Blue Economy: India’s G20 Presidency Offers An Opportunity

The potential of the oceans for the sustainable development of the blue economy is immense and the initiatives taken by the Government of India towards achieving it demonstrate India’s commitment to building a sustainable future for its marine resources and the global community. The G20 presidency of India offers a chance to promote collective action for transition.

What is Blue Economy?

  • Blue Economy is defined by the World Bank as the Sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of the ecosystem.
  • Gunter Pauli’s book, “The Blue Economy: 10 years, 100 innovations, 100 million jobs” (2010) brought the Blue Economy concept into prominence.
  • At a conference in 2012, the United Nations introduced the term “blue economy” and emphasised sustainable management, arguing that healthy marine ecosystems are more productive. In fact, the UN notes that the Blue Economy is exactly what is needed to implement SDG 14, Life Below Water.
  • The word ‘blue economy’ refers not only to ocean-dependent economic development, but also to inclusive social development, as well as environmental and ecological security.

The Potential of the Oceans

  • With 45% of the world’s coastlines and over 21% of exclusive economic zones situated in G20 countries, the oceans provide vast possibilities for our planet’s prosperity.
  • They are reservoirs of global biodiversity, critical regulators of the global weather and climate, and support the economic well-being of billions of people in coastal areas.

India’s G20 Presidency and the Blue Economy

  • The blue economy has been identified as an important area under the Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group by India’s G20 presidency.
  • The goal is to promote the adoption of high-level principles for sustainable and equitable economic development through the ocean and its resources, while also addressing climate change and other environmental challenges.
  • A guide for future G20 presidencies: India’s commitment to prioritising oceans and the blue economy under its presidency would ensure continued discussions on this crucial subject and pave the way for future G20 presidencies.
  • Communication and collaboration: Effective and efficient ocean and blue economy governance is a significant challenge, and India’s G20 presidency can foster effective communication with all stakeholders in order to share best practices, foster collaborations for advancements in science and technology, promote public-private partnerships, and develop novel blue finance mechanisms.

Challenges and accountability

  • Countries’ ambitious efforts to expand their blue economies are jeopardised by intensifying extreme weather events, ocean acidification, and sea-level rise.
  • Marine pollution, resource over-exploitation, and unplanned urbanisation all pose serious threats to the ocean, coastal and marine ecosystems, and biodiversity.
  • Because oceans are inherently interconnected, activities in one part of the world can have far-reaching consequences.
  • As a result, all nations bear responsibility for their protection, conservation, and long-term utilisation.

@the end

The G20 presidency of India provides an opportunity to promote individual and collective actions towards a sustainable blue economy. Ocean stewardship is an investment that will benefit future generations, and the global society must work together to ensure the health of our ocean commons.

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