Pacific Ocean Pathways in Support of Sustainable Development

Pacific Ocean Pathways in Support of Sustainable Development

Project Summary

PacPath is a Belmont Forum Collaborative Research Action (CRA) funded by national funding agencies in France, Germany, and the USA. The project is a partnership among 13 institutions and researchers in France, Germany, Fiji, and New Caledonia to generate common understanding of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG 14, Life Below Water) in the South Pacific region. The project will begin to map sustainability priorities to SDG attainment metrics at the local, subnational, national, and regional scales, beginning in Fiji and New Caledonia as pilot locations. The current funding is for a 2-year process to develop stakeholder networks for a larger CRA, which will expand the project to other island states and additional stakeholders.


This project addresses an important gap between SDG concepts and implementation. The SDGs are tools designed to achieve global sustainability targets, but the decisions needed to achieve the SDG targets will be implemented in local communities. These communities will be the most impacted by these decisions, and may also have priorities and perceptions of sustainability that don’t necessarily match the language and targets described in the SDGs. Developing a shared understanding of sustainability needs and priorities around the SDGs increases the relevance of the SDGs to local communities, and can help improve the buy in needed to implement actions to achieve them.


UMCES’ role in PacPath is to facilitate the discussions needed to develop a shared understanding of the values, threats, barriers, and opportunities associated with SDG 14 at multiple scales, especially addressing local community perceptions. We will help select indicators that are relevant to local concerns and understand how they map to the existing SDG targets developed for global sustainability purposes.


Key Personnel

Heath Kelsey
IAN Director
Annie Carew
Science Communicator