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Sustainable green economy important for small countries and coastal populations |

The world’s coastal population contributes significantly to the global economy – an estimated $1.5 trillion per year – with an estimated $3 trillion by 2030.

Ensuring ocean ecosystem health, supporting livelihoods and promoting economic growth requires targeted support for key sectors, including fishing and aquaculture, tourism, energy, shipping and port operations, and undersea mining, as well as innovative sectors such as renewable energy and marine biotechnology.

‘essential’ marine resources

This is especially important for small island developing countries (SIDS)for people for whom marine resources are important assets, providing them with food security, nutrition, employment, foreign exchange and recreation.

Furthermore, through evidence-based policy interventions, these assets can also make an enhanced and sustained contribution to economic growth, and to the well-being of SIDS and least developed countries. (LDCs).

Join the main interactive dialogue of The second day of the Conference, former Seychelles President, Danny Faure, explained to UN News that “it is extremely important for Small States to have a place on the table, to ensure that they can deliver their aspirations and stay on track”.

Acknowledge that Climate change continues to affect his country, and some SIDSMr. Faure called on the international community to continue supporting countries like the Seychelles.

“The green economy is essential to the livelihoods of our people and our nation. I see [investment] coming very slowly and I believe it is very important that, internationally, we continue to stay focused, so that we can build partnerships between civil society and the private sector, ” he said.


Fish are sun-dried at a landing site in Kigoma, Tanzania.

© FAO / Luis Tato

Fish are sun-dried at a landing site in Kigoma, Tanzania.

What does a sustainable green economy really mean?

Despite the lack of a widely accepted definition of period green economyThe World Bank defines it as “the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, while preserving the health of ocean ecosystems.

Green economy prioritizes all three pillars of sustainability: environment, economy and society. When talking about sustainable development, it is important to understand the difference between a green economy and an ocean economy. The term implies that the initiative is environmentally sustainable, inclusive and climate resilient.

In addition to providing goods and services that can be measured in monetary terms, coral reefs, mangroves, sea grasslands, and wetlands provide important ecosystem services such as coastal protection and respiration. carbon intake.


Seagrasses, developed more than 70 million years ago from terrestrial grasses, are one of the most diverse and valuable marine ecosystems on the planet.

© Unsplash

Seagrasses, developed more than 70 million years ago from terrestrial grasses, are one of the most diverse and valuable marine ecosystems on the planet.

Act now

Small island developing nations control 30% of all oceans and seas. But how can SIDS and the private sector build a fair and responsible partnership for sustainable oceans?

Calls to fulfill the promises set forth in the SIDS Accelerated Action Method, referred to by the abbreviation The road of SAMOA and the ambition of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG14), on the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, experts on the second day of the Conference reiterated the importance of harnessing the cooperation of the private sector to make it happen.

Impact of climate change

Tell UN NewsTuvalu’s Government Secretary, Tapugao Falefou, said that his country “is not just beginning to understand what climate change is and how it affects [the world] but also understand how it physically works [us]. “

Describing massive coastal erosion, drought and inland seawater flooding, Mr. Falefou said “that didn’t happen 20 years ago. These are impacts of climate change which I can attest, that larger countries may not experience. “

The path of multilateralism

With millions of people employed worldwide in fishing and fish farming, mostly in developing countries, healthy and resilient coastal and marine ecosystems are fundamental to development. lasting.

Other areas important to resilience of developing countries including coastal tourismcontributes up to 40% or more of global gross domestic product (GDP) in some SIDS and marine fisheries, provides nearly 20% of the average animal protein consumed by 3.2 billion people and more more than 50% of average consumption in some least developed countries.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), added that without multilateralism, no one can solve the Ocean problem.

“SIDS has the potential to become major ocean economies (…) if we do so in a sustainable way, we can open up the prospects for development,” she added, highlighting the economic path. green.


A female fisherman on her way to sell fish she caught at the port of Joal in Senegal.

© FAO / Sylvain Cherkaoui

A female fisherman on her way to sell fish she caught at the port of Joal in Senegal.

Women and the ocean

Focusing on the link between SDG14 and SDG 5 (gender equality and empowerment of women and girls) a expert panel advocates to strengthen women’s participation and leadership at all levels.

With women underrepresented in the field of ocean action, particularly in decision-making roles in ocean science, policymaking and the green economy, the council called for more action and fundamental change in society.


“We have a huge responsibility to do whatever we can to ensure the sustainability of our planet, and an event like this [Conference] This is probably one of the most important things about the future of life, says Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of the World Maritime University, based in Sweden.

Recalling the importance of looking at women’s working conditions and wage disparities in the fishery industry, Ms. Doumbia-Henry added: “We need to focus on some of these questions and what I’m tired of. Fatigue is the lip service that changes and deploys to continue. “

Participation of mainstream women

For Maria Damanaki, founder of Leading Women for the Oceans, a concrete action plan along with legislation is needed.

“We need to see women as part of the green economy, we need to see them everywhere, to promote their participation, because without their leadership,” Ms. Damanaki said. , humanity in general will lose a lot.


With an expected participation of more than 12,000 ocean advocates, including world leaders, entrepreneurs, youth, influencers and scientists, the Conference will continue spark new impetus for advancing SDG14, the focus of global action to protect aquatic life. Specific measures will be adopted to build ocean resilience and more sustainable communities, underpinned by a new wave of commitments to restore ocean health.

During the week, UN News will provide you with daily coverage of the Conference as well as interviews, podcasts and features that you can access here.

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