Sustainable Development Goal 14: To what degree have we achieved the 2020 targets for our oceans?

Mialy Andriamahefazafy*, Grégoire Touron-Gardic, Antaya Lauren Alexandra March, Giles Hosch, Deng Palomares, Pierre Failler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Since the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, the world oceans, to which a specific goal was assigned, have been high on the global agenda. At the national level, the ocean has received increasing consideration, with many coastal states and islands adopting blue economy strategies and frameworks, and putting the ocean at the centre of development. SDG 14: Life Below Water includes ten targets, four of which (14.2, 14.4, 14.5 and 14.6) expired in 2020. This paper presents the state of progress on these four targets that address marine protection and fisheries management. The study is based on an assessment of the indicators established by the United Nations for each target, using publicly available databases allowing to measure the achievement of the targets. The analysis shows that achievement of these four targets is meagre with most countries not achieving any of the four goals. Most countries were classified as far from achievement or having made low progress. Only two countries achieved three of the targets and more than 20 countries failed to achieve two targets or more. Across the four targets, SDG 14.5 on marine protected areas saw the highest number of achievers but also a high number of countries still far from achievement. Europe and Oceania had the highest number of countries having performed well in terms of achievement while Africa and the Middle East showed the most countries with limited achievement. These results indicate that there is still a long way to go to achieve these four targets in 2030. To move towards achievement, more investment is needed towards priority countries that have seen limited achievement but also some adaptation might be needed in terms of monitoring processes. Finally, it seems useful at this point to reflect on what has been achieved and how countries, especially those facing various socio-economic and political challenges, can fully benefit from current processes towards implementing SDG14.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOcean and Coastal Management
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 27 Jun 2022

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