Policy Briefs

Sustainable Development Goal 14 on the ocean

The importance of the ocean for sustainable development has been firmly acknowledged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through Sustainable Development Goal 14. During a workshop organized by the Ocean University Initiative for the French Ministry of Ecological Transition on May 29, 2019 in Brest, some of these goals, notably to manage and combat the negative effects of fisheries subsidies, noise and plastic pollution, were analyzed, enabling the identification of areas for future research detailed in this policy brief. Some research topics are particularly important. Firstly, the implementation of target 14.6 on harmful fishing subsidies requires applied research into the economic, ecological and social impacts of public policies. Secondly, there is a strong need for harmonized measures to assess the impact of noise on marine fauna (invertebrates and vertebrates). Thirdly, marine pollution reduction target 14.1 should initially focus on plastic packaging, which accounts for almost half of the world’s marine plastic waste.

Laura Recuero VirtoResearch coordinator Ocean University Initiative Business School De Vinci i3, École Polytechnique
Fabienne DauresResearcher in economics Ifremer, UMR 6308 AMURE
Olivier GuyaderResearcher in economics Ifremer, UMR 6308 AMURE
Laurent ChauvaudMarine Ecology Research Director CNRS, LEMAR UMR 6539 – LIA BeBEST
Christophe MaesResearcher in physical oceanography IRD, LOPS UMR 197
Arnaud HuvetResearcher in molecular physiology Ifremer, LEMAR UMR 653

Issue Date : September  2023

ISSN printed version 2647-2201
ISSN digital version 2592-6462

Consumption, technology and wellbeing

This policy brief highlights the insights subjective well-being metrics bring to the understanding of the relationship between consumption and happiness. We explore this topic in the advent of expected significant price increases under the double impact of higher climate volatility and the costly transition to cleaner production and transportation technologies, as it is the case with maritime transport.

People appear to be sensitive to price increases, on top of the real purchasing power of price and income changes regarding their happiness. Moreover, the type of consumption matters, with a lower marginal effect of material consumption on wellbeing compared to experiential consumption. Health, social relationships and local environment are considered as main drivers of their wellbeing and de-emphasise consumption.

A key outcome is that the gains of additional consumption decrease with the level of consumption, making consumption reductions less painful at the upper end of the revenue scale. Rich societies should be actively working on further decoupling material consumption and well-being by consciously exposing the elusive nature of the well-being boost we get from conspicuous consumption (goods others can readily observe: car, clothing, house, watches) and provide incentives for more socially and environmentally responsible modes of consumption.

Mathieu PeronaExecutive director, Observatoire du Bien-être du CEPREMAP / Well-being Observatory
Laura Recuero VirtoResearch coordinator Ocean University Initiative Business School De Vinci i3, École Polytechnique
Maxime SèbePostdoctoral researcher, i3-CRG, École polytechnique, CNRS, IP Paris
Fabien YaoPostdoctoral researcher, i3-CRG, École polytechnique, CNRS, IP Paris

Issue date: July  2023

ISSN printed version 2647-2201
ISSN digital version 2592-6462

Including Coastal Ecosystems in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

The effects of climate change are growing and are already having dramatic consequences, particularly for coastal populations in developing countries (IPCC, 2018). In 2015, by adopting the Paris Agreement, the international community committed to reducing the magnitude of ongoing climate change through the development of national action plans, called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Five years after signing the Agreement, it appears that the States must undertake drastic efforts to raise their climate ambitions. The ocean, which plays a key role in stabilizing the climate, offers many mitigation and adaptation solutions (Gattuso et al., 2018). Among them, proper management, conservation and restoration of coastal ecosystems can help meet both the challenges posed by climate change and the decline in biodiversity, while increasing human well-being. This policy brief explores the challenges of the inclusion in NDCs of such actions based on emblematic coastal ecosystems: mangroves, coral reefs, seagrasses and salt-marshes.

Fanny ChâlesPhD student in Environmental Economics Ocean University Initiative UMR AMURE, University of Brest (UBO)

Issue date: February 2021

ISSN printed version 2647-2201
ISSN digital version 2592-6462

Underwater noise

There are increasing concerns about the impact of underwater noise on marine life spurred by the steady rise in the number and variety of human activities at sea. In particular, chronic noise levels from commercial shipping have increased significantly in the past 60 years and they are set to continue to rise in the coming years. In response to this concern, the United Nations has signed a voluntary commitment to reduce underwater noise (#OceanAction18553), which recognizes the negative impact that shipping noise can have on marine life. In this policy brief, we examine the role of ports in reducing this type of noise and illustrate our findings through a case study of the port of Le Havre.

Laura Recuero VirtoResearch coordinator Ocean University Initiative University of Brest (UBO) i3-CRG, Ecole Polytechnique
Hervé DumezDirector The Interdisciplinary Institute for Innovation i3-CRG, Ecole Polytechnique
Pascal GalichonDirector in charge of sustainable development and pilotage Grand Port Maritime du Havre (Le Havre port authority)
Florent Le CourtoisUnderwater noise pollution expert SHOM (French Naval Hydrographic and Oceanographic Department)
Manuel MuntoniProgram manager - Ecological Restoration Frame of Reference for the Seine Estuary Groupement d’Intérêt Publique Seine-Aval (GIP Seine-Aval)

Issue date: August  2020

ISSN printed version 2677-6847
ISSN digital version 2677-934X

Questions about Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

The problem of MPAs is not the lack of knowledge about the marine environment, but managing of people, that is, managing the different uses in these areas. Thus, it is much easier to identify MPAs than to manage them effectively, not only in waters under national jurisdiction, but even more so in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Another problem is not enough collegial and transparent scientific committees to ensure good scientific governance of MPAs.

Laura Recuero VirtoResearch coordinator Ocean University Initiative, University of Brest (UBO) ; i3-CRG, Ecole Polytechnique
Modou ThiawCoordinator, Fisheries Ecology Laboratory in West Africa (LEH-AO) (ISRA/CRODT and Universities of UCAD, UGB, UASZ), Dakar-Thiaroye Oceanographic Research Center (ISRA/CRODT)

Issue date: November 2018

ISSN : 2647-2201

Monitoring Sustainable Development Goal 14 on the ocean

This policy brief explains the role of Sustainable Development Goal 14 on the Ocean and points to the related major initiatives of the United Nations through a short interview with Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. It sets out the relevance of indicators for monitoring the SDG 14 agenda, illustrates progress in this area globally and nationally in France and South Africa, goes over certain coordination challenges and highlights future areas of research.

Laura Recuero VirtoResearch coordinator Ocean University Initiative, University of Brest (UBO) ; i3-CRG, Ecole Polytechnique
Anne-France DidierSpecial Adviser for Regional and Local Governance, Coordinator for SDG14, French Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition
Kumi KitamoriHead of Division Green Growth & Global Relations, Environment Directorate, OECD

Issue date: November 2018

ISSN : 2647-2201

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