Note: This article is important for TISSNET
The loss of livelihoods and jobs is one of the most serious consequences of the pandemic. The water can be one of the paths to recuperation and progress. After the crisis, the Blue Economy holds immense promise for long-term economic growth and employment creation.
India has a unique marine situation, with a 7,517-kilometer coastline and a two-million-square-kilometer Exclusive Economic Zone. With immense ocean resources at their disposal, they have a significant chance to enhance their economy and combat unemployment, food insecurity, and poverty.
These resources have the potential to help India’s economy revive while simultaneously benefiting our climate and ecology.
Blue Economy vs Ocean Economy
- The ‘Blue Economy’ is a new concept that promotes better stewardship of our ocean and other “blue” resources.
- The blue economy paradigm, like the ‘Green Economy,’ strives to increase human wellbeing and social fairness while minimising environmental dangers and ecological shortages.
- The blue economy, according to international society, encompasses three economic forms:
- Economy coping with global water crisis
- Innovative development economy
- Development of marine economy
- It’s vital to emphasise that the blue economy encompasses more than just the ocean economy as a source of revenue.
- Largescale industrial nations tried to exploit maritime and marine resources in the ocean economy model, sometimes without regard for the implications of their actions on the future health or production of those same resources.
- Shipping, commercial fishing, and the oil, gas, minerals, and mining industries are just a few examples.
- The blue economy is about more than simply market prospects; it’s also about protecting and developing intangible “blue” resources.
- Traditional ways of life, carbon sequestration, and coastal resilience, for example, can all help vulnerable governments minimise climate change’s frequently disastrous effects.
- It establishes an inclusive model in which coastal states, who may lack the competence to manage their abundant ocean resources, may begin to share the benefits of those resources with everyone.
Significance of Blue Economy
- High Return on Investment: According to new research commissioned by the high-level group for a sustainable ocean economy, which is co-chaired by Norway’s Prime Minister (PM), every dollar invested in essential ocean activities returns five times, or $5, and frequently more.
- It’s no coincidence that one of the 10 fundamental pillars of development in the Government of India’s Vision of New India by 2030 is the Blue Economy.
- Synergy with SDGs: It promotes all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, particularly SDG14, “Life Below Water.”
- Sustainable Energy: Offshore wind, waves, ocean currents, especially tidal currents, and thermal energy offer significant promise in supporting the growing need for renewable energy in offshore regions.
- Importance For India: India’s blue economy serves 95 percent of the country’s business through transportation and adds an estimated 4% to its Gross Domestic Product, with a 7,500-km-long coastline distributed across nine coastal states, 12 major, and 200 minor ports (GDP).
- Fishing, aquaculture, fish processing, marine tourism, shipping, and port activities are just a few of the industries in the blue economy that have the ability to employ a large workforce, and have done so for decades.
- Engagement in new industries such as offshore wind, marine biology, biotechnology, and other shipbuilding and shipbreaking activities is also on the rise.
- The report, Providing Blue Stimulus: A Sustainable and Equitable Blue Recovery to the COVID-19 Crisis, highlights five blue stimulus initiatives that can help India and the rest of the world recover and develop a sustainable ocean economy.
- Coastal and marine ecosystem conservation, sewage and wastewater infrastructure for coastal areas, and sustainable marine aquaculture are among these investments.
- Incentives for zero-emission maritime transportation and long-term ocean-based renewable energy are also included.
- International Cooperation: India-Norway Cooperation on a Global Scale. The Integrated Ocean Management Initiative, for example, is a wonderful example of researchers and officials working together to improve ocean resource control through marine spatial planning.
- Education in the Blue Economy: Universities and engineering/technical institutes should offer a variety of training programmes in both traditional and new areas of the blue economy to ensure a steady supply of trainers.
- Gandhian Approach: India should consider adopting Gandhi’s method of balancing economic gains with sustainability in order to achieve the greater goals of growth, job creation, equity, and environmental conservation.
The ocean can help people become more resilient to economic and environmental crises. Better health outcomes, richer biodiversity, more secure jobs, and a safer planet for future generations are all benefits of investing in shipping decarbonisation, sustainable seafood production, and ocean-based renewable energy.