Ocean Action Hub

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Partnering for a Sustainable Ocean: The Role of Regional Ocean Governance in Implementing Sustainable Development Goal 14

The Partnership for Regional Ocean Governance (PROG) is pleased to announce the release of 

og-ocean.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/PROG_Partnering-for-a-Sustainabe-Ocean_Report.pdf" target="_blank">Partnering for a Sustainable Ocean: The Role of Regional Ocean Governance in Implementing Sustainable Development Goal 14This major new report assesses the mandates of different regional cooperation frameworks, showcases existing regional efforts, and identifies key contributions that regional institutions and initiatives can make to the implementation of SDG14 and the overarching challenges of the 2030 Agenda. 

The report shows that most of the SDG14 targets can be addressed at the regional level, with regional initiatives being a driver for the development of integrated approaches. The report concludes that regional cooperation is essential for ocean sustainability and that regional ocean governance efforts require greater support to overcome gaps and institutional weaknesses.

 ​The full report and a summary for decision makers can be downloaded here:

The report will be launched on the occasion of the UN Ocean Conference (5-9 June 2017, New York) during a one day parallel event, Oceans in the 2030 Agenda: The role of Regional Governance (6 June 2017 at the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN), organised by the governments of Germany, Sweden together with the PROG partners. This event will bring together representatives of relevant regional and international organisations, ocean governance practitioners from States, civil society and science to discuss the role of regional cooperation in implementing SDG14. Confirmed speakers include the Minister for the Environment Karolina Skog (Sweden), UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim, State Secretary for the Environment Gunther Adler (Germany), and the former Federal Minister of the Environment (Germany) and founding director of the IASS, Klaus Töpfer.

The PROG is an initiative of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), TMG-Think Tank for Sustainability and UN Environment. For more information, see: prog-ocean.org.

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IASS Policy Brief: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal for the Oceans

Policy brief offering 3 key recommendations: Develop a registry of ocean commitments; Establish regional partnerships for sustainable oceans and Prepare a global thematic review for the oceans.

2017 could become a landmark year for efforts to put the world’s oceans on a pathway towards sustainability. Complemented by numerous regional and national initiatives, the UN Ocean Conference in June and the EU-hosted Our Ocean Conference in October are important opportunities for the international com- munity to establish a firm foundation for future action and to agree on tangible measures to reverse the cycle of declining ocean health. While there is no lack in glo- bal ambition, the global community should now agree on concrete steps to develop coherent regional and in- ternational implementation frameworks for achieving oceans sustainability. To advance these efforts, this policy brief offers three key recommendations: 

  • Message 1: Develop a registry of ocean commitments. - The establishment of effective reporting procedures is crucial to achieving the Goal 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 Goal for the Oceans and a repository of 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 Goal for the Oceans.

  • 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 assess- ment. 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 Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI),

and TMG – ThinkTank for Sustainability.