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

This first Ocean Literacy Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) aims to empower and...
Approved

28 Feb 2017 - Researchers developed a new way to extract uranium from seawater, bringing us closer to nuclear power that can sustain us for 10,000 years.

Official

25 Feb 2017 - Extensive interview with the Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau on the Preparatory Meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in mid February 2017 for the United Nations Ocean Conference

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Focus: How to finance a sustainable ocean economy. Organized by The Economist.

Event Date:
22/02/2017 - 03:45 to 24/02/2017 - 12:45
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UN Headquarters, Conference Room 11

Hosted by the Government of Sweden, Nairobi Convention and WWF International

Event Date:
15/02/2017 - 08:15 to 09:30
Official

UN Headquarters, Conference Room 12

Side Event co-hosted by the International Coastal and Ocean Organization

Event Date:
15/02/2017 - 08:15 to 09:30
Official

UN Headquarters, Conference Room B

Side Event hosted by the FAO

Event Date:
15/02/2017 - 13:15 to 14:30
Official

10 February 2017 - (Seychelles News Agency (SNA) - The former president of the Seychelles, James Michel, launched his foundation earlier this week. 

Official

8 February 2017 - Speakers at a seminar today observed that the government must take an initiative to conduct detailed surveys and proper documentation for exploiting maximum benefits by u

Official

7 Feb 2017 - Millions of Indonesians depend on oceans to feed their families. Fishermen, ferryboat drivers, tour guides and freight workers. When the ocean suffers, so do lives.

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This report is intended solely as an informational resource for those...
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UN Headquarters, Conference Room 11

Side event hosted by the World Ocean Council (WOC), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and UN Global Compact (UN GC)

Event Date:
14/02/2017 - 08:30 to 09:30
Official