Blue Economy refers to the sustainable use of the ocean’s resources or the sustainable management of ocean economies. It goes beyond viewing the ocean economy solely as a mechanism for economic growth. It considers social inclusion and the preservation of livelihoods while at the same time ensuring the environmental sustainability of the oceans and coastal areas. It is an emerging concept that encourages better stewardship of our ocean or ‘blue’ resources.
Large-scale industrial nations have seen the development of their ocean economies through the exploitation of maritime and marine resources. For instance, industries like shipping, commercial fishing, oil, gas, minerals, and mining often carry out their business activities without a view to the effects their actions have on the future health or productivity of those same resources. The blue economy aims to change these behaviors delve into how oceans can sustainably contribute to the economy. If it is prosperous, it looks set to provide economic and social benefits while reducing its impacts on climate change.
The Benefits/Why is the Blue Economy Important?
The benefits Include:
- The sustainable sourcing of marine energy can play a vital role in communities’ social, economic growth. Sustainable marine energy can include harnessing the ocean’s wind, tidal, and wave energies, which is a change from mining oil and gas.
- Our focus on improving fisheries would lead to improved longevity in their operation. Fisheries contribute heavily to the Canadian economy.
- Coastal tourism contributes to jobs and the economy. For the successful growth of tourism, preserving the oceans and waterways to maintain their intrinsic value is vital because it brings tourists.
- A more sustainable approach and focus on ocean preservation would help the oceans maintain their ecosystem services. We would benefit from the carbon storage potential of the ocean and the protection of coastal communities from flooding. We would support biodiversity and provide recreation and amenity options from healthy ecosystems.
Canada’s Commitment to Growing the Blue Economy
Canada has the longest coastline globally, the fourth largest ocean territory, and makes up a fifth of the world’s fresh surface water. It relies on healthy marine ecosystems to sustain its economy, food supply, and coastal communities. Therefore, Canada’s commitment to the blue economy is essential.
Embracing the blue economy in Canada can create employment and contribute to the economy. Prime Minister Trudeau, and thirteen other heads of state or government, announced Canada’s endorsement of the Transformations for a Sustainable Ocean Economy: a Vision for Protection, Production, and Prosperity on December 2, 2020, where it outlines a set of priority ocean actions that countries can take to build a sustainable blue economy across five areas: ocean wealth, ocean health, ocean equity, ocean knowledge, and ocean finance, as well as a commitment to sustainably manage 100 percent of the ocean area under national jurisdiction by 2025, guided by sustainable ocean plans.
Blue Economy and Developing Countries
More than three billion people rely on the ocean for their livelihoods, and most of these people are from developing countries. Ocean-based industries such as tourism and fisheries are critical sources of income and jobs. However, ocean-based industries in these regions have expanded without considering the environment or sustainability. These countries are hugely impacted by climate change, ocean pollution, and overfishing.
Small island states, relative to their landmass, have vast ocean resources at their disposal, presenting a huge opportunity to boost their economic growth and tackle unemployment, food security, and poverty. They also have the most to lose from the degradation of marine resources.
Like the green economy, it aims to improve human well-being and social equity while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. It provides for an inclusive model in which coastal states that may lack the capacity to manage their rich ocean resources can extend the benefit of their resources. Realizing the full potential of the blue economy would require the inclusion and participation of all affected social groups and sectors.
- Blue Economy. Retrieved on January 14, 2022 from https://thecommonwealth.org/blue-economy
- What is the Blue Economy. Retrieved on January 14, 2022 from https://eco.ca/blog/what-is-the-blue-economy/
- Canada commits to growing the blue economy at home and around the globe. Retrieved on January 14, 2022 from https://www.canada.ca/en/fisheries-oceans/news/2020/12/canada-commits-to-growing-the-blue-economy-at-home-and-around-the-globe.html
- Ocean economy and developing countries. Retrieved on January 14, 2022 from https://www.oecd.org/ocean/topics/developing-countries-and-the-ocean-economy/
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