The UNDP's Oslo Governance Centre and the German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS) released a second SDG 16 interlinkages study at the Blue Justice Conference in Copenhagen, March 23, 2023 . The Report investigates interlinkages between SDG 16 and SDG 14 (Life Below Water). The report examines how progress on key aspects of SDG 16 (namely, inclusion and participation; accountability and rule of law; and transparency and control of corruption and crime) impacts on key aspects of SDG 14 (namely, marine pollution, marine protection and sustainable fisheries).
The report shows with empirical evidence from across the globe that meaningful stakeholder engagement in marine protection efforts fosters trust, ownership and cooperation which makes these efforts more accepted and legitimate, and thereby more effective. In turn, protection efforts, such as the setting up of marine protected areas, which neglect stakeholder engagement and fail to acknowledge local interests, needs, identities, and expertise can provoke resistance, conflict, and illicit activity, which ultimately cause harm to both the ecosystem and society. Another strong finding is that the different elements of governance can mutually reinforce each other, leading to even better outcomes on SDG 14. For example, regulation efforts are more effective if they are combined with stakeholder engagement.
Finally, the report reflects on what we did not find and why this may be, and offers suggestions for future work to make sure research translates into action.