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

14 Aug 2019 - Fish stocks are stable and reef health improving, in part thanks to Belize’s substantial ‘no-take’ zones. Now greater legislation is needed to secure progress.

Approved

21 Jun 2019 - Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, has designated 26 percent of its territorial waters as marine protection areas (MPAs), target of SDG14.

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Africa Blue Economy Forum 2019 takes place from 25 to 26 June in Tunisia.

Event Date:
25/06/2019 - 09:00 to 26/06/2019 - 18:00
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12 Jun 2019 - While ocean plastic pollution is an enormous issue, experts believes that if governments, NGOs, consumers, and businesses team up, it can be solved in ten years.

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11 Jun 2019 - This World Oceans Day, UNESCO highlights the contribution of women scientists to a healthy ocean.

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10 Jun 2019 - Women are engaged in all aspects of interaction with our ocean, yet their voices are often missing at the decision-making level, the head of the United Nations cultural agenc

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29 May 2019 - Blue bonds and other novel financial devices may fund conservation projects that have until now been off-limits.

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23 May 2019 - Developing ocean-based resources in areas such as fisheries, aquaculture, coastal tourism, transport and ports, mining and energy, could generate U.

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8 May 2019 - New approaches to the ocean are allowing production and protection to operate together.

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23 Apr 2019 - We need a new business model that shifts the industrial approach of "take, make, dispose" to a more circular approach, where products are recycled, upcycled and reused.

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22 Apr 2019 - The Danish island of Bornholm has an aging incinerator that will soon need replacement. Instead, the local government is adopting a totally new system.

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21 Mar 2019 - This week, Conservation International is co-hosting the Blue Oceans Conference to bring attention to ocean conservation issues in Africa, with the Governments of Liberia and Sweden.

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