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

10 Jun 2020 -  Includes the Sustainable Ocean Economy database and real-world ocean policies in practice

Approved

10 Jun 2020 - To support government efforts to transition to a more sustainable ocean economy, the OECD is mobilising expertise across multiple policy fronts, covering environmental, economic, financial and social dimensions. Working with both developed and developing countries, the OECD aims to ensure that all societies can harness the benefits of the ocean on a sustainable and inclusive basis. Read more: www.oecd.org/ocean

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10 Jun 2020 - Includes key messages emerging from OECD’s ocean data. Progress...
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8 Jun 2020 - How has COVID-19 affected the ocean economy?

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22 Apr 2020 - Marking 50 years of Earth Day amid the COVID-19 fallout brings greater urgency to climate-change action for marine life and more.

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8 Apr 2020 - This UNDP report aims to serve as a first public presentation or...
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8 Apr 2020 - To help overfished stocks recover, as well as to safeguard those that are still within sustainable harvesting limits, both the private and public sectors have important roles to play. 

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24 Mar 2020 - The Bue Economy is critical to the Seychelles, where the fisheries sector is second only to tourism.

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16 Apr 2020 - All coastal and marine ecosystems are critical to human well-being and global biodiversity. Mangroves, coral reefs, and seagrass beds are examples of these.

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10 Mar 2020 - IADB - Due to its unique geography, the Caribbean faces many challenges – and the climate crisis is only exacerbating them.

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27 Feb 2020 - One in five fish caught in the central western Pacific, which includes the exclusive economic zones of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Cambodia, is illegally traded.

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25 Feb 2020 - In 2015, 193 countries agreed on 17 global objectives for ending poverty and protecting the environment by 2030.

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