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Greening the Blue World: Green Economy Approach for Oceans, Coasts and SIDS
14 Jun 2012 - 14 Jun 2012
3:00 PM - 4:45 PM

Athletes Park, UNEP Pavilion

The interconnectivity of the blue world in the global economy is immensely vast. However, as recently reported in the UNEP Green Economy report, one of the key sectors that depends on a healthy marine and coastal environment is the world’s marine fisheries – socially and economically vital, providing animal protein and supporting food security to over 1 billion people – which are currently at a high risk of collapsing. The consequences of a global collapse in fisheries would have severe socio-economic impacts on countries, particularly in developing and least developed, where the fight to eradicate poverty is substantially greater.
While fisheries provide jobs and livelihoods to millions of people, there are other sectors that equally depend on the blue world for their subsistence. These sectors not only depend on a healthy marine and coastal environment, such as coastal tourism, but they also have direct impacts through physical alteration and destruction of habitats and/or land and marine-based sources of pollution.
In order to preserve and mitigate the rapid degradation of the blue world, it is important that key sectors such as logistics (i.e. transport and shipping), tourism, and energy begin a transition towards a green economy. This can contribute to a viable socio-economic shift that creates jobs, eradicates poverty, adapts to climate change and embraces integrated environment and development planning. The blue world can serve as a catalyst to consider the need to evolve our current economic model towards one that is funded on ecosystems-based economic development, and acknowledge the importance of both quantifying and working with the qualities of social, natural and financial capital. The wealth and economy of the oceans is one that depends on our understanding that sustainable economic growth is only achievable when the true wealth of our oceans is accounted for.
The session will explore how the blue world can benefit from a transition towards a green economy by analysing the challenges and opportunities in key sectors that depend and/or influence the state of marine and coastal environment. It will also discuss innovative sectorial approaches that can foster social and economic integration within the context of sustainable development.

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