United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Announcement : Launch of the UNDESA publication “Promotion and Strengthening of Sustainable Ocean-based Economies”

On 14 July 2021, UNDESA launched the publication entitled “Promotion and Strengthening of Sustainable Ocean-based Economies” at the webinar on Community of Ocean Action on Sustainable Blue Economy. The report was prepared by Dr. Marjo Vierros, Director of Coastal Policy and Humanities Research with UN DESA sponsored by a generous contribution from the government of Sweden.

The publication investigates what are those conditions and safeguards that make ocean-based economies sustainable, highlighting case studies and lessons learned, to develop guidance that can help countries transition from theory to practice.

Some key findings highlighted in the report include:

  • The blue economy, or a sustainable ocean-based economy, has come to signify international interest in the growth of ocean-based economic development in a manner that is both environmentally sustainable and socially equitable.
  • It is important that the blue economy aims to move beyond business as usual to consider economic development and ocean health as compatible propositions.
  • Pursuing a blue economy requires access to affordable long-term financing at scale.
  • Governments planning on sustainable development of the ocean and its resources must also consider the long-term health of ocean ecosystems if the benefits from ocean-based industries and the growth of those benefits, are to be sustained over long periods.
  • The issues or equity and social justice have not received sufficient attention in the blue economy discourse.
  • In order to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda, it is important that blue economy initiatives aim to leave no one behind and that coastal communities are able to equitably share in the benefits.
  • A blue economy requires improved governance of individual sectors, as well as multisectoral governance of all ocean activities.
  • The current trend indicates a more holistic consideration of multiple sectoral activities through planned blue economy transitions, and through the use of cross-sectoral ocean governance mechanisms, such as marine spatial planning.