Ministry of Earth Sciences hosts Inter-Ministerial Joint Workshop on Blue Economy

Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) organised a consultative workshop in New Delhi recently on the Blue Economy Pathways study report status. Experts from the World Bank, various line Ministries like the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Niti Aayog, Ministry of Port Shipping and Waterways, Ministry of Tourism and various state and national R&D organisations participated. During the workshop, the collaborative role of each line Ministry towards the preparation of the report was deliberated upon.

MoES has engaged with the World Bank as a knowledge partner to undertake a technical study and prepare a seminal report titled ‘India’s Blue Economy: Pathways for resource-efficient, inclusive and resilient growth in India’. The report outputs are expected to cover the areas related to global best practices in Blue Economy implementation, ocean accounting framework, institutional strengthening and innovative finance mechanisms towards implementing the Blue Economy Policy framework.

Today, the Blue Economy promises to be the next multiplier of economic growth and well-being, provided the strategy places sustainability and socio-economic welfare at the centre stage. It aims to significantly improve the lives of coastal communities, preserve our marine ecosystems and maintain the security of our marine areas. Blue Economy will generate a whole ecosystem of cutting-edge interest cutting-edge and futuristic scientific and technological research within India on all matters related to the Blue Economy, i.e. strategic, scientific, political, environmental and economic interest, in one composite package.

India has a unique maritime position. Its 7,517 km long coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of over two million square km is rich in living and non-living resources. The coastal economy also sustains over 4 million fisherfolk and other coastal communities. With these vast maritime interests, the Blue Economy in India has a vital relationship with the nation’s economic growth. The efficient and sustainable utilisation of ocean resources and to boost ocean-related capabilities and skills with a view to accelerating employment and gross value addition while safeguarding the environment in harmony with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As India aims to become a high-growth economy and simultaneously enhance its capabilities to shape the geo-strategic environment in its immediate and extended neighbourhood, its ability to play a consequential maritime role will be a critical factor. The potential of marine resources (living and non-living) has not been explored and harnessed to its optimal capacity. This ability will not just be a product of strong maritime power but also of a robust maritime economy that is sustained by ports, coastal infrastructure, shipping, fishing, seaborne trade, offshore energy assets, tourism, undersea pipelines, communication cables, renewable energy and seabed resources.

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