Ocean Action Hub

This article analyses the interplay between inter-State obligations to increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology in accordance with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14.a, with a view to contributing to enhanced implementation of the international law of the sea (SDG 14.c), and providing access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources (SDG 14.b). It proposes to do so by relying not only on the international law of the sea, but also on international biodiversity law (particularly the Convention on Biological Diversity) and international human rights law (particularly the human right to science). The article seeks to provide a reflection on the role of international law vis-à-vis the means of implementation for SDG 14 in synergy with other SDGs (particularly SDG 17 on ‘Partnerships for the Goals’). The reflection starts from observing an increasing linkage in international policy-making between technology transfer and small-scale fisheries, as well as related challenges and risks. The article then explores inter-State obligations related to technology transfer, focusing on the duty to cooperate and share information with a view to fleshing out the concept of partnerships for sustainable development. The article concludes by suggesting how the international law of the sea can be better implemented to enhance international cooperation on marine technology transfer to the benefit of small-scale fisheries, on the basis of the normative standards of the human right to science and the lessons learnt in international biodiversity law, with a view to furthering the synergetic implementation of the SDGs through genuine partnerships.

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Type of document: 
Publication date: 
Publication Author: 
Elisa Morgera and Mara Ntona
Thematic Area: 
Sustainable fisheries