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

26 January 2017 - Inclusive and just governance at societal levels, and of ocean resources, and the establishment of partnerships including those with governments, the business sector and representatives of stakeholder and civil society groups.

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20 January 2017 - The World Economic Forum (WEF) and University of California Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute have announced a partnership to improve the health of the world’s oce

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Launched at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos in January 2017...
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Boyan Slat, CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, is solving one of the biggest eco disasters of our time.

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This publication is a result of Blue Solutions’ third Regional Forum for Oceans...
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15 oct 2016 - Du 10 au 15 octobre 2016 à Lomé, a eu lieu le 1er sommet extraordinaire de l’Union Africaine sur la sécurité et la sûreté maritimes et le développement en Afrique Sous l’égid

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The Blue Planning training course aims to strengthen practical planning and...
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Going green is easier than you think. There are little things you can do every day to help reduce greenhouse gases and make a less harmful impact on the environment.

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The global ocean community has generated a wealth of innovative, practical, “on-the-ground” solutions which successfully help to overcome challenges to healthy ecosystems, sustainable

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On June 22nd 2016, The Ocean Cleanup unveiled its Prototype in Scheveningen harbor, the Netherlands. 

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This report explores the growth prospects for the ocean economy, its capacity...
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UNECA - A step-by-step guide to help African countries mainstream the Blue...
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