With the SDGs, countries agreed that Peace, Planet, Partnership, Prosperity and People are connected. To maximise synergies and minimize trade-offs, their interactions need to be better understood. While ‘SDG interlinkages’ are increasingly studied, SDG 16 is rarely covered. This new publication builds on the first, ground-breaking study ‘Connections that Matter: How the Quality of Governance Institutions may be the Booster Shot we need to reduce Poverty and Inequality’ on the interlinkages between SDG 16 and SDG 1 (No Poverty) and SDG 10 (Reduced Inequality). UNDP’s Oslo Governance Centre and the German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS) have now released this second study on interlinkages between SDG 16 and SDG 14 (Life Below Water).

Based on a scoping literature review of 300+ academic papers, the study finds empirical evidence from across the globe that inclusion and participation, accountability and rule of law, as well as transparency and control of corruption and crime can improve the effectiveness of marine and coastal protection efforts and contribute towards the sustainability of fisheries. The study highlights a number of examples, including how governance can regulation, management and enforcement tends to improve marine park conservation whereas lack of enforcement can lead to ‘paper parks’. This publication offers initial policy insights on how to identify and activate governance levers to accelerate progress on SDG 14.