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

Thailand

Community Mangrove Forest Conservation of Baan Bang La is one of the Equator Prize Winners 2017. Here's why.

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Kenya

The Kuruwitu Conservation & Welfare Association (KCWA) is one of the Equator Prize Winners 2017. Here's why.

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30 June 2017 - Each of us must pick one issue — generally, globally, specifically, locally — and engage our many talents and actions toward that one solution. Pick yours, and by so doing, join in turning the tide by marking this the point in history when humanity — you and me — began righting the wrongs perpetrated on our ocean.

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After the United States of America and Chile, the European Union is proud to host the 4th edition of the "Our Ocean" conference, at the initiative of High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affai

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On 5-6 October 2017, global leaders are invited in Malta for the 4th "Our Ocean" conference. Now more than ever there is an urgent need to come together.

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21 June 2017 - Mauritius will host the first Meeting of the Compliance Committee of the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA) and the 4th Meeting of the Parties from 23 to 30 J

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Our ocean is one of planet Earth’s greatest and most important resources. It provides food for four out of 10 people in the world.

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12 June 2017 - The United Nations Ocean Conference drew to a close with a joint “call to action” issued by member states after a

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12 June 2017 - The Ocean Conference (5-9 June) co-hosted by the Governments of Fiji and Sweden brought an unprecedented show of global unity around the need to tackle the crisis in the oce

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“The struggle of poor and vulnerable communities against poverty, biodiversity...
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7 Jun 2017 - Wednesday marked the half-way point to the week dedicated to oceans in New York, at the UN Ocean Conference (#SaveourOcean).

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