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Governance Planning for Sustainable Oceans in a Small Island State

Singh, Gerald G; Oduber, Marck; Cisneros-Montemayor, Andres M; Ridderstaat, Jorge

Promoting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require aligning government institutions and must contend with the often siloed nature of institutions within organizations, making the identification of cooperative institutional networks that promote SDGs a priority. We develop and apply a method which combines SDG interlinkage analysis, which helps determine priorities and prerequisites for SDG attainment, with the transition management framework, which aligns policy goals with institutional designs and programs. Using Aruba as a model case study of a small island state with a planning committee for SDG 14 and a current economic reliance on marine tourism, we show that prioritizing increased benefits to SIDS from sustainable development of marine resources includine tourism (SDG 14.7) provides the most direct co-benefits to other SDGs. When considering indirect co-benefits, reducing marine pollution (SDG 14.1) emerged as an key supporting target to achieve other important ocean targets. In order to support sustainable ocean development, we show that Aruba depends on international support through mitigating climate change (SDG 13) and developing international partnerships (SDG 17) as well as promoting sustainable economies (SDG 8), terrestrial conservation (SDG 15), building strong institutions (SDG 16) and promoting sustainable consumption and production practices (SDG 12) domestically. Using SDG interlinkages as a guide for institutional cooperation, we find that the Aruban institutions with the most potential to coordinate action for sustainable ocean development are those that coordinate economic, social, and international policy, rather than institutions specifically focused on environmental policy. Our results provide insight for sustainable development planning across small island states where ocean resources are key for development priorities.

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