Sustainable Blue Economy Conference: a focus on the Mediterranean

26.11.2018

Over 4,000 participants from around the world will meet from November 26 to 28, 2018 at the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. At this occasion MAP and Plan Bleu have joined force with the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and WWF to organize a side event focusing on the Mediterranean. Ocean-related activities in the Mediterranean Sea represent 20% of the world’s annual Global Marine Product in an area which makes up only 1% of the world’s oceans.

The Sustainable Blue Economy Conference and the Mediterranean Side Event

Over 4,000 participants from around the world will meet from November 26 to 28, 2018 at the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi to learn how to build a blue economy that:

  • Harnesses the potential of our oceans, seas, lakes and rivers to improve the lives of all, particularly people in developing states, women, youth and indigenous peoples
  • Leverages the latest innovations, scientific advances and best practices to build prosperity while conserving our waters for future generations

The Conference will capture concrete commitments and practical actions that can be taken today to help the world transition to the blue economy.

MAP and Plan Bleu Regional Activity Centre (Plan Bleu) have joined force with Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the Mediterranean Marine Initiative of the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) to organize a side event focusing on the Mediterranean “The Regional Dimension of a Sustainable and Inclusive Blue Economy: the Model of the Mediterranean”. The side event aims to foster improved models of regional cooperation to promote the achievement of a truly sustainable and inclusive Blue Economy.

What is a Blue Economy?

A sustainable and inclusive Blue Economy should:

  • ensure that Blue Economy investments deliver long-term social and economic benefits while protecting and restoring the diversity, productivity and resilience of marine ecosystems
  • be based on participatory and effective governance that is inclusive, accountable and transparent
  • promote sustainable use in marine areas through far-sighted, anticipatory and preventive spatial planning to ensure Good Environmental Status, through the implementation of an ecosystem-based approach
  • be based on clean technologies, renewable energy and circular material flows and promote innovation and research in all Blue Economy sectors to achieve zero carbon net emissions
  • enable the creation of employment opportunities for blue jobs in the marine and maritime sectors.

The case of the Mediterranean

Ocean-related activities in the Mediterranean Sea represent the fifth largest economy in the region and 20% of the world’s annual “Global Marine Product” (GMP) in an area which makes up only 1% of the world’s oceans (WWF, 2017). Today, more than ever, Blue Economy sectors are important engines for the region’s economy, with enormous potential for innovation and sustainable and inclusive prosperity.

However, the health of the Mediterranean is failing due to local stresses, such as habitat destruction, overfishing and pollution. The economic opportunities provided by the Mediterranean Sea are closely linked to an increasing need for new management models which respect its ecosystems and are able to maintain and increase their value over time, benefiting local communities.

Continuous dialogue and close co-operation between Mediterranean countries and multi-stakeholder governance frameworks are key conditions to reach a common goal: the conservation and the sustainable and equitable use of the Mediterranean Sea.

The UN Environment Mediterranean Action Plan-Barcelona Convention, the Union for the Mediterranean, Plan Bleu Regional Activity Centre, the European Union, the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (FAO-GFCM) and WWF are coordinating their strategies and working towards improved cooperation with governments, local authorities, businesses, universities and civil society.

Beyond ministry walls, and across borders between economic sectors and countries, now is the time to have everyone moving together towards a sustainable and inclusive future for the ocean and for the coming generations.

Date of Article: 
Monday, November 26, 2018