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Blue economy needed to protect Mediterranean Sea and world’s oceans – UN official

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Countries call for blue economy to protect the Mediterranean – photo UNEP

The Mediterranean Sea is a “key pillar” for the deve-lopment of the countries in the region, a senior United Nations official said yes-terday warning that continued degradation of the aquatic environment could put its entire ecology at risk.

The call came as delegates from 22 Mediterranean and European Union countries brought their three-day meeting on safeguarding and promoting a clean and healthy Mediterranean environment to a close in Paris.

“The time has come for us to rethink how we manage our oceans, ” said Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in his address to the gathered delegates. “They are a key pillar for many countries’ economic and social development, and are vital in the fight against poverty, ” he added.

The participating countries have called for the creation of a “blue economy” initiative which would be a marine version of the green economy, and hope to see a strategic policy framework adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20) to be held in Brazil in June.

UNEP defines a green economy as one that improves human well-being and social equity while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.

“Management decisions and investments that focus on the well-being of the oceans are essential if we are to continue to profit from this rich natural resource, ” Mr. Steiner said, noting that too many natural resources found in marine environments were being degraded by unsustainable use, ultimately putting their ecosystems, food security and climate regulations at risk.

“A ‘blue’ economy in the Mediterranean and elsewhere would be a big step on the right path, ” he said.

The world’s marine ecosystems provide essential food and livelihoods to millions of people. According to UNEP, a switch to a blue economy would unlock the potential of the marine-based economy while reducing ocean degradation and alleviating poverty.

(source: UN)

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1 comment

Blue Economy Institute April 18, 2012 - 10:36 AM

The creator of the term “Blue Economy”, Prof. Gunter Pauli, is delighted that UNEP and the Mediterranean countries have adopted his term Blue Economy for an undoubtedly positive initiative to protect a clean, healthy and productive Mediterranean environment.

However, we should not forget that the Report to the Club of Rome “The Blue Economy” which features a hundred examples and envisions the possibility of creating 100 million jobs, is setting an even more challenging objective.

The key is a holistic view of things, it is about intelligent synergies and connections of different levels (cascades) within (eco)systems which might not be visible at first sight. We hope to promote a holistic understanding of an interrelated world of production, integrating the basic resource of water as a pillar for plants, animals, algae and bacteria.

In the sense of a partnership between ecologically oriented initiatives worldwide before the Rio+20 Summit, we offer the attractive term Blue Economy as a basis for a commonly and mutually consistent communication.

Get in touch via institute@blueeconomy.de
Further details, please see here: http://www.blueeconomy.eu/m/imagenews/view/Blue-Economy-calls-for-joint-strategy-with-UNEP


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