On July 21st, 2022, EnvironFocus hosted our monthly sustainability webinar with this month’s topic “Harnessing the Blue Economy.” This webinar focused on the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: Life Below Water.
SDG 14 & The Blue Economy
United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 14’s objective is to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, sea and marine resources for sustainable development.” A healthy oceanic system can boost innovation and provide economic opportunities for everyone, including the vulnerable and marginalized, and in so doing assist countries in the progress towards all other Sustainable Development Goals.
What is the Blue Economy? The 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 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. Blue economy is an emerging concept that encourages better stewardship of our ocean or ‘blue’ resources, aligning with SDG14.
For more information on SDG 14 and its targets, click here.
For more information on the Blue Economy, click here.
The webinar event, hosted by Obie Agusiegbe, CEO of EnvironFocus, featured a presentation from expert guest panelist Ibukun Adewumi, Ocean Governance Officer and Partnership Coordinator at Global Oceans Account Partnership (GOAP).
Ibukun Adewumi is an expert in his field, with a Bachelor of Technology in Community and Regional Planning, Advanced Graduate Certificates in Natural Resources Management, Maritime Studies and Marine Spatial Planning, and a PhD in Business and Public Policy with specializations in Blue Economy, Social Innovation and Participation & Policy.
Ibukun has spent the past twelve years carrying out multidisciplinary research and development strides working at the interface between science and policy. His goal is to promote better-informed decision-making in coordinating and managing multi-institutional projects, and conducting research using socio-economic and environmental management theories. Within these areas, he conceptualizes marine and coastal development in the context of sustainability and its assessment in Blue Economy, Marine Spatial Planning, ICZM, and general Ocean Governance.
His presentation, “The Blue Economy: Pathway to Sustainable Development”, shed valuable insight into many areas of the blue economy such as: the “grand challenges” facing states for blue economic development, youth & blue entrepreneurship, blue justice, public investment and funding, and national, regional and international regulatory frameworks and legislation.
Ibukun’s presentation made key suggestions on how to sail towards a blue economy (BE):
- Ocean Science and Awareness:
- Dedicated and coordinated efforts across our national marine science community, governments and industry.
- Strategic and sustained ocean science investments– in ocean observations and modeling.
- Improve ocean science communication to decision makers.
- Enable science-policy interactions to help prepare society to respond to blue economy and changes in marine ecosystems.
- Promote ocean literacy at all levels.
- Youth & Blue Entrepreneurship:
- Governments must integrate science-innovation and technology strategy for the ocean economy into the broader national development strategy.
- Identify challenges and most trenchant barriers inhibiting high-impact entrepreneurship in the ocean economy sector.
- Need to unlock the potential of women in ocean science and blue business.
- Need to unleash the forces of the diaspora through the cooperation and collaboration, and discourage brain hemorrhage or brain drain.
- Democratic Institutions/Stakeholder Participation – Equity and Justice:
- Integrate the perspective of stakeholders in BE policy development, from design to implementation.
- Develop awareness of past equity and justice issues in ocean governance/management.
- Explore how equity and justice are defined and can be operationalized in BE practice.
- Mainstream equity and justice in organizational policies, practices, programs, and portfolios.
- Support marine social science research and engage with evidence regarding the human dimensions.
- National and Regional Regulatory Frameworks and Legislation, Institutions and Enforcement:
- Increase effort to strengthen the capacity of national regulatory systems.
- Revision of the existing national regulatory and legislative framework.
- Streamlining regional and national ocean governance/management strategies across all levels.
- Ensure national and regional regulatory frameworks regarding ocean health monitoring, data management and sharing are in place.
- International Ocean Governance Frameworks:
- Ensure that international ocean governance mechanisms and institutions keep pace with the increased complexity of the ocean and respond to the imperatives of sustainable development.
- Broaden and strengthen the voice and participation of developing countries (most importantly, Small Island Developing States – SIDs) in international decision-making, norm-setting and global ocean governance.
EnvironFocus thanks our speaker for sharing his expert knowledge with us and creating an atmosphere of learning and thoughtful discussion.
We also thank all who attended this event. We hope that you found this webinar informative and worthwhile.
To pay for the full video, visit our webinar recordings page on our website.
EnvironFocus Webinar (EW) Series:
The primary goal of the EW Sustainability Series is to provide our attendees with sustainability focused learning from a global perspective. The events are also an opportunity for clean-tech and sustainability organizations to showcase their projects to our vast international audience!
Our EnvironFocus Webinar events are held on the third Thursday of every month, from 11:00AM to 12:30PM EDT.
Our next webinar will cover SDG 4: Access to Quality Education, and will be held on August 18th, 2022. You can stay updated and be ready to save your spot by following us on our social media pages and subscribing to our mailing list here.
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