United Nations
Mapping Ocean Wealth
by The Nature Conservancy (Non-governmental organization (NGO))
Ocean ecosystems are as varied as they are valuable. Seagrass meadows are veritable fish factories and carbon stores. Snorkeling and diving generate billions in tourist dollars. Oyster reefs support important fisheries, filter pollutants and reduce the impact of violent storms. When paired with saltmarshes, mangroves, ocean currents, nutrient-rich upwelling and other habitats, the ocean provides countless, often invaluable services to society.

To that end, Mapping Ocean Wealth moves us from broad global numbers to specific local details, allowing us to evaluate nature as an economic asset. The data then become actionable and inform engineering, financial and policy language that lead to better planning, conservation and investment decisions.

By 2030, Mapping Ocean Wealth data are applied in 10 countries in 3 regions to inform investments in conservation and use of ocean resources that contribute to Blue Growth. TNCs Mapping Ocean Wealth has won the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)s 2017 Tourism for Tomorrow Innovation Award for this work.

Progress reports
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Community or Locally Managed Marine Areas
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Large Marine Ecosystem approach
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
  • Other (please specify):
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
  • No take marine protected area
  • Marine protected area with partial protection
  • Multiple use marine protected area
  • Locally or community managed marine areas
  • MPA management and/or enforcement
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Type of commitment
  • Economic benefits from sustainable tourism
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Actions that support SIDS and LDCs
  • Other (please specify): Ocean Wealth Data
May 2025
Apply Ocean Wealth data in 10 countries to support the creation of ocean use plans, development effective marine protected areas, and scaling of restoration of degraded ecosystems for the return of valuable social and economic benefits.
May 2025
By 2025 develop online mapping tools and incorporate these tools into a Reef Resilience Network to support management capacity building at national levels.
Staff / Technical expertise
The Nature Conservancy's Mapping Ocean Wealth team has been using its staff and technical expertise to map this work.
Basic information
Time-frame: May 2017 - May 2025
The Nature Conservancy
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
United States of America
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Tamara Thomas, Ocean Policy Advisor , Tamara.Thomas@tnc.org, 202-421-3656
Virginia USA
Other SDGs
United Nations