Blue Economy [UPSC GS 3]

With regards to economics, Blue Economy meapreservation of marine resources.

Although it has various definitions among organizations, its general term is used in the scope of international development regarding sustainable development of coastal resources.

These resources can include, fisheries, maritime transport, aquaculture, marine tourism etc.

This article will give details about Blue Economy within the context of the UPSC Exams.

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Definitions of Blue Economy

As mentioned before, Blue Economy has varied definitions according to different organizations

According to the World Bank blue economy is defined as “sustainable development of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs while preserving the health of the ocean ecosystem.”

While the Commonwealth of Nations defines it as an emerging concept which encourages better stewardship of of our ocean or ‘blue; resources

A related term of blue economy is ocean economy but despite the two being used interchangeably they are different from each other. Ocean economy focuses on use of ocean resources and is aimed at empowering the economic system of the ocean. While the blue economy goes beyond viewing the ocean economy solely as a mechanism of economic growth

The other term is green economy where the economy is aimed at reducing environmental risks, and that aims for sustainable development without degrading the environment. It is closely related with ecological economics.

Therefore, the blue economy is a part of the green economy. During the Rio+20 Summit in June 2012, Pacific small island developing states stated that, for them, “a green economy was in fact a blue economy”.

Facts about the Blue Economy

  • The worldwide ocean economy is valued at around US$1.5 trillion per year.
  • Eighty per-cent of global trade by volume is carried by sea.
  • 350 million jobs world-wide are linked to fisheries.
  • By 2025 it is estimated that 34% of crude oil production will come from offshore fields.
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector and provides about 50% of fish for human consumption.

India and the Blue Economy

There is much potential for India if it leverages on the blue economy. The  Indian  Ocean  Region  is  abundant  with  resources,  particularly  in  the  sectors  of fisheries,   aquaculture,   ocean   energy,   sea-bed   mining   and   minerals,   and   provides tremendous  economic  opportunities  to  develop  marine  tourism  and  shipping  activities.

  • The  United  Nations  Food  and  Agriculture  Organization  (FAO) report states that while other world oceans are nearing their fisheries limit, in certain areas, the Indian Ocean‟s resources have the potential to sustain increased production.
  • The  development of the Blue Economy can serve as a growth catalyst in realizing the vision to become a $10 trillion economy by 2032. Additionally, the Indian Ocean Region is of strategic importance to India‟s economic  growth  as  the  most  of  the  country‟s oil,and  gas is imported through  the  sea.
  • The Sagarmala project, launched by the Ministry of Shipping, is the strategic initiative for port-led developmentthroughtheextensiveuse of IT enabled services for modernisation of  ports.  The additional benefit of this project is the development of Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs) which will be a catalyst for a thriving blue economy in India
  • Under  the  Make  in  India  program  of  the  Government,  the shipbuilding  industry  can benefit from a major thrust. This industry has a high multiplier effect on investment and can accelerate  industrial  growth along with  its  large  number  of  associated industries.
  • India has a National Fisheries policy for promoting ‘Blue Growth Initiative’ which focuses on sustainable utilization of fisheries wealth from the marine and other aquatic resources.

Way Forward for Indian on Blue Economy

The   Indian   Ocean   region   needs   a   sustainable   and   inclusive   framework   for international partnerships. Countries in the region need to not only coordinate and manage the  growing  security  challenges in  the  region but  also  realize the substantial economic potential  the  Indian  Oceanarea  presents. India  has  significantly  upped  its  development efforts  in

India’s commitment to strengthen its cooperation with the regional partners and build a sustainable ocean economy aligns well with its domestic mega-modernisation projects that will enable the nation to harness the full potential of the Ocean based Blue Economy.

To know more about other Government Schemes, visit the linked article.

Blue Economy – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

For more information about upcoming Government Exams, visit the linked article. More exam-related preparation materials will be found through the links given below:

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