High-level policymakers, diplomats and experts have identified priority areas of action to enable developing countries to harness the benefits of the ocean economy for sustainable development.
During an UNCTAD event held on 9 June to advance discussions ahead of the UNCTAD15 quadrennial conference scheduled for October, hosted by Barbados, they underlined the importance of a sustainable ocean economy for the overall development prospects of coastal developing countries, small island developing states (SIDS) and other vulnerable island nations.
The main messages that emerged from the discussions included the following:
- The ocean is invaluable, its health and the sustainable use of its resources are critical to life and livelihoods; the blue economy holds great promise, and its sustainable development will benefit people and societies.
- Policy coherence and synergy are needed to make international agreements on sustainable development, climate change, biodiversity, and disaster risk reduction work in tandem and to build back better as part of the post-COVID-19 recovery.
- There is an urgent need for innovative financing mechanisms for sustainable technologies, better access to green and blue infrastructure finance, as well as increased capacity-building.
The panellists asked UNCTAD to play a leading role in supporting a sustainable ocean economy, focusing on these key priorities:
1. Facilitate trade and technology transfer for sustainable ocean-based goods and services
2. Provide technical support for sustainable fish and fisheries management
3. Support affordable and accessible maritime transport, infrastructure financing, climate-change adaptation and related technical assistance and capacity-building
4. Support the transition towards zero emissions by strengthening renewable energy
5. Propose a sustainable tourism framework
6. Create and deepen partnerships with countries and regions
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