- Advance solutions and approaches to demonstrate that conservation and the protection of oceans makes good socio-economic sense.
- Advance the knowledge and understanding of the role and effectiveness of MPAs as a nature-based solution for growing the blue economy.
To most people, economic development means the creation of wealth through the goods and services provided by natural resources.
But the devastating impact of human activities on biodiversity and climate are a clear signal that economic growth at all costs is unsustainable. The pandemic, biodiversity loss and climate change have brought our unsustainable economic practices to the forefront. We now have the opportunity to redefine economic development in a post-pandemic world.
A robust blue economy relies on a healthy ocean. The World Bank defines the blue economy as “the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health”. The ocean economy has been a cornerstone of the global economy, contributing an estimated US$1.5 trillion per year.
However, during the last 10 years, less than 1% of these dollar amounts have been invested in the ocean economy through official development assistance and philanthropy (Ocean Finance – Blue Paper, 2020).
MPAs play a key role in conserving ocean ecosystems and biodiversity, and therefore in supporting the blue economy of the future. Achieving the global target of 30% protection by 2030 is affordable and is a smart global investment strategy. Advancing conservation in the blue economy is the planet’s best insurance policy for the immediate and future protection of the ocean and the essential services it provides.
Key questions to focus discussion and support proposal development
- How do we ensure a blue economy is sustainable and contributes to better protecting and restoring the ocean?
- How can MPAs be integrated with and supported by funding through the blue economy?
- How can we overcome barriers to significant scale-up investments, now needed post pandemic, to better protect and manage existing and proposed MPAs?