Ecosystem-Based Integrated Ocean Management: A Framework for Sustainable Ocean Economy Development

2. Where to? A vision for a sustainable ocean economy

2.1. About this section The introduction stated that EBM is centred on ecosystem health and the interconnected ways in which humans impact on it and human wellbe- ing is linked to it. This means that EB-IOM intrin- sically places priority on a healthy ecosystem and on human wellbeing as its desired outcomes, with the latter recognized as being dependent on the former. This report goes a step further in proposing EB-IOM as an approach to help create a sustaina- ble ocean economy. This section reflects on how to define what that is, and on how it relates to the goals that are intrinsic to EB-IOM. This section therefore begins by briefly examining what is meant by ocean economy, before mov- ing on to the concept of sustainability. A compre- hensive discussion of this vast topic is beyond the scope of this document, so the focus is placed on strategic sustainability goals, specifically on the global SDGs, their relevance to the ocean econ- omy and how they should be prioritized to deliver wellbeing within ecosystem boundaries. The result is a comprehensive vision of the strategic priori- ties that should characterize a sustainable ocean economy, in other words, a high-level vision of where we should go, before subsequent sections of the report delve into the concept and process of EB-IOM as a means to make the vision a reality. 2.2. The ocean economy The term ocean economy generally encompasses marine activities as well as land-based activities that support or derive benefits from them (Park et al. 2014). This includes upstream services (for exam- ple, boat yards, suppliers of materials and equip- ment, technical and scientific consultancy ser- vices, relevant higher education, etc.), downstream industries (for example, fish and aquaculture pro- cessing and product retail, construction industries using marine aggregates, etc.) and services highly linked with marine activities (such as hotels and restaurants in dive resorts). The ocean economy is therefore embedded within wider local, national, regional and global economies. Depending on how many steps along supply and value chains are considered, it can extend far inland (Weig & Schultz-Zehden 2019). Different assessments draw the boundaries of the ocean economy in different ways. This makes it dif- ficult to draw direct comparisons between assess- ments of the ocean economies of different coun-

tries or regions, or to scale up from national to regional and global assessments (OECD 2016, Park et al. 2014). The global assessments that do exist, however, illustrate the ocean’s global economic importance. Hoegh-Guldberg et al. (2015) estimate the value of the global ocean asset base at $24 tril- lion, and the annual global gross marine product at $2.5 trillion. The OECD (2016) estimates that ocean-based industries (including offshore energy industries) contributed $1.5 trillion to annual global gross value added (GVA) in 2010 and accounted for 31 million jobs (1.5% of the global workforce). By 2030 the authors project that the ocean econ- omy has much greater potential for growth than the global economy as a whole, and that it could more than double its contribution to global GVA. The ocean economy also encompasses values and benefits that are not directly related to money-gen- erating activities (Hoegh-Guldberg 2015, OECD 2016), such as the production of oxygen by ocean organisms and the climate-regulating functions of the ocean, as well as a wide range of cultural, spiritual and health benefits for humans. These intangible elements of the ocean economy can be difficult to quantify in terms of monetary value (though there are methods to do so; see section 4.3.5 on ecosystem services valuation). As a result, they are often not adequately incorporated into headline figures about the overall ocean economy, despite including some of its aspects that matter the most to human beings: half the oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere is produced by oceanic phyto- plankton (Behrenfeld et al. 2001, Field et al. 1998). In this sense, the ocean economy is literally vital to humans and ensuring its sustainability is a matter of survival. 2.3. The Sustainable Development Goals and a sustainable ocean economy Sustainability generally refers to the persistent and long-term safeguarding of value, benefits and well- being in three spheres: economic, ecological, and social. In 2015, the United Nations General Assem- bly set 17 global SDGs, each broken into a series of targets and indicators, to be met by 2030 (see Figure 2). The SDGs represent the culmination of a process that began with the Brundtland Report (Brundtland 1987), the formulation of Agenda 21 at the 1992 Rio Summit, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio+10) (Johannesburg 2002) and “The Future We Want” outcome doc- ument at the 2012 United Nations Conference


Made with FlippingBook - Online catalogs