Planet earth’s defining feature is the ocean and it is the reason that life exists. It produces oxygen, absorbs carbon dioxide, and contributes to freshwater renewal. It connects countries and cultures and supports ecosystems that bridge national boundaries. The ocean provides important goods and services to all of society. It is a major part of the world economy, with more nations looking to the ocean as a way to enhance livelihoods and wellbeing, particularly coastal communities and island nations. Some nations are looking at their large lakes and rivers to do the same.
The concept of the Blue Economy has evolved from the concept of the Green Economy, but with more relevance to nations that rely directly on “blue” resources for their livelihoods. The Blue Economy focuses on the innovative use of the goods and services that the ocean provides while considering the needs of local communities and ensuring that a resilient ocean can continue to provide for future generations. It requires rethinking current practices, engaging cross-sectoral and multinational collaboration, and has various crosscutting components that influence it.