The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) adopted by world leaders in 2015 set the foundations for an ambitious, inclusive, and resilient transformation that recognises poverty as one of the biggest challenges and aims to eradicate it. This 9 month study assisted the European Commission in identifying areas and projects for capacity development in 13 selected developing partner countries in the Central East Atlantic and Indian Ocean to help them achieve one or more of the 10 targets set under SDG 14. The study may also serve as a pilot for future studies in other geographical regions. The assignment addressed the following 3 specific objectives:
1. State of play: The study identified relevant existing ocean governance mechanisms in the target regions and the current level of their implementation, drawing on relevant studies and reports. This information was used to provide a clear picture of the current position of SFPAs countries in the Central East Atlantic and Indian Ocean in relation to the SDG 14 and its targets, to show the scale of the challenge.
2. Identification of main problem areas and gaps: SWOT analyses were conducted for the 13 target SFPA countries and their capacity to implement SDG 14. This also included an evaluation of the impact of key weaknesses and gaps on capacity. The focus of this phase was highlighting governance mechanisms and capacity building needs.
3. Recommendations for concrete projects: Using the outcome of the SWOT analysis and impact assessment together with insight built through stakeholder engagement, recommendations for 3-5 concrete capacity building projects at country level were developed to respond to priorities in each of the targeted SFPAs countries. Recommendations for 1-2 concrete capacity building projects at regional level for each of the Central East Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions were also developed.
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