The fundamental difference between the green and blue economies is that the green economy strategies tend to focus on energy, transport, sometimes agriculture, and forestry. In contrast, the blue economy focuses on fisheries sectors and marine and coastal resources. Both incorporate strategies to address climate mitigation and adaptation.
The World Bank and the European Commission define a blue economy as the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of the ocean ecosystem, seas, and coasts. The Commonwealth of Nations considers it as an emerging concept that encourages better stewardship of our ocean or ‘blue’ resources.
Blue economies offer the possibilities of improved efficiency in our land and ocean management, better treatment and governance of marine ecosystems, a more equitable model of global health standards, lower emissions, and resilience against climate change. Conservation International adds that the blue economy also includes economic benefits that may not be marketed, such as carbon storage, coastal protection, cultural values, and biodiversity.
The Center for the Blue Economy says it is now a widely used term around the world with three related, still distinct, meanings – the oceans’ overall contribution to economies, the need to address the environmental and ecological sustainability of the seas, and the ocean economy as a growth opportunity for both developed and developing countries.
A United Nations representative defined the blue economy as an economy that comprises a range of economic sectors and related policies that together determine whether the use of ocean resources is sustainable. An important challenge of the blue economy is to understand and better manage the many aspects of oceanic sustainability, ranging from sustainable fisheries to ecosystem health to preventing pollution.
Secondly, the blue economy challenges us to realize that the sustainable management of ocean resources will require collaboration across borders and sectors through a variety of partnerships and on a scale that has not been previously achieved. “We are now witnessing the beginnings of the blue revolution, blue technology, blue economy, blue economy indicators, blue policies, plans, and programs not only to help feed the world but also to help it survive and flourish climate change-wise,” says Prof GP Patil, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Penn State University, USA, in his message to an eight-volume World Encyclopedia of Blue Economy.
The encyclopedia covers almost all aspects of the blue economy and blue growth. It has been brought out jointly under the aegis of the Indian Institute of Ecology and Environment (IIEE) and the Confederation of Indian Universities (CIU), in association with Interuniversity Research Centre (IURC). “There has been a great need to have in one place previously scattered pieces of information about numerous facets of blue economy,” said Prof Patil, and added that this unique encyclopedia has been able to bring together a large number of contributors and organize their contributions in a thematic format.
“I very much hope that the blue economy community worldwide will find this encyclopedia of great value. Those curious about the blue economy will use it for education, enrichment, and motivation to do more.
Our society needs it. Everyone desires to possess magical predictive crystal balls! It is my hope that this informative encyclopedia will help trigger efforts to build plausible multi- indicator-systemic crystal cubes as concrete approximations to predictive crystal balls for speedy progress on issues and efforts pertaining to the blue economy,” said Prof Patil.
“This encyclopedia will be a good help for essential exploratory steps to address the challenges of achieving UN SDG 14 on Life Under Water, and so also in a way to help achieve SDG 1 on Poverty and SDG 2 on Hunger,” he concluded.