Ocean Action Hub

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

22 Apr 2020 - Marking 50 years of Earth Day amid the COVID-19 fallout brings greater urgency to climate-change action for marine life and more.

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8 Apr 2020 - This UNDP report aims to serve as a first public presentation or...
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8 Apr 2020 - To help overfished stocks recover, as well as to safeguard those that are still within sustainable harvesting limits, both the private and public sectors have important roles to play. 

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16 Apr 2020 - All coastal and marine ecosystems are critical to human well-being and global biodiversity. Mangroves, coral reefs, and seagrass beds are examples of these.

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10 Mar 2020 - IADB - Due to its unique geography, the Caribbean faces many challenges – and the climate crisis is only exacerbating them.

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27 Feb 2020 - One in five fish caught in the central western Pacific, which includes the exclusive economic zones of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Cambodia, is illegally traded.

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25 Feb 2020 - In 2015, 193 countries agreed on 17 global objectives for ending poverty and protecting the environment by 2030.

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12 Feb 2020 - WOI - The year 2020 will be crucial for the sustainable development of the ocean. Some are calling it the “ocean super year” due to its packed agenda including the World Ocean Summit, the UN Ocean Summit, Our Ocean in Palau, the conference on the Convention on Biological Diversity and COP26 in Glasgow, UK.
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28 Jan 2020 - OECD - The Blue Economy relies on healthy ocean ecosystems for the abundance of resources that generate these incomes, and its future looks bleak. We need significantly more sustainable ‘blue’ investment to move from current destructive approaches to ocean assets, to a climate-secure and prosperous Blue Economy.
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24 Jan 2019 - Patricia Scotland - There are new opportunities to invest in the ocean economy.

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21 Jan 2020 - Turning sargassum seaweed into bioplastic and fish offal into fuel are among four industry startups to receive backing from UNDP.

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16 Jan 2020 - The UNDP Barbados & the Eastern Caribbean Blue Economy Accelerator Lab (Blue Lab) has launched the first-ever “Blue Tank” ­– a dynamic forum where innovators will pitch ideas to help build a sustainable blue economy in the Caribbean.

 

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