In order to help safeguard biodiversity from global changes, the Convention on Biological Diversity developed a Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for the period 2011-2020 that included a list of twenty specific objectives known as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. With the end of that timeframe in sight, and despite major advancements in biodiversity conservation, evidence suggests that the majority of the Targets are unlikely to be met. This paper is part of a series of perspective pieces from the 4th World Conference on Marine Biodiversity (May 2018, Montréal, Canada) to identify next steps towards successful biodiversity conservation in marine environments. The aim of our work was to discuss the relevance of Holistic Environmental Assessment (HEA) in regards to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. We reviewed multiple environmental approaches which could be considered as holistic, and we discuss how HEAs can contribute to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in the near future. We found that only a few HEA articles considered a specific Target in their research, and that Target 11, which focuses on marine protected areas, was the most commonly cited. We propose five research priorities to enhance HEAs for marine biodiversity conservation beyond 2020: (i) expand the use of holistic approaches in environmental assessments, (ii) standardize HEA vocabulary, (iii) enhance data collection, sharing, and management, (iv) consider ecosystem spatio-temporal variability, and (v) integrate ecosystem services in HEAs. The consideration of these priorities will promote the value of HEAs and will benefit the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity.