Overline: European Consortium for Political Research
Headline: Comparative Implementation of the SDGs in the Regional Seas

Building: VMP 9 Floor: 2 Room: 27

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Developments puts a healthy ocean at the core of the global sustainable development agenda. The dedicated Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 14) on oceans, seas and marine resources sets targets for tackling some of the most pressing issues facing the oceans. The responsibility for implementing the 2030 Agenda and achieving the SDGs lies with the member states of the United Nations; however, the transboundary nature of marine resources and threats to the marine environment require States to work together. In light of the holistic nature of the 2030 Agenda, the successful delivery of SDG14 will also require a transition from single-sector management to integrated and coordinated decision-making processes. Regional ocean governance has the potential to facilitate the needed integrated ecosystem-based approach that aligns with the interconnected nature of marine ecosystems and addresses the cumulative impacts of human activities affecting them.

This panel will explore how different ocean governance efforts, including Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans, Regional Fisheries Bodies, Political and economic communities that engage in regional ocean governance, Leader-driven Regional Ocean Governance initiatives, and other ad hoc agreements and initiatives, respond to the challenges and opportunities in implementing SDG 14 and other ocean related SDGs. Regional ocean governance initiatives e.g. in the North-East Atlantic, the Baltic, Arctic, the Western Indian Ocean, Caribbean, or the Pacific, vary widely in scope, mandate and geographical coverage. The panel will discuss different approaches in SDG implementation within marine regions and different concepts of institutional design, including institutional interplay and the diffusion of global norms at the regional level.
The panel will explore comparative cases from different marine regions, geographical scales, actors and governance levels together with analysis from an overarching perspective addressing the following issues with regard to implementing the 2030 Agenda for the oceans:

- Opportunities and challenges for enhanced cooperation at the regional scale through implementing global norms such as the SDGs or the Aichi targets at the regional level;
- Institutional interplay between global, regional, national, and local institutions and overcoming fragmentation;
- Comparative studies exploring the coordination between global goals, regional cooperation and national implementation;
- Variance in adopting and implementing global norms such as the SDGs at the regional level.


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