Ocean Action Hub

Definition

The Blue Economy approach is based on a vision of "improved wellbeing and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities" (UNEP 2013). As such, Blue Economy initiatives support the creation of a low-carbon, resource-efficient, socially-inclusive society. The achievement of global sustainability goals feeds local objectives, and conversely, global successes are built on effective local implementation. As such, the services, benefits and values documented by initial Blue Economy efforts were and are seen as crucial not only for local communities and coastal states, but also the world as a whole (UNEP, 2015, p.8).

The fact that oceans and seas (as well as rivers, waterways and estuaries) matter for sustainable development is undeniable. Two thirds of the earth's surface is covered by water. The oceans1 are widely accepted as the incubator of all life forms. They are a fundamental yet delicate part of the Earth's biosphere and essential to sustaining life on the planet. Oceans serve a variety of purposes, all critical to the sustenance and preservation of human life. Among other things, they provide food and minerals, generate oxygen, absorb greenhouse gases (GHG), mitigate climate change, influence weather patterns and temperatures and serve as highways for human transport and sea-borne trade (UNCTAD, 2014, p.1).

The link between humans and the oceans has been fundamental to the development of human civilisation. Today, more than 3 billion people live in close proximity to the coast. This number is bound to rise with population growth, urban drift and increasing demand for accommodation close to oceans and seas. The high level of dependence of humans on marine assets is putting unprecedented pressure on marine ecosystems to service the ever-increasing demands of the growing global population. There is therefore an increasing need for regulation on the basis of an appropriate balance between the demand for oceans' natural resources and their sustainability (UNCTAD, 2014, p.1).

Healthy oceans and seas are essential to a more sustainable future for all. This is particularly true in the case of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). However, oceans are facing significant existential ecological risks that can negatively affect the social and economic prospects of all countries, particularly SIDS and coastal States that are acutely dependent on oceans. Some of these risks are a rise in sea levels due to climate change; acidification of oceans resulting from increased emissions of carbon dioxide; overexploitation and poor management of marine resources, including fisheries; wastewater runoff; deposit of pollutants into waterways; and the compromise of the seabed as a consequence of mineral resource prospecting and extraction (UNCTAD, 2014, p.1).

Latest

As part of the run-up to the Stockholm+50 conference 2-3 June 2022, on 19 April UNDP supported the governments of Sweden and Portugal in organizing a high level event in Stockholm: “Blue Talks – The 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference and Stockholm+50 Conference: Building Bridges”.

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As SIDS work to sustainably rebuild their economies following the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to highlight the opportunities of the ocean for resilient low-carbon gr

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Oceans have always inspired and nurtured us. Their vastness has challenged our thinking and our ingenuity. They have made us sailors, navigators, explorers and scientists.

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Negotiating global agreements on climate action, biodiversity restoration,...
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The One Ocean Summit took place last week in Brest, France.

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The Global Plastics Outlook is the first report to comprehensively take stock...
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The Fifth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly was an opportunity...
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The October 2021 edition is dedicated exclusively to the blue foods and the...
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The second World Ocean Assessment provides an update to the first Assessment,...
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As the new year begins, the world continues to battle a global pandemic, all within the context of a planetary climate emergency.

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This special edition of the UNDP SIDS Bulletin provides a take on 2021 in retrospect in the interconnected sectors of Blue Economy, Digital Transformation, Climate Action and Data in SIDS.

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The 9th annual World Ocean Summit will be returning in-person this March in Lisbon, Portugal. The event will welcome 200 speakers and 2,000 participants over three days. 

Event Date:
01/03/2022 - 08:00 to 03/03/2022 - 08:00
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