Towards a sustainable and equitable blue economy

Congratulations to former SMEA Postdoc Nathan Bennett, Professor Patrick Christie, and their collaborators on the recent paper that came out in Nature Sustainability titled “Towards a sustainable and equitable blue economy.” The paper discusses the concern over the state of the world’s oceans. The economic potential of the oceans is expected to double from US$1.5 trillion in 2010 to US$3 trillion by 2030. However, the global rush to develop the ‘blue economy’ risks harming both the marine environment and human wellbeing. The paper’s authors caution that managing this growth should be undertaken in a safe and just manner. They identify five priorities to chart a course towards an environmentally sustainable and socially equitable blue economy;

  1. Establish a global coordinating body and develop international guidelines;
  2. Ensure national policies and institutions safeguard sustainability;
  3. Promote equitable sharing of benefits and minimization of harms;
  4. Employ inclusive governance and decision-making processes; and
  5. Engage with insights from interdisciplinary ocean science.

This paper was released ahead of the Our Oceans international conference, taking place in Oslo Norway on October 23-24, 2019, where one of the focal themes is “sustainable blue economy”. Partnerships and commitments will be made at this conference to catalyze sustainable and inclusive blue growth. These topics will also be discussed at the World Ocean Council’s Sustainable Ocean Summit being held in Paris, France on November 20-22, 2019.