Blue Economy: Dhaka calls for joint efforts to harness marine resources

Publish: 9:11 PM, June 30, 2022 | Update: 9:11:PM, June 30, 2022

Bangladesh has sought a joint blue economy approach to harness the untapped marine resources that can be useful in tackling poverty, food insecurity, unemployment, energy crisis and ecological imbalances towards strengthening the sustainable development process.

“Oceans are the potential and versatile resource-frontiers for humankind, but remains under-explored and unexploited,” said secretary of the Maritime Affairs Unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rear Admiral (Retd.) Md. Khurshed Alam.

Bangladesh along with some other countries co-hosted the event titled “Fostering international and regional cooperation in support of the sustainable development of the blue economy in LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS” organised by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 2nd UN Ocean Conference being held in Lisbon, Portugal.

The vice-president of Tanzania, foreign and tourism minister of Tonga, minister of international development of Norway, ministers, high representatives and experts from the member states also attended the event, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Khurshed emphasized the need of fostering international and regional cooperation to develop strategies in support of the sustainable development of the blue economy in LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS.

He elaborated that states and organizations in developing regions may not have the capacity to develop and manage their own shared marine resources, as they lack the necessary information, expertise or the financial capacity to follow through with planning and operations.

External assistance can be valuable, and sometimes essential, in establishing shared international marine resources arrangements, Khurshed said.

Panelists opined that regional and international cooperation is crucial to develop marine scientific knowledge and research capacity to leverage the benefits offered by the blue economy.

They said transfer of technology can create enabling conditions in the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS states to participate effectively in existing and emerging ocean sectors of the blue economy. Representatives also viewed strongly that strategic partnership is necessary for harnessing the benefits of the blue economy.

The seminar was wrapped up with commitments to forging wider regional and international cooperation, devising mechanisms for technology transfer and financing the blue economy.