This webinar was built on a paper published in April, 2020, in Nature (Duarte et al., 2020; see here) to discuss solutions for rebuilding marine life. Sustainable Development Goal N°14 aims to "conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources". Achieving this goal involves restoring the life support systems that provide the immense benefits of a healthy ocean. Although the ocean has been largely degraded during the 20th century, marine life shows a remarkable resilience and an emerging trend shift, from steep losses of marine life throughout the 20th century to a slowing down of losses or even recovery, sometimes spectacular, in the first two decades of the 21st century. The recovery of marine populations, habitats and ecosystems following conservation interventions demonstrates that substantial restoration of the abundance, structure and function of marine life can be achieved within a generation, by 2050, if human pressures, including those related to climate change, are mitigated. Conservation is therefore part of a broader range of ocean-based solutions that range across four clusters (“low regret”, “decisive”, “unproven”, “risky”) to guide worldwide policy decisions. Rebuilding marine life provides an important illustration of what can be done to face environmental change, as it represents a doable “Grand Challenge” for humanity, an ethical obligation, and a smart economic objective to achieve a sustainable future.


  • Jean-Pierre Gattuso, Research Director at the Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche, CNRS, and Sorbonne University, and IDDRI associate researcher
  • Nancy Knwolton, Coral Reef Biologist and Smithsonian Institution’s Sant Chair for Marine Science
  • Daniela Diz, Lecturer of Oceans Governance and International Law at the University of Strathclyde, Deputy Director of the One Ocean Hub research programme (until 30 June), Associate Professor at Heriot-Watt University (from 1 July).

Moderated by: Alexandre K. Magnan, Senior Research Fellow, Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change, IDDRI

This webinar was in English, without translation.