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Prioritization of the Sustainable Development Goals Drives Opportunities and Risks for a Blue Future

38 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2019 Sneak Peek Status: Review Complete

See all articles by Kirsty L. Nash

Kirsty L. Nash

Centre for Marine Socioecology

Jessica L. Blythe

Brock University - Environmental Sustainability Research Centre

Christopher Cvitanovic

Centre for Marine Socioecology

Elizabeth A. Fulton

Centre for Marine Socioecology

Benjamin S. Halpern

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - National Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

E.J. Milner-Gulland

University of Oxford - Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science

Prue F.E. Addison

University of Oxford - Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science

Gretta T. Pecl

Centre for Marine Socioecology

Reg A. Watson

Centre for Marine Socioecology

Julia L. Blanchard

Centre for Marine Socioecology

More...

Abstract

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were designed to recognize the fundamental role the biosphere plays in our sustainable future. However, decision-making bodies, from local to international levels, have assigned lowest priority towards Goal 14 (Life Below Water). Here, we analyze policy reports and indicators to explore risks associated with low attainment of Goal 14 for other targets. We show that limited progress towards Goal 14 is likely to affect long-term attainment of social and economic targets. This is particularly the case for countries highly dependent on fisheries or for those developing a blue economy, due to the reliance of the social and economic goals on a healthy ocean in these contexts. To help ensure sustainability is not compromised by environmental degradation we suggest an extension to existing indicator assessments. This approach would provide greater transparency and specificity to decision-makers as they direct actions to attain SDGs.

Keywords: Sustainable Development Goals, marine ecosystems, environmental change, human well-being, trade-offs, synergies, blue economy, blue futures

Suggested Citation

Nash, Kirsty L. and Blythe, Jessica L. and Cvitanovic, Christopher and Fulton, Elizabeth A. and Halpern, Benjamin S. and Milner-Gulland, E.J. and Addison, Prue F.E. and Pecl, Gretta T. and Watson, Reg A. and Blanchard, Julia L., Prioritization of the Sustainable Development Goals Drives Opportunities and Risks for a Blue Future (August 20, 2019). ONE-EARTH-D-19-00108. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3439664 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3439664
This is a paper under consideration at Cell Press and has not been peer-reviewed.

Kirsty L. Nash (Contact Author)

Centre for Marine Socioecology ( email )

Australia

Jessica L. Blythe

Brock University - Environmental Sustainability Research Centre

Canada

Christopher Cvitanovic

Centre for Marine Socioecology

Australia

Elizabeth A. Fulton

Centre for Marine Socioecology

Australia

Benjamin S. Halpern

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - National Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis ( email )

United States

E.J. Milner-Gulland

University of Oxford - Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science

United Kingdom

Prue F.E. Addison

University of Oxford - Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science

United Kingdom

Gretta T. Pecl

Centre for Marine Socioecology

Australia

Reg A. Watson

Centre for Marine Socioecology

Australia

Julia L. Blanchard

Centre for Marine Socioecology

Australia

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