

You will be redirected to the new Voluntary Commitments register in 10 seconds.

Achieving the promise of 10% ocean protection by 2020
by Ocean Sanctuary Alliance (OSA) (Non-governmental organization (NGO))
This voluntary Commitment is being submitted on behalf of the Ocean Sanctuary Alliance (OSA) www.oceansanctuaryalliance.org. OSA is a partnership among member-states, scientists, and other leaders from across disciplines whose mission is to restore and sustain the worlds ocean by securing national commitments to establish science-based marine sanctuaries. Our commitment relates to SDG 14 Target 5 which has relevance to Themes 2, 4, 5 and 6 of the Partnership Dialogues.

Since its founding, OSA has worked effectively and tirelessly to develop science-based guidance on the creation, implementation, management and financing of marine protected areas (MPAs), and to communicate this guidance to catalyze the creation of MPAs and to improve their effectiveness.

One example of our work in this arena is the 10x20 initiative (http://www.oceansanctuaryalliance.org/initiative)

which was conceived by OSA , and is chaired by Italy, with vice-chairs OSA, Kenya, The Bahamas, Palau, and Poland. It takes its name from the specifics of target 5 - to protect 10% of the ocean by 2020 - which are the only specific and measurable goals in all of SDG 14. Member states support the forum as an informal way of catalyzing leadership, learning best practices and sharing information on Marine Protected Areas. The 10x20 Steering Committee represents an important step in mobilizing action towards achieving one of the SDG targets -- perhaps the first effort by member states to do so.

The 10x20 initiative has convened many events since its inception, which have been attended by more than 70 member states. One of most significant events convened by OSA under the auspices of 10x20 was the conference in Rome in March 2016 in partnership with Italy and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Attendees included 25 MPA experts from around the world and diplomats from 33 member states, including dozens from Small Island developing nations. One key outcome of the Rome conference is a Consensus Statement on Marine Protected Areas, the purpose of which is to provide scientific and experience-based guidance on how to achieving SDG 14 Target 5. A second major outcome was the Rome Call to Action, a companion document that provides a blueprint for achieving SDG 14, Target 5. These and other outputs of the Rome conference can be found at:


Other events include convenings at the United Nations both before the adoption of the SDGs in March and July of 2015, and afterwards, in September 2016, OSA also brought a group of PRs on a study visit to Stony Brook Universitys Marine Field station (http://oceanconservationscience.org/media/2016/nr_2016.07.09.shtml

Looking ahead, OSA is committed to assisting member states, directly and through the 10x20 initiative, to create new MPAs and to make existing MPAs more effective. We are currently working on a project funded by Italy to identify globally significant areas that would be candidates for MPA development. We are also engaged in a program to create new tools for MPA financing, and are compiling and curating existing tools.

We commit to further the efforts of the 10x20 Steering Committee and to ensure achievement of SDG 14.5 as quickly and effectively as possible, and by the year 2020.

Progress reports
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
  • Other (please specify): focus on strongly protected MPAs
December 2020
Convene 10x20 steering committee meetings at least 2 per year from June 2017 through 2020
January 2020
Provide new tools for achieving financial sustainability for MPAs
June 2019
Provide scientific guidance on areas of global priority for MPA creation
Financing (in USD)
240,000 USD
Other, please specify
Grant proposal in review TBD 5/2017
In-kind contribution
OSA Board members and staff time
Basic information
Time-frame: 6/2017 - 12/2020
Ocean Sanctuary Alliance (OSA; NGO)
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
more than 70 countries have participated in events co-convened by OSA
Contact information
Ellen Pikitch, Vice President, Ocean Sanctuary Alliance, and Professor, Stony Brook University, ellen.pikitch@stonybrook.edu, (631) 626-2090
New York, New York, US
Other SDGs
United Nations