The European Union has launched the Blue growth concept as a strategy for stimulating economic growth in European seas. It is accompanying the core principles of the Green growth paradigm that seek to stimulate smart, sustainable and inclusive growth of economic activities. Focusing on Blue growth, this article examines its adequacy to enable social innovation as a strategy for the use and management of marine resources. Social innovation is interpreted as the changing behaviour of a group of actors joined in a network, leading to new and improved ways of collaborative action within the group and beyond. Social innovation can contribute to changing behaviour across different institutional settings, across markets and public sectors, and to enhancing bottom-up responsible inventiveness towards integration of social, economic and environmental objectives. Based on case-study research it is concluded that, to secure long-term sustainable development over short-term benefits, a social innovation perspective in the maritime domain will depend on cooperation, inclusiveness and trust.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
This article explores the concept of “other effective area-based conservation measures” (OECMs) in the context of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 on marine protected areas and OECMs and its linkages to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It argues that mainstreaming biodiversity through CBD Aichi Biodiversity Targets’ implementation into the SDGs can contribute to a more systemic and comprehensive implementation of SDG 14.5 on conservation of at least 10% of marine and coastal areas. It argues that OECMs can complement MPAs and contribute to ecologically representative and effectively managed marine protected areas systems integrated into broader governance systems such as marine spatial planning. Selected global and local sectoral conservation measures are therefore highlighted in this analysis as potential forms of OECMs. At the local level, a case study of ecologically or biologically significant marine areas managed as locally managed marine areas (LMMAs) in Mozambique is discussed. This case study explores how multiple-use LMMAs, which respond to short-term fisher's needs and targeted biodiversity conservation, could contribute to the achievement of specific SDGs on food security, poverty elimination and resilient ecosystems if properly supported by long-term investments, strong institutions and integrated oceans management.
The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2017 reviews progress made towards the 17 Goals in the second year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The report is based on the latest available data. It highlights both gains and challenges as the international community moves towards full realization of the ambitions and principles espoused in the 2030 Agenda.
While considerable progress has been made over the past decade across all areas of development, the pace of progress observed in previous years is insufficient to fully meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets by 2030. Time is therefore of the essence. Moreover, as the following pages show, progress has not always been equitable. Advancements have been uneven across regions, between the sexes, and among people of different ages, wealth and locales, including urban and rural dwellers. Faster and more inclusive progress is needed to accomplish the bold vision articulated in the 2030 Agenda.
Governments adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at ushering in a new era of sustainable development where ‘no one is left behind.’ They include a specific goal — SDG 14 — to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources. While policymakers can use a number of legal, regulatory and economic tools to do so, there should be more focus on harnessing fiscal instruments such as taxes, subsidies and conditional transfers to provide the necessary incentives. Provided these approaches strike an appropriate balance between economic, social and ecological considerations, they could play an important role in making SDG 14 a reality. It must be noted that fiscal instruments or reforms do not operate in a vacuum. Their effective implementation requires adequate institutional frameworks to be in place. It is argued that (i) building or strengthening both technical and institutional capacity for fiscal administration; (ii) enhancing compliance through either (or a combination of) incentives and/or punitive measures; (iii) promoting transparency and accountability to win legitimacy and thereby cooperation from all stakeholders involved; and (iv) clearly defining use and access rights of marine and coastal resources either by recognising traditional or customary rights or through a participatory and equitable approach are very critical for an effective implementation of fiscal instruments their reforms.
Ensuring sustainability of livelihoods for communities residing in coastal environments of the Global South has gained considerable attention across policy making, practice and research fields. Livelihood enhancement programs commonly strategize around developing people's resilience by diversification of income and subsistence activities, but are criticised for inadequate appreciation of local contexts. This in part results from the application of theoretical approaches in practice which are informed disproportionately by dominant science-based narratives and utilised by actors in higher level political arenas. This leads to the prioritization of objectives that do not necessarily reflect local livelihood conditions. There is an urgent need to address the multiple challenges that limit the possibility for sustainable livelihoods in spatially and temporally dynamic environments. This paper presents an analysis of the policy landscape in which intervention strategies for sustainable coastal livelihoods emerge. It examines how livelihood improvement approaches take shape in the context of conservation, rural development, and regional resource governance. Drawing from analyses of broader regional policies and an extensive literature review, a conceptual framework is presented. It details various influences that can flow up or down multi-scaled governance structures to affect policy and management - from agenda-setting narratives of policy makers to the dynamic and changeable nature of livelihoods. Case studies from the Arafura and Timor Seas region are introduced to illustrate some of these trends. The discussion highlights challenges encountered in the pursuit of sustainability for coastal and marine-based livelihoods, and suggests directions for more effective long term policy, management and strategic interventions.
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 community 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 global ambition, the global community should now agree on concrete steps to develop coherent regional and international implementation frameworks for achieving oceans sustainability. To advance these efforts, this policy brief offers three key recommendations.
Even though marine protected areas (MPAs) have become central instruments in the endeavour towards sustainable development, our knowledge on how different institutional designs influence outcomes is limited. Using a comparative case study design, this paper explores the interplay between institutional arrangements and management outcomes in two adjacent yet institutionally slightly differing MPAs, encompassing a shared marine trench and a partially inhabited archipelago landscape – namely the Koster Sea National Park in Sweden and the Outer Hvaler National Park in Norway. How can differences in the institutional designs governing the two parks, be linked to differences in sustainability outcomes? What lessons can be learnt for the design of MPAs? The study shows that institutional design influences management outcomes in some respects but not in others. Differences in overall management systems had no noticeable effects on sustainability outcomes and how they were perceived, while the differing objectives of the parks and how they are made operational seem to have affected the outcomes. But they have also influenced actors' expectations and their assessment of outcomes. According to this study, conservation arrangements can be broadened beyond mere nature protection. However, the study also underlines the challenges of locally adapted and participatory institutional designs and emphasises the importance of taking users’ varying expectations related to social and economic values into account throughout the whole process. The establishment of national parks is no guarantee for broader sustainable development per se; this also requires resources and proper embedding and integration with relevant sectors and tiers in the overall management system.
This publication highlights the critical contribution of healthy marine and coastal ecosystems to achieving the SDGs and describes the role of credible and accessible data, well communicated knowledge generated through dialogue with users, in supporting informed decision-making.