Ocean Action Hub

MONDAY, 5 JUNE 2017 

1:15 PM - 2:30 PM



View the photo gallery of this event here >

Hosted by the Government of Grenada, the Government of the Cabo Verde, The Nature Conservancy, and The Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)

Partners: The Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, The Nordic Council, OECD, UNDP, FAO, The World Bank Small States Forum

Objective: The event will present on the following: 1) showcasing Blue Economy approaches, tools, innovations and developments for Small Islands; 2) highlighting Blue Economy progress, innovation and impact in Small Islands; and 3) discussing the development of a facility to support partnerships and collaborative approaches to developing the Blue Economy in SIDS.

Key outcome: Conceptualize the formation of a multi-stakeholder facility/platform for operationalizing the way forward on collaborative action on The Blue Economy for SIDS linked to UN SDG 14 Voluntary Commitments.

Background: A recent report from the World Bank Group describes the ocean as the new economic frontier. Both traditional and “new and emerging” economic activities utilizing the ocean, according the World Bank, continue to rise. Further, the OECD estimates that between 2010 and 2030, the ocean economy could more than double its contribution to the global economy by adding approximately 40 million full‑time equivalent jobs - with the most rapid jobs growth expected to occur in offshore wind energy, marine aquaculture, fish processing and port activities.

The ocean’s asset value of US $24 trillion, estimated to deliver up to US $3 trillion in economic benefits per year, is dependent on a healthy ocean, as a result, many SIDS, given their vast Exclusive Economic Zones and commitment to sustainable development are considering adopting the Blue Economy. The Blue Economy or ‘Blue Growth” can be seen as a new framework that supports the transition toward an ocean economy that considers the economic benefits of protecting the ecological integrity and natural capital of the ocean through sustainable development.

Anthropogenic activities, like climate change, marine pollution and unsustainable fisheries practices considerably decrease the ability of SIDS to reap future economic benefits from the ocean. Therefore, building resilience to climate and natural disasters and adopting sustainable practices is critical. For many indebted SIDS, investing in the development of their Blue Economy, allows for the ramping up of action that simultaneously enhances their ocean health and delivers necessary economic benefits to help them meet their sustainable development goals.

The side event will showcase viable ways in which SIDS can deliver the key targets of SDG Goal 14 by presenting examples of current blue growth approaches implemented in SIDS, such as (but not limited to) partnerships and financial mechanisms to support marine spatial planning, aquaculture and sustainable fisheries, the development of Blue Master plans and Blue policies, and the role of financial tools in implementation, as well as, pioneering approaches to catalyzing action through the development of diverse multi-stakeholder partnerships.


  • Welcome Remarks by: Government of Grenada 
  • Hon. José da Silva Goncalves, Minister of Economy and Employment, Government of Cabo Verde
  • An Innovative Vision of a Blue Economy, Dr. Hans Hogeveen, Ambassador, Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Co-Chair and Co-Founding Member, The Blue Network (tbd)
  • Opportunities for the Blue Economy, Mr. Douglas Frantz, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD


  • Facilitator: Dr. Angus Friday, Ambassador to the US and Mexico, Permanent Representative to the Organisation of American States, Co-Founding Member of the Blue Network
  • Ms. Kathy B. McLeod, Managing Director, Climate Risk & Investment, The Nature Conservancy
  • Mr. David Robin, Ocean Governance & Fisheries Coordinator, OECS Commission
  • Mr. Geir Odsson, Senior Adviser, Nordic Council of Ministers and The Nordic Council
  • Mr. Carlos Rocha, Director of Maritime Economy, Government of Cabo Verde
  • Dr. Patrick Gomes, Secretary General, African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States
  • H.E. Ronald Jumeau, Permanent Representative of Seychelles to the United Nations (tbd) 
  • Dr. John Virdin, Director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University
  • Ms. Doreen Kibuka-Musoke, Head of the Small States Secretariat, World Bank Group
  • Dr. Spencer Thomas, Ambassador for Multilateral Environmental Agreements, Government of Grenada

The panel were guided by the following questions:

  • What are the approaches currently utilized to support Blue Economy development in SIDS and how do these approaches align to SDG Goal 14 targets?
  • What are the implementation, financing, technology and innovation gaps that currently act as a hurdle to Blue Economy Development?
  • How can we catalyze and scale up action on Blue Economy Development in SIDS utilizing a multi-stakeholder partnership platform? what are some the key contributions for effectively operationalizing this platform?

Announcement: Mr. Tumi Tómasson, Programme Director, United Nations University, Fisheries Training Program (UNU-FTP) on commitment assistance to SIDS

Closing Remarks: Dr. Dessima Williams, Special Adviser on SDGs to the President of United Nations General Assembly

View the flyer for this event here: https://nicholasinstitute.duke.edu/sites/default/files/FinalConcept_SideEventSeries_BlueEconomy_Jun4.pdf

More information: http://www.fao.org/about/meetings/fao-at-the-ocean-conference/en/

The Ocean Conference official programme: https://oceanconference.un.org/index.php?page=view&type=20000&nr=1340&menu=3327

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Monday, 5 June, 2017 - 13:15
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