Green Economy in a Blue World: UNEP Releases New Report on Oceans and Coasts

Sep 14, 2012 No Comments by

Recently, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in partnership with a host of other organizations including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Fish Center, and the International Maritime Organization, published a new report entitled Green Economy in a Blue World. The report comes at a time when global attention is turning to the rapid degradation of oceanic ecosystems and its impact on fish supplies, tourism, and energy resources. In the report, “authors explore what it will mean to green emerging ocean economic activities including energy generation, aquaculture, and the mining of deep sea minerals.” Ultimately, the authors hope to set a blueprint for creating an oceanic economy that “improves human well-being and social equity while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.”

The report identifies a number of elements that make the degradation of oceans a critical issue, including the fact that eight percent of the world’s population survives on the production chain that moves fish from the ocean to the dinner table. Aquaculture, identified here as a kind of environmental capital, is a dwindling resource, and the adoption of sustainable practices and guidelines are necessary to “improve the current and future economic, cultural, and societal values of oceans and coasts.”

The content of the report includes information and discussions on the following topics: greening small-scale fisheries and aquaculture; maritime transport; marine-based renewable energy; ocean nutrient pollution from agriculture, fertilizer production and wastewater management sectors; coastal tourism; and deep sea mining.

To read the full report, click here.

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About the author

Michael Denney is a PhD student in the Global Governance and Human Security program at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is a Research Associate at the Center for Governance and Sustainability.
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