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

The 9th annual World Ocean Summit will be returning in-person this March in Lisbon, Portugal. The event will welcome 200 speakers and 2,000 participants over three days. 

Event Date:
01/03/2022 - 08:00 to 03/03/2022 - 08:00
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This special edition of the UNDP SIDS Bulletin provides a take on 2021 in retrospect in the interconnected sectors of Blue Economy, Digital Transformation, Climate Action and Data in SIDS.

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GFCR presents the following information related to corals from around the globe.

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The December 2021 Edition of the GEF IW Portfolio News features the following ocean-related stories from around the globe:

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Wednesday, December 15 from 8:30 am to 10 am (NY time) 

Event Date:
15/12/2021 - 08:30 to 10:00
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We live on a blue planet, with oceans and seas covering more than 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface. Oceans feed us, regulate our climate, and generate most of the oxygen we breathe.

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The November 2021 Edition of the GEF IW Portfolio News features the following ocean-related stories from around the globe:

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The warming of the world's oceans and melting land ice caused sea levels to rise by 2.5 millimeters (.1 inches) per year in the Mediterranean.

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Coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrasses play a significant role as carbon sinks in the fight against climate change. They sequester and store large quantities of carbon in both the plants and the sediment below. Conservation and restoration of coastal ecosystems has the potential to help mitigate climate change while supporting many countries’ adaptation efforts and contributing to their sustainable development goals. 

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G7 leaders recently announced that “our world must not only become net zero, but also nature positive, for the benefit of both people and the planet.”

Nature positive is a disruptive idea and it is a new business model based on regeneration, resilience and recirculation – not destruction and pollution.

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Policymakers and experts call on UNCTAD to play a leading role in research, finance and technical assistance to conserve and sustainably use the ocean, seas and marine resources.

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