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

10 May 2018 - I love working for islands, and not just because of their nature, people and weather. Islands are the canaries in the coal mine for how we treat our planet.

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3 May 2018 - From artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to CCTV and big data – computer scientists at the University of East Anglia are part of an international effort to make the fishing industry more sustainable.

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26 Apr 2018 - It's easier than you think...

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24 April 2018 - 541 individual commitments include the provision of financial resources, with total financing amounting to approximately US$25.5 billion.

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20 Apr 2018 - Earth Day is celebrated on 22 April since 1970.  This international day reminds us about the interdependence between natural ecosystems and human life.

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18 Apr 2018 - The second meeting of the Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) Global Dialogue with Regional Seas Organizations (RSOs) and Regional Fisheries Bodies (RFBs) on Accelerating Prog

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13 Apr 2018 - Jordan could become a model for other marine destinations.

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11 Apr 2018 - Belize was criticized for putting its stunning coral reefs and other marine resources at risk. The country responded with innovative solutions.

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10 Apr 2018 - The Southwest Madagascar Coastal Current has been a missing piece in scientists’ understanding of the waterways in the region.

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6 Apr 2018 - Plastic. A truck load of the moldable, powerful, indestructible stuff is dumped into our oceans every minute.

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2 Apr 2018 - Scientists from around the globe have come together to make mapping the entire ocean a reality by 2030.

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27 Mar 2018 - With the goal of preserving and increasing the value generated by the world’s oceans, corporate, environmental, non-profit and other participants in the Economist World Ocean

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