Ours is a blue planet. Water covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface, and the ocean economy drives global trade, annually contributing around 3% or US$ 1.5 trillion to global value added. What’s more, experts expect ocean-based industries to double this contribution to global GDP within the next 15 years. But this growth comes at a price, and we find ourselves today at a crossroads.
Without a concerted effort to ensure the sustainability of the marine environment, mounting threats to ocean health could jeopardize the benefits of the seas for future generations. The good news is that it is still not too late to act. “Thinking green” was the buzzword of the past decade, as countries and companies alike woke up to their shared responsibility to sustainability. Now it’s time to add another color to the pallet: blue.
The “blue” economy looks to balance ocean wealth and ocean health by sustainably managing ocean assets (e.g. fish stocks, coral reefs, etc.) and ecosystem services (e.g. coastal protection, the potential for carbon capture, oxygen production). And according to the new report by the World Bank Toward a Blue Economy: A Promise for Sustainable Growth in the Caribbean in collaboration with key partners including The Commonwealth Secretariat, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University, millions of people in the region could benefit. Read the entire article at HuffingtonPost.com.