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

27 Nov 2018 - Women make up only 2% of the maritime workforce according to the ITF union. See how UNDP works to increase the number of women in the maritime sector.
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26 Nov 2018 - The Blue Economy concept is the use of ocean resources for human benefit in a manner that sustains the overall ocean resource base into perpetuity.

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The Blue Economy is inclusive and improves the lives of all; creates jobs, reduces poverty and ends hunger; harnesses renewable energy; is based on sustainable fisheries ...

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25 Nov 2018 - The blue economy concept holds great potential for coastal communities around the world, including the Caribbean.

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21 Nov 2018 - Small islands are seeing the tangible advantages of pivoting their national development strategies towards the sustainable use of the ocean.
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20 Nov 2018 - This paper examines some of the most innovative approaches to the...
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19 Nov 2018The Lab has opened its call for proposals for the 2019 cycle, seeking innovative financial ideas that can unlock investment to tackle some of the most difficult climate and sustainable development challenges.

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15 Nov 2018 - The blue economy represents the long-term sustainable use of ocean and coastal resources. This UNDP blog looks at ways this can be financed in the Caribbean.

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14 Nov 2018 - The old ideas of “smallness” and “remoteness” of SIDS are giving rise to “agility,” “potentiality,” and what are now called “large ocean states.”

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Kenya hosted the inaugural Sustainable Blue Economy Conference – the first global conference on the sustainable blue economy.
Event Date:
26/11/2018 - 09:15 to 28/11/2018 - 17:15
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5 Nov 2018 - The Republic of Seychelles has launched the world’s first sovereign blue bond—a pioneering financial instrument designed to support sustainable marine and fisheries projects.

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30 Oct 2018 - The EU made 23 new commitments, representing €300 million for the blue economy; climate change impacts; marine pollution; marine protection and sustainable fisheries.

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