The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have become a key driver for policy and decision-making in many countries including in the Western Indian Ocean region. The paper focuses on SDG 14 achievement in the Western Indian Ocean especially on four of the targets of SDG 14 that were due in 2020 but are essential to ocean sustainability. The analysis shows that the WIO region lags behind regarding marine conservation related goals with more than half of the countries far from achieving SDG 14.2 on marine area being covered by area based management tools and even more countries far from achieving the 10% coverage of marine protected areas under SDG 14.5. The region is performing better with regards to fisheries management goals with most countries being classified at making average to good progress towards SDG 14.4 on sustainable stocks and SDG 14.6. addressing harmful subsidies and IUU fishing. The diversity of the socio-economic and governance contexts in the WIO countries contributes to differentiated level of achievement while the fairly positive ecological state of the WIO supports achievement. To achieve SDG 14 by 2030, the WIO region needs to better appropriate the monitoring process in terms of achievement so that existing actions are recorded towards achievement. Implementing SDG 14 can be seen as an opportunity to align actions with the WIO’s aspirations so that a holistic approach and tailored capacity development are adopted. While achieving ocean goals is currently at the top of the global agenda, the needs of the WIO people need to remain at the centre of processes.
|Journal||Western Indian Ocean Journal of Marine Science|
|Publication status||Accepted for publication - 16 May 2022|
- SDG 14
- area based management
- marine protected areas
- fish stocks
- IUU fishing