Blue Economy: Sharing Success Stories to Inspire Change

Sharing Success Stories to Inspire Change Blue Economy

challenge the concept of the oceans as ‘limitless’ – a space for free and unfettered resource extraction, a ‘garbage dump’, a lawless ‘no- mans’ land, where costs to marine ecosystems are never quantified or accounted for. A new form of accounting which incorporates environmental and social dimensions, requires a paradigm shift – acknowledging the benefits, and how they are valued. island developing states and coastal developing countries, is the need to address issues of equity, and management beyond historically defined boundaries, and beyond traditional conceptualization of value, assets and resources. However, indicators used to track progress towards social and ecological sustainability, are largely ignored in standard economic metrics such as GDP. Thus, in some countries like Mauritius, an important step in developing a Blue Economy has been the exploration of alternative economic indicators, based on a recognition that wellbeing is supported by a variety of economic, social, cultural and natural assets and processes. Such initiatives are key to developing more diversified, country-specific goals and progress indicators. These, in turn, are crucial to formulating policies which can halt ecosystem losses, and thereby provide clearer pathways to sustained Blue Economy prosperity in the long term. Particularly pertinent to small

Ensuring access to the benefits of marine resources, and finding innovative ways to stimulate local economies remains a substantial challenge for many countries, particularly in coastal communities where overexploitation is commonplace. Poverty and national debt structures mean that few resources are readily available to reinvest in natural systems. This is often in stark contrast to the wealth generated by foreign-driven extractive industries, or enclave coastal developments and tourism resorts, little of which finds its way back into local communities. Many countries have developed national Green Economy assessments, policies and commitments for both the short and long term. Several countries have also been active in developing a ‘Blue Economy’ approach, including Mauritius, the Seychelles and Madagascar. These are examined in more detail in this report. Many policy tools are yet to be developed, but regional consortia and forums offer opportunities to exchange experiences, successes and lessons learned. The Abu Dhabi Declaration (2014), for example, advocates the use of a Blue Economy approach as a tool to promote sustainable development, poverty alleviation and climate change mitigation. It calls for good governance of the high seas and an integrated ecosystem approach to maintain balanced, healthy, and productive marine


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