Blue Economy is a term that relates to the exploitation, preservation, and regeneration of the marine environment in an attempt to strengthen and promote smart and sustainable growth and employment opportunities through maritime economic activities within the Indian Ocean. In other words, it refers to the sustainable use of ocean resources for building economic growth, improved livelihoods, and ecosystem health of the oceans.
Blue Economy Features
The Blue Economy encompasses many activities, all of which work towards the sustainable use of our ocean resources, geared towards instigating improved livelihood, overall economic development, and creating new jobs while keeping the health of the ocean ecosystems in check. Its various activities include the following:
- Producing renewable energy by way of sustainable marine energy resources
- Enhancing ocean and coastal tourism, which in turn can give rise to new job opportunities and enhance economic growth in the region.
- Oceans are an important carbon sink and can help greatly mitigate the ill effects of rising climatic changes like changing ocean current patterns, rising sea levels, and acidification.
- Maritime transport of international goods traded through sea routes is expected to grow in great numbers in the years to come.
- Better waste management on land can improve the oceans-health and enable their recovery.
The Need for Blue Economy
- The oceans cover three-quarters of the earth’s surface. They contain 97% of the earth’s water. Also, they represent 99% of the living area on the planet earth.
- Oceans help derive 3-5% of the world’s GDP
- Oceans help in maintaining biodiversity and keeping the planet cool. They even absorb 30% of global carbon-dioxide emissions.
- Many income generation modes have been ruled out through sustainable use of the oceans, which can greatly boost economic growth.
Developments Initiated by India
One of the primary projects initiated by the Indian Government toward the Blue Economy is the development of the Sagarmala Project. This project would help develop inland waterways and coastal shipping and revolutionize maritime logistics, creating new job opportunities and even reducing logistics costs.
The O-SMART scheme has also initiated the use of oceans for sustained resource development.
FAQs on Blue Economy
Q1. What are the main pillar areas of focus for the Blue Economy?
Ans: The pillar points of focus for the Blue Economy are:
- Renewing ocean energy
- Fisheries and aquaculture
- Building seaports and shipping
- Working on marine biotechnology research and development
- Enhancing marine tourism and cruise tourism
- Exploring offshore hydrocarbons and seabed minerals
- Sustainable whale and dolphin watching tourism
Q2. Give one example of the Blue Economy.
Ans: Blue Economy refers to established ocean industries like marine transport, tourism, fisheries, and other activities like aquaculture, offshore renewable energy, seabed extractive activities, etc.
Q3. Is the Blue Economy the same as the Ocean Economy?
Ans: Many organizations use the terms Blue Economy and Ocean Economy interchangeably. However, they represent separate concepts. Where ocean economy strictly aims to empower the ocean's economic systems, Blue Economic focuses beyond just economic growth and includes sustainability of oceans as well.
Q4. Who introduced the concept of the Blue Economy?
Ans: The concept of the Blue Economy was introduced by Gunter Pauli in his 2010 book- The Blue Economy: 10 years, 100 innovations, 100 million jobs.