A sustainable future: making waves for a blue economy

July 31, 2023

We look at the work of the Blue Marine Foundation, the importance of raising awareness around ocean conservation, and the role of investors in financing the blue economy.

We all know that the ocean matters, but not many of us realise its importance in relation to our daily lives. Equally, we all know that our oceans are in danger, but few of us are aware of the finer details.

The UN recently gave five reasons why we should care about our oceans1:

  1. Oceans regulate our climate and provide the air we breathe: our oceans mitigate non-renewable industry pollution by absorbing 25% of all carbon emission, while generating 50% of oxygen needed to survive. They function as the lungs of the planet, but also as the world’s largest carbon sinks, helping to combat the negative impacts of climate change.

  2. The oceans feed us: oceans and their biodiversity provide our global community with 15% of the animal protein we eat. In the least developed countries, seafood is the primary source of protein to over 50% of the population. It is therefore critical to protect oceans’ biodiversity and to practice sustainable fishing strategies for continued consumption.

  3. A provider of jobs: oceans provide livelihoods to 3 billion people, nearly 50% of the global population. Marine fisheries provide 57 million jobs globally. The blue economy2 allows many to make their living and provide for their families, however 60% of the world’s major marine ecosystems that underpin these livelihoods are being used unsustainably.

  4. An economic development tool: ocean economies are among the most rapidly growing globally. The market value of marine and coastal resources and the developing industry is estimated by UNDP to be USD3 trillion per year (~5% of total global GDP). Developing countries’ access to oceans increases FDI, while 80% of tourism happens in coastal areas.

  5. We need healthy oceans to survive: oceans affects us all in positive ways, for those living in the desert as much as on the coastline. They provide climate regulation, food, jobs, livelihoods, and economic progress. Thus, we must work together to protect and save the oceans for the sake of our future survival on this planet.

It has become more apparent over time that not only is safeguarding our marine world important from an environmental perspective, but as with climate, loss of nature and biodiversity represent a systematic risk for economies.

Blue Marine Foundation (“Blue Marine”), one of our corporate charity partners, works around the world, addressing overfishing and the destruction of biodiversity. The work of Blue Marine plays a vital role in the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, while preserving the health of ocean ecosystems.

If we do not actively protect the ocean and manage the exploitation of its resources, the cost in economic, social and environmental terms will be immense. However, a global deficit in marine education has prevented knowledge about the crisis and possible solutions from reaching the general public, which in turn slows uptake into environmental policy. Education, therefore, serves both the ecosystems we strive to protect and the young people whose future depends on them.

Blue Marine is working to bridge this gap through innovative educational materials, community engagement, capacity building, connecting with schools and enhancing career opportunities for young adults.

The role of investors in financing the blue economy is also key. While governments are stepping up efforts to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss, there are limits to what they can do, given the scale of the challenges faced. Closing the funding gap requires the private sector and financial market participants to play a role.

There remains much to do over the coming years, however we are optimistic of progress, as stakeholders come together to make waves for the blue economy.



1 5 reasons you should care about our ocean | United Nations.
2 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.”

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