Implementing and Monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals in the Caribbean: The Role of the Ocean

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Identifying and Articulating Knowledge Needs for the Implementation and Monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals in Caribbean Small Island States and Matching Those Needs to Knowledge, Tools, and Data.

Session Description

Session 3: Ocean-related variables and indicators essential for SDG implementation and monitoring in Caribbean Small Island States

Co-Chairs: Zahidah Afrin Nisa and Milton Haughton

This session aimed to merge existing scientific knowledge with the understanding of the societal problem of making progress towards the SDGs in Caribbean SIS developed in the first two sessions. The goal of the session was to use the knowledge needs identified in the first two session to co-create a prioritized inventory of those ocean-related variables and indicators that can inform the development and validation of sustainability policies in the SIS, and can help to engage the people in the implementation of these policies. The inventory aimed to include those variables and indices that characterizing the phycial, chemical, and biological state and trends of the ocean that are essential for both the development and validation of policies in support of SDG implementation and needed for the monitoring of progress towards the targets and more sustainability. The initial presentation gave an overview of work done by experts to identify essential ocean variables and showed examples of observation efforts to monitor these variables. Subsequently, the a table discussion round took place.

The second table discussion round focused on the variables, and specifically ocean-related variables, that need to be known in order to generate knowledge in support of SDG implementation. The participants at each table were asked to consider the relevant questions from the following list:

  1. Is science support available to your government or your group to assist in decision making related to the implementation, monitoring and reporting of the SDGs?
  2. Are scenario-based approaches used to assess policy options and their potential impacts and to evaluate the policy impacts?
  3. In your thematic area, what data are used to address the challenges for SDG implementation and to monitor progress?
  4. What ocean-related data are available and accessible and what data are missing or not fit-for-purpose?
  5. Are you aware of knowledge and capacity gaps impacting your efforts to make progress towards the goals?
  6. What practical steps would you recommend to address the knowledge and capacity gaps identified?
  7. What ocean-related variables should be monitored to support your efforts to implement and monitor the SDGs?

The participants grouped into five tables with the topics:

  1. Supporting a Sustainable Blue Economy - SDGs 8, 9, 10, 12, 13
  2. Food and Water Security, Health, Poverty - SDGs 1, 2, 3, 6
  3. Maritime Transportation, Fisheries, Pollution, Marine Biodiversity - Implementing SDGs 14, 15
  4. Ocean and Safe and Thriving Communities - SDGs 7, 10, 11, 12, 13
  5. Climate Change, Biodiversity, and the Ocean SDGs 13, 14, 15

The outcomes of the discussions were reported back to the plenary.

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This workshop was sponsored by:


under grant 80NSSC17K0241