Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal for the Oceans - IASS Policy Brief Launched

UN member States, researchers and non-governmental organisations are meeting on 15 and 16 February in New York to prepare for the UN Oceans Conference taking place from 5 to 9 June 2017. The UN Oceans Conference seeks to achieve a joint call for action for the protection and sustainable use of the oceans as well as concrete commitments by States and other stakeholders. These actions will foster the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 interlinked Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 14 relating to the oceans, seas, and marine resources.

Marking the Preparatory Meeting, the IASS, IDDRI and TMG – Think Tank for Sustainability published an IASS Policy Brief containing three concrete recommendations:

Message 1: Develop a registry of ocean commitments.

Effective reporting procedures are crucial for achieving SDG Goal 14 for the oceans. A central registry of ocean commitments would provide a transparent basis for tracking the efforts of States and stakeholders to achieve the Ocean SDG and create a repository for lessons learned.

Message 2: Establish regional partnerships for sustainable oceans.

Ocean sustainability challenges require collective action across sectors and scales. In an effort to coordinate policymaking and measures, regional ocean partnerships should be developed to support activities related to the implementation of the Ocean SDG.

Message 3: Prepare a global thematic review for the oceans.

States should review the implementation of SDG 14 and other ocean-related goals through an integrated thematic assessment. This review would provide the basis for future proposals and action as well as insights into interdependencies and trade-offs across the 2030 Agenda.

This policy brief draws on contributions to the 2016 Potsdam Ocean Governance Workshop “Sustainable Development Goals for the Ocean: Turning Commitment into Action” and research by the IASS, IDDRI, and TMG – ThinkTank for Sustainability. The workshop brought together about 50 international representatives from politics, science, international organisations and NGOs to discuss the opportunities and challenges of the SDGs relating to the ocean.

Unger, S., Müller, A., Rochette, J., Schmidt, S., Shackeroff Theisen, J., Wright, G. (2017): Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal for the Oceans. - IASS Policy Brief, 2017, 1.